When I look at the beautiful pottery and bone china that came from Wedgwood and the other manufacturers in the industrial heartland of Staffordshire, I always marvel at how their delicate, colourful pieces contrast with the dirt and grime of the coal-mining that also took place there.
The Longwy-Briey basin in the Lorraine region of France is another area of heavy industry where beautiful ceramics thrived alongside the coal and steel, indeed although coal is no longer mined there they still produce beautiful Longwy enamelware (or emaux).
Longwy is near the Belgian and Luxembourg borders and the old town in the citadel was largely destroyed by the siege guns of the German army in August 1914. After the First World War it was re-built, within the Vauban ramparts, and looked down on the iron and steel plants of Longwy-Bas in the valley below.
Read William’s full article in this week’s (18 September) Pocklington Post.