A stunning level of boring uniformity and dullness was on show to the press yesterday, as Birmingham’s bosses officially backed the Coventry bid for City of Culture. Expect better odds on the gritty bid from Stoke-on-Trent as the winner of City of Culture, from today.
Archive for the ‘Stoke-on-Trent’ Category
24 Nov 2016 at 08:09
18 Nov 2016 at 06:28
Comments Off on A Midlands Engine mis-fire
Midlands Engine chairman Sir John Peace appears to favour Coventry for City of Culture, while forgetting about the equally major bid by the West Midlands city of Stoke-on-Trent… “Sir John said the Midlands is readying itself for a “golden decade” which will include the arrival of HS2 in 2026. Birmingham has also put its name […]
15 Nov 2016 at 23:57
Comments Off on Middle Earth, a major Tolkien biopic
I’m pleased to hear that a very major Birmingham / Staffordshire movie is going ahead. Directed by James Strong (Downton Abbey), Middle Earth will explore Tolkien’s early life and his romance with Edith Bratt. The screenwriter will be Angus Fletcher, and The Lord of the Rings producers Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne are both on […]
14 Nov 2016 at 09:19
Comments Off on Moanbook
The perils of keyword-based affinity algorithms: Facebook thinks that lots of my acquaintances like Stoke-on-Trent City Council, therefore I should start a Facebook group for them. I know better, looking at the top candidates for membership of such a group. Talking about the Council doesn’t mean they like it, quite the opposite in fact.
Wonderful to see that there’s a major new biography of the great Kenneth Clark, Kenneth Clark: Life, Art and Civilisation. Country Life has a review of the book. The review gives a nice anecdote about the impact of Clark’s magnificent Civilisation series, on art appreciation in Stoke-on-Trent… “Even when the programmes were first broadcast, in […]
14 Jul 2016 at 19:29
Comments Off on Karen Bradley, new Culture Secretary
Very good news that a local West Midlands MP, Karen Bradley MP (Staffordshire Moorlands), has been appointed as the new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. She’s based in the north of the West Midlands, just north-east of Stoke-on-Trent. Here’s my quick 60-minute ‘instant analysis’, for what it’s worth… Bradley grew up seeing […]
02 Jul 2016 at 08:38
Comments Off on Nine days after Leave
Nine days on from the vote to Leave, I thought I’d try to sum up what has happened that actually matters: * The Vote. In the largest vote in British history, the people voted to leave the EU. The Leave results were in middle-class as well as working-class areas, deeply rural as well as urban […]
29 Jun 2016 at 06:48
Comments Off on About those ‘Euro billions’…
My local newspaper The Sentinel is reporting today that Stoke-on-Trent… “may miss out on £157m of European cash” from the 2014-2020 funding round. That’s a paltry £22m per year. It’ll be easily replaced… “… the West Midlands paid in £3.55 [to the EU] for every pound it gets back [in European grants]” — said by […]
25 Jun 2016 at 05:28
Comments Off on The Leave vote in the West Midlands: an infographic
Here’s my quick re-tabulation of the BBC local results, to show only the West Midlands. It demonstrates the ‘Leave’ vote surging across rural and metropolitan areas alike, in what was the biggest popular vote in British history. Of course, some are already trying to re-frame the narrative on the vote — feebly squeaking about voters […]
24 Jun 2016 at 06:35
Comments Off on “O brave new world…”
“O brave new world, that has such people in it!” — Shakespeare, The Tempest.
24 Apr 2016 at 14:56
Comments Off on The Bluedot Festival
The famous Jodrell Bank telescope, located 15 miles north of Stoke-on-Trent on the Cheshire plain, is to be home to a major new three-day festival on 22nd-24th July 2016. Electronic music maestro Jean-Michel Jarre will headline the event’s music stage, along with Air, Underworld and Caribou — with Brian Eno doing projection-mapping onto the iconic […]
Stoke-on-Trent based cat subscription company Cat Hampurr. A different cat, boxed and delivered to your door each month. No… it’s not actually quite as cool as that. They actually send you a monthly box of tempting kittie-nibbles and feline fun stuff.
23 Mar 2016 at 17:32
Comments Off on The new White Paper on Culture
The government’s new Culture White Paper has just been published. Here’s my quick summary of points which seem relevant to the West Midlands, and which were not raised in the recent budget speech… * “A new cultural citizens programme [to] be led by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund [which] will reach across […]
16 Mar 2016 at 18:37
Comments Off on Budget round-up for creatives
A round-up some of the key points from today’s Budget speech in Parliament, likely to be of interest to creatives and small businesses… * There will be tax-breaks for museums and galleries which devise and tour major new touring exhibitions. No details, but presumably it will work in the same way as existing help for […]
06 Oct 2015 at 14:31
Comments Off on Local robo-journalism
A classic example of how not to do robo-journalism… wrong categories, no evidence of human curation (other than the appaling header graphic), several jobs are actually out of the area and on others the deadlines have passed.
Inside the Spode factory, Stoke-on-Trent, 26th September 2015:
20 Aug 2015 at 12:51
Comments Off on L.S. Lowry and Arthur Berry: observers of urban life
The major show L.S. Lowry and Arthur Berry: observers of urban life premieres at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, until 10th January 2015 (£5).
14 Aug 2015 at 11:42
Comments Off on The insect hotel of Uttoxeter
A super new ‘insect hotel’ is due to open very soon at Uttoxeter in North Staffordshire. A very nice bit of garden/architectural/eco design.
Endon Wildlife is a blog in the Staffordshire Moorlands of North Staffordshire, which is doing outstanding local on-the-ground research work on subtle eco-degredation and mis-management of the landscape.
08 Jul 2015 at 19:23
Comments Off on Budget speech
Highlights of this afternoon’s Budget speech in Parliament, the measures likely to affect smaller creative businesses and the self-employed: * “across England, [we are] launching a new round of Enterprise Zones for smaller towns” * “The new National Living Wage will be compulsory. Working people aged 25 and over will receive it. It will start […]