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28.04.23 – Punjab to the Potteries

Written by on 26 April 2023

Punjab to the Potteries Community Conversation

🗺️ Porthill Cricket Club  🗓️ Friday 28 April  ⏰ 10am-12pm

Appetite and New Vic Theatre are inviting local people to tell them their stories as part of a project called Punjab to the Potteries. Two scriptwriters have been commissioned to each research and write an exciting new short play based on the journeys of those who have migrated from the Punjab region to the Potteries and surrounding areas.

Val Bansal, who met Appetite as part of the Settling photography project in 2017, came to realise that he had a lot of questions about how it must have felt for his father, Baldev, to migrate to the area as a teenager in 1964. Val said:

“Punjab to the Potteries was an idea that came about when sorting out old photos at home. Looking at them sort of inspired me in a way as it opened an abundance of questions of what it must have been like living in a small village in Punjab and travelling half way around the world to Stoke-on-Trent in the early 1960s to settle: how hard or difficult the journey was, leaving family behind, learning a new language, adapting to a new culture, education and work, food – the list is endless. There must be countless stories and memories as well as many more photos in numerous households of people and families who took a similar journey.”

Baldev worked as a plate maker in the potbanks – a familiar story in The Potteries! However, some of the stories of people from the area haven’t been captured or are sometimes missed. We want to hear from, celebrate and capture people’s lived experiences of migrating to this area from the Punjab region, or being born here and raised in a South Asian family, to inspire our writers – Shahid Iqbal Khan and Sarah Bedi.

As part of their research, the writers aim to capture this wealth of local stories, experience and photographs at a Community Conversation event taking place at Porthill Cricket Club on Friday 28 April, 10am – 12pm. The venue has free parking and is wheelchair accessible. Refreshments will be provided.

Can’t make it to the event? You can still get involved! Share your story by emailing us at askus@appetite.org.uk or call us on 01782 381 373.

If you’re interested in the finished plays, a reading event will take place at the New Vic Theatre on Saturday 12 August. More details to follow.