At the start of last year, the Leopard Inn in Burslem, the scene of the celebrated meeting between potter Josiah Wedgwood and engineer James Brindley to agree the navigation of the Trent and Mersey Canal, ‘went on fire’. Close by, the Wedgwood Institute, founded by William Gladstone in 1863 as a design school, and proudly decorated with terracotta panels narrating the art of ceramics, stands empty.
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