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20th September 2013 Hanley Ethnography

Hanley is the biggest of Stoke-on-Trent’s five towns. It is often referred to as the city centre, despite the 5 town configuration. This section analysis is based on how big Hanley is to survey and, like the canal, will be surveyed in sections.

Hanley is the biggest of Stoke-on-Trent’s five towns. It is often referred to as the city centre, despite the 5 town configuration. This section analysis is based on how big Hanley is to survey and, like the canal, will be surveyed in sections. 

Pink: Main transport links, Light Blue: Canal, Yellow: Industrial/ex-Industrial,
 Red: Graffiti, Dark Blue: Education, Purple: Regeneration Zone.


First we started at the Canal and entered the Lord Nelson Works. These are about to be demolished and were wide open at each gate, so lucky for us we had a chance to get a great look at something that will soon be history. 

Surprisingly, as it is so open, there was not masses of graffiti. I have taken some pictures to kind of set the scene of the Stoke-on-Trent that is currently being torn down to make way for new build houses. For me this stencil says alot about the current ‘bulldoze-all’ culture. There was evidence of fires here too, part of a current trend of old buildings developers want flattened getting arson attacked and then torn down- but that’s another discussion!

I really expected there to be more graffiti here, particularly as it is near the canal.However, I think it may have been an access issue until recently. We couldn’t get upstairs, which was annoying as I’d herd rumours that it used to home an illegal pool hall amongst other thing so I wondered if we would find more there. 

From here we surveyed the streets, but there was a distinct lack of graffiti. I think this would be because it is in a regeneration area. This means lots of the old terraced homes have been flattened, leaving grass and to one end, new homes. This investment in the area by private contractors has led to the public becoming private. 

The back alleys are all alley gated now, in a way unseen anywhere else in the area (unless there has been new homes built nearby). The new homes are a mixture of flats and houses, however what stands out to me is the walkways and streets that would have previously been public spaces have now become a residents only space, with buzzers and private security. This canal side development secures views and recreational activities by the canal for those who can afford to live there. 

Moving on, we surveyed the area surrounding the airspace gallery. This is now closed and up for sale and full of graffiti!!! But, we could not gain entry today! (grrrr!!) so took some pictures of the surrounding graffiti that could be found. 

This was my favourite picture of the day.. apologies for the very picture heavy post!

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