Stoke on Film 1970s


The Seventies began with Stoke changing visibly. The City’s reclamation schemes were in full swing Central Forest Park, Westport Lake and the Greenways were all coming to completion. Pit tips were levelled or re-shaped and public buildings were being cleaned up. There was great emphasis on the importance of improving Stoke’s environment and its image nationally. Local people are heard giving their views of the city in 1972.

Stoke City had their finest hour we see them win the League Cup in 1972 and return in triumph to the Potteries. The Sentinel had its Centenary in 1973, and Newcastle had its Octocentenary. The Gladstone pottery wroks was restored and opened as the Gladstone Pottery Museum. We see before and after film of the museum and see Ralph Whieldon in action the last of the sagger-makers. In 1978 we see the last ever firing of a bottle oven.

The decade was dominated by the tremendous fight to stop the closure of Shelton Bar Iron & Steel Works a fight which united the City, but concluded with the end of steel-making in 1978. There are many films and interviews to give insight to this decade of winning and losing.

Featured items are: The Hollywood open-air rock festival (1970), environmental issues (1972), reclamation schemes (1970-75), Stoke City (1972), the Queen opens Central Forest Park (1973), Sentinel Centenary (1973), the fight for Shelton Bar (1971-1978) Stoke Original Theatre (1978) last ever bottle oven firing (1978), sagger-making (1978) and other items.

We end with a tribute to the Sentinel on its Centenary and to one of its great contributors - Wilf Bloor ("Jabez") - and hear a few of his dialect tales from himself.