Fenton Through Time
Series: Through Time
- Mervyn Edwards
15th October 2014
Fenton is the ‘forgotten town’ in the novels of Hanley-born author Arnold Bennett. He chose to write of the Five Towns, deliberately omitting Fenton, which at the time of his writing was only an urban district. He argued that ‘five’ – with its open vowel – suited the broad tongue of the Potteries people better than ‘six’. Fenton has never really forgiven him – but in truth, its battle to forge an identity of its own has been ongoing.
Historically, it consisted of a number of scattered settlements radiating from that section of the old turnpike road between Stoke and Longton. Most people passed straight through it. However, the enterprise of pottery manufacturers and the prevalence of local collieries established Fenton as a town of grit and graft. Though not always a pretty place, there is no better town than Fenton to study the history of the potteries.