Urban Exploring at Middleport
by Mark Lippett
On Saturday 11th July, myself and Jemma met at Middleport to explore the area and find derelict buildings. This was the first time we had visited a site together and we were interested in how we would independently respond to the trip afterwards.
Stoke-on-Trent has plenty of places where you can find the remnants of industry and we discovered several sites near the canal at Middleport. I found the Bottle Kiln and Factory to be the most interesting. Here the remains of the industry shared space with litter and random items that seemed to have been dumped in the building. The place had an eerie stillness about it and the only life we saw was a couple of pigeons that flew about the rooms. An old caravan covered in graffiti and a battered leather sofa were discovered outside the building which looked quite out of place. Further down the the canal we saw other buildings that once would have been hives of activity. Now they sit quietly, slowly succumbing to the elements and with nature taking back the space.
Derelict buildings are a reminder of what once was but also there is evidence of more recent history in the form of graffiti and litter. We reflected on how each item of rubbish had it's own history too, from manufacture, to purchase, ownership and then disposal.