Bottle Kiln Walk
On September 20th 2009 champion walker Keith Meeson and a group of volunteers walked to all 47 surviving bottle ovens in the City - The Bottle Kiln Walk - raising funds for the Donna Louise Trust. Ray Johnson, with three other cameramen, filmed the event and interviewed people taking part, with the Lord Mayor, Jean Gough (daughter of Sir Stanley Matthews) and also entertainer Pete Conway - Robbie Williams’ father - and Joan Walley MP. We visit every bottle kiln still standing, and the evening also includes archive film footage of bottle kilns in use in various factories in the days of coal firing.
A documentary section shows and explains exactly how bottle ovens 'worked' - and shows the complete firing sequence - from loading and finally unloading the oven - achieved in 1978 when the Gladstone Pottery Museum did a glost firing on a bottle oven which had been dormant for 20 years.There is a feature on the Arts and Bottle Kilns, featuring poetry, music (Havergal Brian) and painting (Reginald Haggar) with archive interviews and footage.
There is an update for the current plans for restoring and preserving a number of our bottle ovens/kilns in the Longton area with funding from the Heritage Action Zone.