Monday, 26 March 2012

Last orders for oatcakes

A trip down to Stoke-on-Trent for the final opportunity to sample a tradition which was about to die, or, to put it more bluntly, to be killed off.

In the name progress, large swathes of the district of Hanley is being razed to the ground to allow for rebuilding and regeneration. And standing in the way of the all-conquering bulldozers are ordinary people with lives enriched by local customs and traditions, rooted in their communities.

One such institution was Hole in the Wall Oatcakes, the last traditional oatcake maker in Stoke. Serving delicious pancake-style comestibles from the window of a converted terraced house to grateful throngs of customers has been a way-of-life around there since the landscape was dominated by potteries and collieries. Now the industrial landscape has withered and changed. And in its wake, the houses and businesses which sustained the community are going too.

So, for one final time, hundreds came to queue in sun-drenched Stoke. One final chance to sample this little local delicacy. One final chance to say "hiya duck!" and get on with their days, well fed and satisfied.

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