The Potteries Tile Trail

Inspiring engagement with the world-renowned ceramic industry of Stoke-on-Trent.

Project Description

The Potteries Tile Trail


Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK

 March 2013 – March 2014


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Historypin has made a relatively very low budget pilot project punch way above its weight (and resources).

— Danny Callaghan, project manager

Why was it run?

To inspire engagement with the world-renowned ceramic industry of Stoke-on-Trent.


Danny Callaghan, The Tiles and Architectural Ceramics Society

  • 16 voluntary ‘tile ambassadors’
  • 2,900 attendees of events
  • 10,000 visitors online
  • 1,200 Twitter followers
What happened?

A group of 16 volunteer Tile Ambassadors were identified and trained to work in partnership with heritage specialists and digital technology. They researched and gathered tile-related stories and photographs during study visits to locations linked to the pottery industry across Stoke-on- Trent and national properties that featured Stoke-on-Trent made tiles.

This work led to ten highly popular community engagement events with pop-up displays of archive footage, photographs and tile samples. A Twitter channel attracted local and national attention with followers tweeting images of ceramic tiles from across the world. Local newspapers and radio publicised the events and online archive.

All the photos and stories were put on a project page.


Historypin became the motivation, not just a repository. People got buzzed by the idea of collecting. People were disappointed if the photos they contributed were not showcased on the Historypin profile.

— Danny Callaghan, project manager


What was created?
  • A digital archive of 350 photos and memories on
  • Online tours around Stoke’s 6 towns
  • 10 community engagement events

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Danny and his team created six online tours around each of Stoke-on-Trent’s six towns for the public to explore. Tiles and ceramic features of note are listed either to be spotted by those using these to take walking tours of the area or by online viewers located anywhere in the world.


  • 16 volunteers trained and given 12 months work experience
  • 1,000 voluntary hours donated.
  • 10,000 views to their Historypin Profile.
  • “I can’t believe the amount of traffic that has gone through that channel. Some old-school cultural institutions are amazed at the traffic that a small outreach project managed to achieve.” — Danny Callaghan, project manager
  • The project was identified as creative heritage ‘model of good practice’ by Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of Heritage Lottery Fund at Heritage Exchange 2014 conference.
  • Featured in 3 Legacy academic research projects with a focus on public engagement (partners include: University of Leeds, Science Museum, BBC Archives).


Ongoing activity

The project is ongoing with Danny and volunteers continuing to discover and add Stoke tiles in the local area and the rest of the world.

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