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Page last updated at 16:10 GMT, Monday, 9 August 2010 17:10 UK
Chimney Pot collection is looking for museum status
Lance Bates stands with some oh his collection of chimneys
Lance Bates has a collection of around 2,500 chimneys

An exhibition at Ceramica hopes to raise awareness of the humble chimney pot and revive the reputation of the national collection in Stoke-on-Trent.

The 36 pots on show are only a fraction of the collection owned by Lance Bates.

His hoard of 2,500 chimney pots, currently stored in a terraced house in Longport, is unrivalled in the UK.

Mr Bates is now working with members of CPPPS (the Chimney Pot Preservation & Protection Society) to consolidate it as a full national museum.

Lance says that for something so commonplace, it's surprisingly difficult to find a selection of chimney pots on display elsewhere.

Peerless exhibition

He insists that there's certainly no collection anything like his: "In Longport, we're putting together an exhibition that is unequalled anywhere in the world."

Lance's interest in chimney pots stretches back nearly 30 years.

"It started when I was doing a bit of photography, and the chosen subject was chimney pots.

"I liked the shapes, and the fact to produce a chimney you need a combination of art, science and engineering," said Lance.

Architectural significance

Stoke-on-Trent city councillor Peter Kent-Baguley, who is treasurer of the CPPPS, is in no doubt about their significance and insists that there's more to chimney pots than you might think.

"They are a key element of the architectural skyline and particularly in conservation areas, but all areas, it's important to maintain that architectural integrity."

The exhibition at Ceramica runs until the end of September. Admission is free. Call 01782 832001 for opening times.



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