Over 70 people attended a lively evening of debate at FCBStudios entitled Changing Places, Changing Lives: Middleport Pottery. The event was chaired by ex-English Heritage Chair and author of the recent report ‘Tackling poverty through culture’ for the Welsh Government Baroness Kay Andrews OBE.
With an interesting collective of speakers the captive audience were taken through the story of Middleport, not just through an architect’s perspective, but from the views of the people who reside in the area and could share the impact this invaluable project has had on its surroundings.
Middleport resident Jemma Baskeyfield was one of the highlights of the evening. Standing in front of her audience with no visual presentation she had everyone focused simply on what she had to say, her words, her personal story, and painted a scene of life at Middleport allowing those who had not visited to get a better understanding of what was needed and what has been achieved. With a perfect balance of northern humour and honest sentiment she reiterated how important the redevelopment of this building has been to the people who live and work there.
FCBS’s Geoff Rich concluded the talks with the challenges faced by the architect in being able to transform the building architecturally with the sensitive task of satisfying the needs of the building with the needs of the workers. It was clear with all speakers that they are very proud of Middleport Pottery and enjoyed being able to share their experiences with others.
The evening concluded with a questions and answers session. The panel sat for some brilliant questions from our audience allowing them to share lessons learnt, comment on the future of Middleport and give advice to any practice or individual due to tackle similar projects.
An invaluable evening for all who attended.