To celebrate the building of what is to be The Largest Tesco in Europe, a huge space in the middle of Stoke-on-Trent’s bustling shopping centre was cleared of now redundant buildings; printing works, potteries and assorted other industrial or business premises of varying loveliness, among which was a very sightly art deco builing called Bullock and Bosson.
In September a Golden Mile of stenciled gold one pound coins appeared around this huge area of demolition. The coins can be seen on the pavement the length of Morley Street, on to Broad Street, then down the sad remains of Robson Street.
Stencil of the One Pound coin.
Businesses in the vicinity claim that the area is like a bombsite and that passing trade is a thing of the past. These merry pounds remind us of the amazing potential for development of commerce and riches this big sky place represents. We should rejoice in the, almost, visible development of our city and our future wealth. The stencils definitely add a celebrational air to the area, perhaps this notable artwork will increase foot traffic in the streets around the site. Stoke-on-Trent City Council were however enraged and sought angrily for the perpetrator of this defacement of their pavements. They deemed it vandalism; unlike the scar resulting from the destruction they had sanctioned which the artwork surrounds.
Broad Street in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent’s bustling town centre.
Junction of Stratham Street and Morley Street, opposite noted nightspot The Underground.
Apparently the council heavily promoted the site at an industry conference in Cannes in the summer of 2008 (the Sentinel, 29/09/2008), but the advent of Tesco’s largest European store may be some while in the future. Initially scheduled to open in December 2008, nothing has happened in the area since demolition finished around two years ago.
The wild flowers and plants are looking large, healthy and confident; remnants of human activity less so. The burned out caravan is crumbling gently and will in time provide a haven for small animals and seedling plants. The chunks of broken bricks and concrete are becoming less aggressive in their stance as they become submerged in encroaching greenery. As autumn advances and the rain rains so the coins gradually loose integrity and wash away. The council needn’t have troubled themselves; nature will effect a cure for this disfigurement. This is probably what the end of the human race will look like…