But first we stopped opposite the station to admire the grand station square. Dan told us the story of how the railway built the square, including the presentation of a trowel to open the construction. We then officially presented Dan with his own trowel, which he kept in his pocket for later.
Between the station and the start of London Road, we befriended a railway building of engineering bricks, we said hello to a migrated erratic glacier, and contemplated if a man can indeed fly.
Local artist Chris, who runs Art Lunch, had brought her own postcard she'd made from London Road!
When we reached London Road, Jo explained that, when we first visited Dan in Stoke, he had drawn our attention to all the bits of pottery that were coming up out of the ground everywhere, and this inspired us to look out for them and think about using them along the road. Sure enough, we found several bits on our walk, and we laid them out in various ways to create small interventions. Carole had also brought several broken shards which people incorporated into their interventions.
During the course of the day there seemed to be many seams and timelines flowing over, under and across each other. It was good to walk with Andy, a local Councillor and a mine of information, he had many stories to tell and seemed genuinely moved by the pottery shard intervention. Things that are broken still have beauty and a power to move us. He wrote "They'll never go away ...and neither must we". He held the shard protectively in his palm before deciding to bury it under a patch of bright yellow wild flowers on the edge of the Portmeirion car park.
Dan used his new trowel to bury his shard!
We found another erratic glacier in a park just off London Road. It had obviously had a metal plaque previously, which had now gone. So we decided to make a new one! But what should we write for its inscription?
In the park, whilst befriending with fabric, making our boulder plaque and burying pottery we met another lovely lady in a turquoise poncho. She was doing some shopping for her Dad, she really couldn't stop, had to rush but then became intrigued by what we were doing. She and Chris fell into a deep conversation and it transpired that her Grandfather had been one of the men who had built the canal that had once run through this spot. Even though she didn't have time, she made time to choose a shard, write a tribute in memory of Etruria and the canal. B.R.Shore nee Curzon and buried it under the rose bushes where the water had once flowed.
We stopped on the bridge to look at a painting on the pavement that showed where the canal used to run.
On the other side, Chris spotted another place to create an intervention.
Our final stop was at the lamp post at the Villas, a grand but rough surfaced road off London Road. Dan entertained us with tales of the lamp post and the road - how a man chained himself to the lamp post to save it, and the house where the first death caused by vampirism was recorded. We listened whilst dreaming of cups of tea, it had been a long hot day!
So we decided to make our way back and started to say goodbye, different groups breaking off at various points along the way. We gave everybody a set of London Road postcards that we had made and asked them to write something and send one back to us.
And finally, we decided to present our Outdoor Kit Bag to Chris to use, as we felt she would get the most out of it! Chris, we look forward to seeing what you do with it!
It was great to meet you all.