Stoke-on-Trent officially became a city on 31st March 1910, when the Federation of the Six Towns brought together the boroughs of Hanley[?], Burslem[?], Longton[?] and Stoke, together with the districts of Tunstall[?] and Fenton[?]. Although the city is named after Stoke, and the City Council is located there, conventionally the City Centre is regarded as being in Hanley.
Since the 17th century the area has been almost exclusively known for its pottery manufacturing, with such world renowned names as Doulton, Spode and Wedgwood being born and based there. Lesser known is the locally-loved Potteries Oatcake (very different from the Scottish version), whose fame has yet to travel outside of North Staffordshire.
In recent years Stoke-on-Trent has been hit hard by the general decline in the UK manufacturing sector, with numerous factories and potbanks being closed. This has resulted in a sharp rise in unemployment in the semi-skilled workforce.
The fortunes of the city seem however to be on the brink of changing, with the city shrugging off its undeserved image of an industrial northern hellhole - several service sector companies have established there (notably, the Caudwell Group), and new business parks are promising to bring new economic life to the city.
Stoke-on-Trent's famous people list includes Sir Stanley Matthews (footballer), Reginald Mitchell (designer of the Spitfire), Captain Edward Smith[?] (of the RMS Titanic), Arnold Machin (sculptor/artist), Arnold Bennett (author) and Robbie Williams (international music superstar).