Free tickets to see Poppies: Weeping Window at Middleport Pottery are now being made available in venues across Stoke-on-Trent as well as online.
The arrangements mean that anyone who wants to see the iconic sculpture can do so even if they don’t have access to the internet or a printer.
Commemorating the First World War, the striking Weeping Window artwork – 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 art installation Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red, which made headlines when it was displayed at the Tower of London in 2014. Created by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, the installation 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.
Tickets can be arranged at the following council locations during normal opening hours:
- libraries across the city (Stoke, Longton, Bentilee, Tunstall, Meir and City Central)
- Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
- local centres and customer service centres ( 13 locations including Abbey Hulton, Bentilee, Blurton, Burslem, Chell Heath, Fenton, Hanley, Longton, Meir, Norton, Stoke, Tunstall, and the Civic Centre in Stoke)
People are being advised to plan their travel in advance to ensure their visit is the most enjoyable experience possible.
Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council and chair of the Poppies: Weeping Window steering panel, said: “Poppies: Weeping Window represents one of the most significant cultural artworks in the UK and we want to make sure that everyone gets the chance to see the sculpture. The tour is being ticketed as Middleport Pottery is in a residential area, and by doing so, it better allows us to manage traffic and numbers to and from the venue. This will help to make it a positive experience for both visitors and the community alike. By making tickets available in venues across the city, it means everyone has the chance to see such an inspirational installation.”
Middleport Pottery director Clare Wood said: “We are thrilled to have the sculpture here at Middleport Pottery and the response has been fantastic. Making tickets available through these additional venues will mean even more people can benefit from an installation of such national significance being here in the city.”
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. Tickets are now available to book at www.weepingwindowstoke.eventbrite.com or from one of the venues mentioned above.
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 a 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 ten-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 email firstname.lastname@example.org or 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.