3. A BIT THICK FOR FATHER CHRISTMAS IN THE POTTERIES
This picture was taken in around 1910, probably from St. James’ Church, looking back over Longton. The photographer, William Blake (1874-1957) lived nearby and took many iconic and dramatic pictures of the smoky environment lined with bottle ovens. Longton had a reputation for the density of potbanks crammed in side-by-side with houses and shops. The air in The Potteries is much cleaner now – so hopefully Santa will find his way to us!
Blake sometimes included ironic or tongue in cheek captions with his photographs. He owned a stationers shop and turned many into postcards. They were big business – long before mobile phones, instant messaging, and access to telephones, they were one of the quickest ways to send a message to a friend or loved one. The text message of their day.