Stoke-on-Trent is an industrial city in Staffordshire, on the River Trent.
It consists of several formerly completely independent towns, collectively known as "The Potteries". The novelist Arnold Bennett established them in the public mind as the Five Towns - Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Longton and Stoke. These were later joined by Fenton to create the city of Stoke-on-Trent.
Newcastle-under-Lyme is also part of the conurbation, but is still an independent town.
The city has long been famous for the quality and quantity of its pottery and ceramics, led by visionaries such as Josiah Wedgwood, Josiah Spode and Thomas Minton.
Unfortunately, the processes involved in the industry's 19th century heyday led to a most unhealthy atmosphere, but this is now a thing of the past.
Nothing like so much pottery is now made in Stoke, but it is still a significant industry, and several companies, such as Spode and Wedgwood, now have visitor centres, where the product can be bought.
Among the famous people born in Stoke-on-Trent are cricketer Kim Barnett; novelist Arnold Bennett; ceramic designer Clarice Cliff; novelist Mrs Craik; footballer Stanley Matthews; ceramic manufacturer Josiah Spode; ceramic manufacturer Josiah Wedgwood; and pop singer Robbie Williams.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Stoke-on-Trent for groups.