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Gladstone Pottery Museum reopens with covid-secure measures

Published: Friday, 30th October 2020

The award-winning Gladstone Pottery Museum is welcoming back visitors after a range of strict covid-secure measures were put in place to help to keep people safe.

The award-winning Gladstone Pottery Museum is welcoming back visitors after a range of strict covid-secure measures were put in place to help to keep people safe.

The iconic Stoke-on-Trent attraction – which recently won Visit England’s coveted small visitor attraction of the year award – reopened its doors to the public from 10am on Friday, October 30.

This week’s reopening follows the museum’s temporary closure from March due to national coronavirus restrictions.

The site has now been awarded Visit England ‘Good To Go’ status – a UK-wide, industry standard consumer mark which confirms that an attraction is adhering to the latest government and public health guidance.  

Following national rules and the latest coronavirus updates from the Government based on the city’s tier 2 status, there will be a number of measures in place to ensure the museum is covid-secure.  

To help to control the number of people inside the site and comply with social distancing, visitors must book and pay for a time slot by calling 01782 237777. Bookings can only be made as far as one week in advance. If you have not booked a time slot you will not be able to visit the museum. 

Other safety measures include:

• a maximum of six people from one household, or six people from one household and support bubble, per booking; 

• visitors should arrive on time for their slot;

• all visitors are required to wear a face covering, unless exempt;

• people should use the hand sanitising stations when they arrive and also around the site;

• visitors should observe 2m social distancing while also following signage and the self-guided tour map;

• interactive displays are not available.

Gladstone Pottery Museum is the country’s only complete Victorian pottery factory from the days when coal-burning ovens made the world's finest bone china.  

In August, the museum received the Visit England Awards for Excellence small visitor attraction of the year award after claiming top spot in that section of the regional Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism and Good Food Awards.

The site usually attracts about 35,000 people a year and offers a fascinating insight into the history of Stoke-on-Trent, the pottery industry and its workforce.

Visitors can see inside the incredible bottle kilns, as well as a lodge, engine house, slip room, saggar making workshop, dipping house, 1910 office, doctor’s house and more.  

The museum’s amazing pottery-making demonstrations will also still take place and screens have been fitted to ensure these areas are covid-secure.

Following national guidance, there are no ‘have-a-go’ sessions to throw pots, make bone china flowers or decorate pottery for the time being - but in the museum’s shop customers can buy pottery to paint at home or air-drying clay. Gladstone also has fantastic ‘how to’ pottery making demonstrations on its YouTube channel.

People can also still enjoy the remarkable Flushed with Pride gallery – a display dedicated to the history and development of the toilet.  There is also the Tile Gallery, which features one of the best decorative tile collections in the country.

Councillor Daniel Jellyman, deputy leader at Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “We’re delighted to announce that, following a significant amount of work on covid-secure measures, visitors will be welcomed back to Gladstone Pottery Museum. It’s a hugely popular attraction for residents and visitors - and an iconic part of Stoke-on-Trent’s heritage.

“Our fantastic museum team have worked really hard during the temporary closure to make sure the site is covid-secure and to get everything ready for the safe reopening. Please remember that visitors must book a time slot and we need everyone to follow the safety measures put in place. By sticking to these rules, we can ensure residents and visitors continue to enjoy the museum.”

Due to national restrictions, a small number of museum areas are closed because social distancing is not possible.

Please be aware that there is also less seating available around the museum than usual.

The Gladstone café is open with a reduced amount of seating, limited menu and table service or takeaway options. The shop is also open, selling a wide range of gifts including studio ceramics, local paintings, and more.

Previous opening times and entry prices at the museum still apply: 10am to 4pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays; adults £7.75 per ticket, children (4-16) £5.40, concessions £6.20, and the family ticket is £23. If you already have a Gladstone annual pass, the museum will extend the expiry date to cover the time when the site was closed - you will still need to pre-book your visit by calling 01782 237777. New annual passes, which cover free entry, are £11.50 each for adults and £9.50 each for children and concessions.

Staff will be on hand to help with any questions people may have.

For more information, please visit https://www.stokemuseums.org.uk/gpm/