Poppies: Weeping Window MIDDLEPORT POTTERY

2 AUGUST – 16 SEPTEMBER 2018

The story of Poppies: Weeping Window

Weeping Window is a cascade comprising several thousand handmade ceramic poppies seen pouring from a high location to the ground below.

The sculpture, alongside Wave, a sweeping arch of bright red poppy heads suspended on towering stalks by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper were initially conceived as the key dramatic sculptural elements in the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in the summer and autumn of 2014.

Over the course of their time at the Tower, the sculptures were gradually surrounded by a vast field of ceramic poppies, each one planted by a volunteer in memory of every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War. In their original setting they captured the public imagination and were visited by over five million people.

14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, is presenting the iconic sculptures at selected locations around the UK until 2018. They have already been seen by 4 million people in 16 locations. The sculpture is now coming to Stoke-on-Trent.

Weeping Window is from the installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces.

Poppies: Weeping Window in Stoke-on-Trent

Stoke-on-Trent is officially recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics, and Middleport Pottery has been operating since 1889. During the First World War demand for the ceramics goods made in the area greatly increased. These included tableware for hospitals, homes and the military; propaganda-ware, including small ceramic tanks and battleships; plates with patriotic designs or messages on them; and ceramics to mark both the early stages of the war and the Armistice at the end.

The war also saw women taking on bigger roles in the pottery industry; with the men volunteering or being called-up, they came to the fore as decorators and designers, taking key roles from men and being recognised after the war as leading lights.

Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent is the last regional tour venue before it moves to its final presentation at Imperial War Museum London before moving into the long-term ownership of the Imperial War Museum.

Visit Poppies: Weeping Window

Book a ticket to see Weeping Window at Middleport

To see the Weeping Window at Middleport, you must have a ticket. Tickets are free and are available to book here.

As Middleport is located in a residential area, it is really important to plan ahead for your visit. More information about how to get to Middleport is available below. To make your visit as enjoyable as possible, please plan your journey in advance.

Travel by rail

From Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station, Middleport Pottery can be reached:

By train

There is a train station at Longport, which is a 15 minute walk to Middleport pottery. An hourly service runs from Stoke-on-Trent Railway station to Longport at 34 minutes past the hour. For further information, please see: http://www.eastmidlandstrains.co.uk/train-times/printed-timetables/

By taxi

There is a taxi rank at the front of Stoke-on-Trent Railway Station for those wishing to travel by taxi to Middleport Pottery. It is a 10-15 minute journey time to the venue.

By bus – there are two options:

From bus stop F. Take any service to the City Centre (Hanley). At the City Centre Bus Station change onto service 3/3A and alight at Burslem. From here it is a 15 minute walk to Middleport Pottery – click here for a map. Total journey time is 45 minutes.

From bus stop E. Take service 9 or 25 to Newcastle-under-Lyme Bus Station. Change onto service 98 and alight at Longport Rail Station. From here it is a 15 minute walk to Middleport Pottery – click herefor a map. Total journey time is 55 minutes.

For further information please see:

www.dgbus.co.uk and www.firstgroup.com/potteries/plan-journey/timetables/

By cycle or on foot

Middleport Pottery is a 3 mile walk or cycle ride along the canal towpath. Click here for a map of how to access the canal towpath from the station. Folding bikes can be hired at the railway station from Brompton Dock Cycle Hire. For further information please see:

https://www.bromptonbikehire.com/docks/2323-stoke.

By car and coach

There is no public car parking at Middleport Pottery. An event car park is available which is easily accessible from the A500. Please click here for a map of how to get to the car park. The car park postcode is ST6 4NL.

Please note that the car park will be open daily from 9am to 5pm.

Car parking charges of £3 per car, £8 per minibus and £10 per coach apply.

Middleport Pottery is a 10 minute walk from the car park. Click here for a map of how to get to the venue form the car park. Disabled parking is available with a free shuttle bus to the venue for less mobile visitors. The last shuttle bus leaves from Middleport Pottery to the car park at 4.30pm.

Group Bookings: If you plan to visit the Poppies by Coach, please call 01782 499766 (10am – 4pm) to book your tickets.

At Middleport

Middleport is an historic site and has cobbles across the site. It is recommended that you wear sensible footwear.

Accessibility: The sculpture is accessible via wheelchair – there will be volunteers on site to assist if necessary. Accessible toilets, baby changing facilities and refreshments are also available onsite.

Disabled / Blue Badge Parking only is adjacent to Middleport Pottery in Port Street. This is strictly for disabled and Blue Badge holders only. More information on travel and transport is available here.

Please note for security reasons, no large bags are allowed at the venue.

Please also be aware that bag searching will be in operation. It is sensible to leave adequate time to get into Middleport before your ticketed viewing time.

Useful information

Food and drink

Food and drinks can be purchased from the Middleport Pottery Tea Room. There will also be other outdoor food options within the venue. Unfortunately there is nowhere to have a picnic within the venue, however Middleport Park is a 5 minute walk away and Westport Lake is a 15 minute walk along the canal and offers a café and picnic tables.

School visits

Schools are being invited to register for class visits between 10am and12pm from Tuesday, 4 to Thursday, 13 September. Please email info@middleportpottery.org or call 01782 499766 (between 10am and 4pm) to register your school visit and receive the free teacher resource pack. Coaches can arrange to drop off outside Middleport Pottery on Port Street, and then park the event car park. This should be arranged in advance.

Coach groups

Coaches can drop visitors off at Middleport Pottery and then park at the event car park. The charge for coach parking is £10. Visitors will need to book their tickets by telephoning Middleport Pottery on 01782 499766 for group bookings.

Volunteering

We’re looking for volunteers to work on the iconic Poppies: Weeping Window display and there are a number of roles available. If you’d like to get involved with this once-in-a-generation opportunity, please contact poppies@stoke.gov.uk for further information about volunteering. Alternatively, you can contact Middleport Pottery’s Volunteer Manager, Adele Swinney, at adele.swinney@ukhbpt.org or visit www.middleportpottery.org/volunteer.

Souvenirs

There is a range of merchandise available to purchase from the merchandise shop at Middleport Pottery.

Accommodation

To book somewhere to stay in Stoke-on-Trent, more information is available at Visit Stoke.

Join the conversation

For up to date information about Poppies: Weeping Window, you can:

  1. Follow @Middleport_Pot on twitter or on facebook /MiddleportPottery
  2. Follow @sotcitycouncil on twitter or on facebook /sotcitycouncil
  3. Follow @visitStoke on twitter or on facebook /visitstoke
  4. Follow @1418Now on twitter or on facebook /1418Now

Use the hashtag #Poppiestour to join in the conversation about Poppies: Weeping Window.

What is 14 – 18 NOW?

14-18 NOW is a five-year programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War. Working with arts and heritage partners all across the UK, we commission new artworks from leading contemporary artists, musicians, designers and performers, inspired by the period 1914-18.

As with all 14-18 NOW projects, the presentation of Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window to new audiences across the UK aims to prompt a new, nationwide dialogue around the legacy of the First World War.

To find out more about the Poppies: Wave and Weeping Window tour visit www.1418NOW.org.uk/poppies Find out more about 14 – 18 Now here.

Contact us

If the information you require is not covered above and you still have enquiries, please email poppies@stoke.gov.uk or telephone 01782 499766 (between 10am – 4pm).