celebrate a love of words this summer!

visit your local libraryAre you ready for some tear jerking, heart thumping, edge of your seat, laugh out loud moments?

Then join us as we celebrate the love of reading and writing over the summer months of 2016, with our packed programme of literacy inspired activity:

Too Write Competition with Hot Air Literary Festival open until 20th May for all ages. Get your pen out and start writing!

The Little Library Van started it’s journey round the city on 5th April, sharing stories with children and families. You can book it for your community event to bring a love of reading to your doorstep. Contact Stoke-on-Trent Libraries.

little library van

100 Reads is a list of the 100 favourite children’s books chosen by local children (and some parents and teachers). Every child will get a copy of the list, and libraries and schools will get a copy of each of the 100 books. The Stoke-on-Trent Libraries and Stoke Speak Out 100 Reads project will be celebrating on the 18th May. Look out for lists and books in your local library from then.

The Big Read Staffordshire University will give a new book to all Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children in the city, in partnership with Beanstalk, Stoke-on-Trent Libraries,  and local newspaper the Sentinel – there will be two weeks of press stories about literacy activities.

Voices Festival on the 8th June is a one day literacy festival at Staffordshire University for 110 secondary school students from Horizon Academy. They will be encouraged to develop their writing skills in workshops led by professional writers and to explore their own regional voices through performance poetry, story writing and drama. As part of the celebrations of Shakespeare’s anniversary, The Globe Theatre will also work with a company of student players to present a performance of Macbeth at the end of the festival.

hot air festival logo

Stoke’s Literary Festival “Hot Air” runs from the 9th to 11th June 2016.
The programme includes the Too Write competition prize giving on the 9 June at Staffordshire University, a talk with Catherine Burgass a lecturer at Staffordshire University, interviewing Lisa Blower and a Hot Air author workshop at Staffordshire University on the 10 June.

Read Poetry Out Loud on Friday 10th June – Join with everyone in every school in Stoke-on-Trent, people at Staffordshire University, Stoke Sixth Form College and other organisations across the city reading the poem ‘“Read To Me” by Jane Yolen out loud at 11am.

Staffs Fringe Community Open Day at Staffordshire University & Stoke Sixth Form College on Saturday 11th June includes “Somewhere Special To Read” spaces for reading and storytelling with Beanstalk Charity.

big book swap picnic new logo

The Big Book Swap Picnic in Hanley Park on Sunday 12th June invites the whole community to bring a picnic and a book to swap, from 12-2pm. If you haven’t got a spare book you can write a story or poem in exchange for a spare book. (Secondhand books donated by Stoke-on-Trent Libraries and  service). For ALL ages. Adult and Community Learning and Family Learning, Creative Learning and Wavemaker will run free workshops and activities. Organised by the University Quarter Community Action Network.


And there is more planned – keep your eyes open for the Wee Free Library Boxes coming your way soon!

Look for updates on the University Quarter facebook and twitter
as well as Staffs Fringe facebook and twitter.






Staffs Fringe week 1 – what’s been happening?

Staffs Fringe Festival opened with a Big Lunch in Hanley Park.

We believe it is important to work with and support our local community partners.

We promote and contribute to many events including London Road Festival.

Check out this video by our Staffs Fringe team journalist Chantal from Staffs Live!

It gives a flavour of the creativity of Stoke on Trent.

Fantastic Fringe Finale 2015 – 20th June

The Fantastic Fringe Finale Community Day is packed with activities for people of all ages.

The Fringe Community Parade led by B Arts, starts by the Children’s play area in Hanley Park at 11.45am and will go down Boughey Rd to the Leek Rd site of Staffordshire University to arrive at about 12pm.

There will be lots to see and do on Leek Road. Activities will take place at Staffordshire University and Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College. This is the plan for the day so far……

Get creative in the “make it” zones:

Face painting and Henna art

clay flowerWorkshops:

  • animation
  • clay flower-making with Rita from the British Ceramic Biennial,
  • hands on clay with Etruria Artists potters wheel
  • drumming
  • Jasmine flower garlands (1 to 2pm)

Check out the “entertainment” zones:


  • Live Final of #StaffsFringeTalent
  • local business and craft markets


big hero 6 film poster



Family FILM show at 3pm – Big Hero 6




Afro-Brew band logoMusic from:

  • Afro-Brew
  • Steel for Stoke
  • Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College students


Have fun in the outdoor “action” zone:

sack race photo

  • bouncy castles – one for young children, one for older children
  • tombola
  • egg and spoon race
  • tug of war
  • sack race


Talk, listen and learn at the “Info” Zone:

people in communities

  • find out about the Community Plan for Shelton area and share your ideas
  • learn about Etruria Industrial Museum history from volunteers in Victorian dress
  • Give your views on the plans for Hanley Park
  • NHS health information
  • youth and adult education advice
  • meet the University Quarter Community Action Network
  • Look at the plans for Staffordshire University campus developments and have your questions answered.

art show posterView the exhibitions:

  • tours of the University’s student Show and Tell Art and Design show
  • Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College student Art showphoto of art exhibition


Grab an ice cream from the van!

Bring a picnic or a bit a money for refreshments.

baby changing symbolaccess symbol




If you have got any questions about access please phone or email.

Tel: 01782 294415

Email: factnews @staffs.ac.uk

Photos from Fantastic Fringe Finale in previous years give you an idea of what to expect!

Big Lunch in Hanley Park

Join us for a picnic in Hanley Park 

Big Lunch logoMeet your neighbours, play games and watch performances on the bandstand.

people playing twister picnic games 3 picnic games

Active Uni will lead some team games, so get ready for the fun.

There will be activities for all the family, supported by Thomas Boughey Children’s Centre.

photo of hanley park bandstand by Tony JonesPark Live! means you can take part too. If you have a skill to show off – sing, dance, play, act, tell a joke, read a poem – the stage is yours.

photo of accordion players on hanley park bandstand





photographers collective logoThe Photographers Collective North Staffs and Staffordshire University students will join us to lead a photography walk, so bring your camera or phone and meet at the bandstand at 12pm.

See you there!

Hanley Park

Hanley Park is the focus of a major restoration project

Hanley Park and the Cauldon Grounds are open to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and welcome around 600,000 visitors every year.  Cauldon Grounds first opened in 1894, and were followed by the larger Hanley Park in 1897. Both were designed by Thomas Mawson, and Hanley Park’s listed status has recently been upgraded to II* in recognition of its importance.

drawing of hanley park when restored The parks are now the subject of a proposed £4.5m heritage restoration project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund through their Parks for People Programme. The project is a partnership project led by the city council, with support from Stoke College and the University. A detailed business case is being progressed with a view to submitting a £4.5m HLF funding bid in August this year for the restoration work. The outcome will be known in January 15.

The Council is inviting members of the public to come along to events, and to view display panels showing the plans. People will be on hand to discuss them and to hear your ideas.

  • Members of the project team will also be on hand at Etruria Canals Festival on 31 May and 1 June. We look forward to meeting you.

  • Join us for a walk in the park, departing from the bandstand on Sunday 1 June 10am and then why not stay on for the Big Picnic and Park Live! ?

  • Join us for music and a family restoration trail on Sunday 15 June, 1pm—4pm.

Read all about Hanley Park and download the Plans here.

Give your views here using the online survey.

The proposals include:

  •  Main Pavilion: A comprehensive refurbishment of the building’s interior to provide a café/restaurant, toilets and space for meetings, events and functions as well as external restoration works with a functioning clock tower;
  • Boathouse: A full refurbishment which would enable the building to be used in a variety of possible ways – as a second café and/or a boat hire facility, or as a space for education and community group use;
  • Repairs to the small bowls pavilion, 1960s bowls pavilion, veterans’ building and small sports pavilion.
  • Improvements to the formal pavilion terraced garden at the core of the historic park including the restoration of the bandstand and provision of power supplies for events and activities.
  • Canal bridges: Repair and restoration of two canal bridges, including reinstatement of original railings and decorative iron lighting columns.
  • Repairs to the lake’s retaining walls and the rockery and ravine which feeds water into the lake.
  • The full restoration of the terrocotta fountain and pool in the Cauldon Grounds and two smaller water features.
  • Repair and full restoration of all entrance gates to the park, more seating, better signage and resurfaced footpaths.

Other Fringe events in Hanley Park include Park Traces exhibition and drawing workshop on the 13th June.The Fringe Community Night Walk will go through Hanley Park on the 17 June.




Fantastic Fringe Finale

  • Event location: Hanley Park, College Rd and University campus

The Fantastic Fringe Finale is a day of activities for all ages including:

  • a community parade with carnival arts, kites and drums
  • storytelling
  • creative workshops
  • craft market
  • a Psychogeography libary derive walk
  • a tour of the Special Collections
  • a family film show

photo of families in carnival costumeThe Fantastic Fringe Finale is a partnership between B Arts and Staffordshire Universityb arts logo

Video: Fantastic Fringe Finale 2013

Community Night Walk – 100 years of the UniQ

  • Event location: around Shelton including the Cadman library and Hanley Park

Free. Book tickets

In the one hundred years since we opened our doors as the Central School of Science and Technology – through to our current status as Staffordshire University – we’re proud to have helped transform people’s lives through education. Join us to explore the history of the University Quarter and take a journey through time.

logo celebrating 100 years of education uniq logo

This is the sixth Community Night Walk organised by Airspace Gallery and the Creative Communities Unit at Staffordshire University. airspace gallery logo

It will be a ‘Reclaim the Streets’ Style walk, where we will occupy the streets around and within Hanley Park, embarking on a special midsummer  walk. This walk is for anyone who wants to explore the UniQ neighbourhood safely and socially.

During the walk there will be stopping points on the way, with opportunities to hear about some of the fantastic projects and organisations working locally, and some of the activities and groups that you can get involved in. We will end with refreshments.

photo of Cadman library in the pastThis Community Night Walk will feature a Psychogeography library derive walk with Dave Parkes which will beat the bounds of the Library walking externally and internally exploring the layers of history through chance encounters.

photo of walking route sign

Please wear strong shoes and bring warm waterproof clothes if it looks like rain!

Find out more about our first Night Walk and how they work, here

For more information contact Penny Vincent at the Creative Communities Unit 01782 294540 p.e.vincent@staffs.ac.uk

Photos from Fringe 2013 Community Night Walks

Caldon Canal walk

Festival Night Walk

Please book online at eventbrite