Free tickets to see the iconic poppies sculpture Weeping Window at Middleport Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent have now been released to the public.
Commemorating the First World War, Weeping Window – featuring thousands of ceramic poppies – is to go on display from August 2, as part of a UK-wide tour organised by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.
Weeping Window is from the installation ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ – poppies and original concept by artist Paul Cummins and installation designed by Tom Piper – by Paul Cummins Ceramics Limited in conjunction with Historic Royal Palaces. The installation was originally at HM Tower of London from August to November 2014 where 888,246 poppies were displayed, one for every British or Colonial life lost at the Front during the First World War.
The sculpture will be displayed outside the iconic factory daily until September 16, making it available on the summer Bank Holiday.
Stoke-on-Trent was integral to the original installation, as a base for the creation of just under half of the ceramic poppies. The city also provided the clay that the poppies were created from.
Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council who is chair of the Poppies: Weeping Window steering panel said: “Weeping Window represents one of the most significant cultural events in the UK in recent years and we’re delighted that Stoke-on-Trent is one of the final destinations on its UK tour.
“Stoke-on-Trent’s ceramics expertise is world-renowned and the industry is experiencing a resurgence, with global ceramics brands, household names and new companies investing here. We are a city that makes things, produces beauty from our earth. The poppies are a moving example of exquisite craftsmanship, and the poppies will have a very fitting home in our city.”
Middleport Pottery Director, Clare Wood, said: “Weeping Window is an awe-inspiring artwork, which we are proud to host at Middleport Pottery. It is fantastic that tickets to see the poppies on Middleport’s historic bottle kiln are free of charge. Weeping Window will be here for more than six weeks, enabling everyone to come and enjoy the installation and the wonderful Middleport Pottery site this summer. We look forward to welcoming you.”
Stoke-on-Trent is officially recognised as the World Capital of Ceramics, and Middleport Pottery has been operating since 1889. During the First World War demand for the ceramics goods made in the area greatly increased. These included tableware for hospitals, homes and the military; propaganda-ware, including small ceramic tanks and battleships; plates with patriotic designs or messages on them; and ceramics to mark both the early stages of the war and the Armistice at the end.
Middleport Pottery is one of the last tour venues before Weeping Window moves to its final presentation at IWM London, after which it will become part of the Imperial War Museums’ collection.
To see Weeping Window at Middleport, you must have a ticket.
People who register will receive an email confirming the order with their ticket attached. They will need to bring it along to the event, either on mobile device or printed.
As Middleport is located in a residential area, it is essential that visitors plan ahead for their visit, particularly for travel arrangements. More transport details are available on the ticket page. A car park is provided which is a 10-minute walk from Middleport Pottery. Further information about parking, coach arrivals and Blue Badge / accessible parking is available via the ticket page. A residential parking zone will be in operation in the streets surrounding Middleport Pottery. A shuttle bus will be provided from the event car park for those with mobility issues to get to the venue.
People are also being encouraged to volunteer during the six weeks that Poppies: Weeping Window is at Middleport Pottery. Anyone who would like to volunteer can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or to telephone 01782 234036 between 8.45am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and between 8.45am and 4.30pm on Fridays.
The tour has been made possible by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Backstage Trust, the Clore Duffield Foundation and the National Lottery. DAF Trucks are the transport sponsor for the UK presentations, and 14-18 NOW is delighted to partner with DAF on making this historic project a reality. The learning and engagement programme for the poppies tour is supported by the Foyle Foundation. Storage of the sculptures is generously provided by MTEC.