you cannot drink tea out of a teacup without the aid of the Five Towns; because you cannot eat a meal with decency without the aid of the Five Towns.
As I'm sure you have all noticed, I've focusing on the pottery industry over the last month or so.
I always felt like I had missed the boat with Sheffield cutlrey, shipbuilding, and of course coal, but the heyday of the decline of pottery is right now.
The hub of the trade was in Stoke. Today the city is in a terrible state of decline, with empty plots of land left right and centre. There is little investment it would seem, and the city has a certain feel to it, which seems similar to the photos you see of Newcastle in the 1980's.
For an area which seems proud to be called "the potteries" there is actually very little left of the industry, and more frustraiting is that what does remain is being flattened, or left to such a state of dereliction that it will have to be flattened.
Here is a round up of the potteries of Stoke and Staffs, to give an idea of the rapid decline of the Potteries...
Weatherby Falcoln Works
Tam's Crown Works
Tam's Blyth Works
Tooth and Co, Bretby Art Pottery
T G Green
Bottle and Calcating kiln, Longton
Dolby Pottery Bottle Kiln