City slicker: Stoke-on-Trent

The atmosphere is sweaty, locker-room. The insults are crass, the conversation is crude. Yet, says Helen Johnstone, more and more women are surfing the Internet, and enjoying what they find

An exhibition paying tribute to "The Father of all Potters" opens at Stoke's City Museum this weekend to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of

Josiah Wedgwood. Here's a guide to the town's other attractions

What they say: Stoke-on-Trent has variously been described as "A sudden eruption of smoke and brick like a patch of eczema" (John Wain); "The biggest village in the world" (Arnold Bennett) and "Stoke-on-Bent" (some Crewe fans I once met at a party).

Tourist information (official): Visit the potteries of Wedgwood and Doulton, the Victoria Theatre in Basford and pay homage to Stanley Matthews (right) and his statue. Eat oatcakes and Wright's pies and wonder at the interesting, derelict land reclamation schemes.

Tourist information (unofficial):

There are exactly 900 pages in the Stoke-on-Trent 1995/1996 Yellow Pages.

Best curry house: Although blessed with many fine Balti houses, Stoke's best curry house for comedy value has always been The Monzil in Broad St, Hanley. Famous for sending Christmas cards to its customers, serving until sun-up and making you pay before you eat. The Monzil is a monument to the days before curry houses got all poncey.

Best taxis: Stoke-on-Trent has a plethora of luxury chauffeured limousine hire establishments ready to satisfy your every whim. Roseville, Lucky 7, A1, Scraggs, the list is endless. See the city in style from the seat of a 14-seat minibus or an Austin Allegro. Most common reply to the question, "How long will I have to wait for a cab?" is "I dunna bloody know, a fortnight".

Best pub for a fight: Stoke's strong suit. It is possible to get a fight in most of the city's hostelries without trying too hard. A word out of place, the wrong accent or a particularly loud piece of knitwear will usually do the trick. If you fancy a challenge you'd do well to kick off in the following more reserved establishments: The Poacher's Cottage (Trentham), The Mainwaring (Whitmore) or The Harecastle (Talke).

Best shed: In Fenton why not visit the ruins of Mark Brammer's shed in Cowper Street? This is one of Stoke's few listed buildings, although sadly the list it's on is headed, "man-made disasters".

Best chat-up line: Alright?

Best lighting shop: Although not famous for lighting, Stoke is able to satisfy a range of lighting tastes. From a humble 40w light-bulb to an imperious chandelier - someone, somewhere in Stoke will be able to help. Top tip: P and R Lighting, Hartshill.

Things for teenagers to do on a Saturday afternoon when Stoke aren't playing: Hang about in Fountain Square, Hanley. Go to Fenton Park with two bottles of Merrydown cider. Try and land some gob on a car as it goes under Holden Bridge. Go to the the Stoke ground anyway and hang about.

Nightspots: For the very young there's Club Kinetic in Longton on Fridays - barmy hard house and techno with a clientele so young they look disappointed they're not given going-home presents. Golden on Saturday in Hanley is a great club with a nationwide reputation for house music, although there's a disconcerting amount of chat about GCSE syllabuses. So why not admit defeat and go to Maxim's in Newcastle, the second-time-around club with wall-to-wall thirtysomething divorcees of both sexes. If you're old, grab- a-granny night is at The Queen's in Basford on a Thursday.

NICK HANCOCK

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tv Review: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series began tonight with a feature-length special
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
Arts and Entertainment
Ready to open the Baftas, rockers Kasabian are also ‘great film fans’
musicExclusive: Rockers promise an explosive opening to the evening
Arts and Entertainment
Henry VIII played by Damien Lewis
tvReview: Scheming queens-in-waiting, tangled lines of succession and men of lowly birth rising to power – sound familiar?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift is heading to Norwich for Radio 1's Big Weekend

music
Arts and Entertainment
Beer as folk: Vincent Franklin and Cyril Nri (centre) in ‘Cucumber’
tvReview: This slice of gay life in Manchester has universal appeal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
‘A Day at the Races’ still stands up well today
film
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tvAnd its producers have already announced a second season...
Arts and Entertainment
Kraftwerk performing at the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) museum in Berlin earlier this month
musicWhy a bunch of academics consider German electropoppers Kraftwerk worthy of their own symposium
Arts and Entertainment
Icelandic singer Bjork has been forced to release her album early after an online leak

music
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth as Harry Hart in Kingsman: The Secret Service

film
Arts and Entertainment
Brian Blessed as King Lear in the Guildford Shakespeare Company's performance of the play

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
In the picture: Anthony LaPaglia and Martin Freeman in 'The Eichmann Show'

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Kirkbride and Bill Roache as Deirdre and Ken Barlow in Coronation Street

tvThe actress has died aged 60
Arts and Entertainment
Marianne Jean-Baptiste defends Joe Miller in Broadchurch series two

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The frill of it all: Hattie Morahan in 'The Changeling'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny may reunite for The X Files

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
TV
News
A young woman punched a police officer after attending a gig by US rapper Snoop Dogg
people
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

    Isis hostage crisis

    The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
    Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

    The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

    Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

    Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
    Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

    Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

    This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
    Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

    Cabbage is king again

    Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
    11 best winter skin treats

    Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

    Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
    Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

    Paul Scholes column

    The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
    Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
    Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

    The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

    Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

    Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
    Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
    Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

    Comedians share stories of depression

    The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
    Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

    Has The Archers lost the plot?

    A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
    English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

    14 office buildings added to protected lists

    Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

    Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee