I post a lot about the hall of fame, mainly because I spend a lot of time there documenting the changes and trying to get artists to talk to me! However, the area surrounding the HOF is somewhere that I had not examined yet. The area we looked at today is an open disused industrial that links directly to the train tracks. We have spent most of the day speculating what it was used for and trying to find out what the buildings were, and the strange cut outs in the floor.
Well after hours of searching, and asking a few locals via social media, we have discovered that it was once Goldendale Iron Works.
1960 – Goldendale Ironworks was situated on the outskirts of Tunstall, just below the cemetery. In the background is Harecastle Hill and Harecastle Farm, where in the days of the canal boats the women or children would walk the horses over the hill whilst the men ‘legged’ the narrow boat through the mile-long Harecastle tunnel.
The works closed in the late 1960’s and the was land reclaimed. The new Tunstall Western By-pass runs just the other side of the works.(Staffordshire Past track, 2013).
There is not alot of this left now, just the car park, flooded pits and some 1960s pre fab buildings that are collapsing. The site is vast and it speaks volumes of Stoke on Trent’s industrial past. The location is perfect for the industrial age, with canal links via the mile long Harecastle tunnel and the railway tracks dividing the site. This is the part of graffiti which is directly linked to deprivation; as it offers up space to be painted.
Up until the 1960’s closures of this plant and many others like it, or the mines, or the pot banks, would have been where the inhabitants of Stoke on Trent would work. Deprivation brought about by the closure of plants such as these is an ongoing characteristic of Stoke, it has never really recovered in the way other centres of industry did such as Manchester’s mills or Liverpool’s ports -Stoke’s pot banks lay in ruins.
Yellow- industrial, Pink- Transport, Blue- Hall of fame, Red Graffiti
Red- Goldendale Iron Works Site (Kidsgrove.info, 2008).