Wade – Youghal

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Wade (George Wade Potteries)

Wade (George Wade & Son Ltd)

(c.1867–1922), 1922–post-1975

Porcelain manufacturer at the Manchester Pottery (renamed the Greenhead Works from the mid-1950s), Greenhead St, Burslem. The business was formerly known as George Wade Potteries (c.1867–1922), but traded as George Wade & Son Ltd from about 1922. George Wade & Son Ltd was merged into the Wade Potteries group from about 1935, but continued to trade under its own name until at least 1975 (possibly 1989). The company was originally a manufacturer of industrial porcelains, but began producing domestic ware, figurines, animal models, souvenirs, vases, bowls and giftware from the mid- 1920s. In the 1950s the company was the maker (with Wade (Ulster) Ltd) of the original Wade ‘Whimsies’ introduced in 1954.

Wade (A. J. Wade (Ltd))

1923–?

Manufacturer of earthenware tiles. A. J. Wade was established by Albert J. Wade in 1923 to manufacturer glazed tiles. The business was incorporated in the mid-1920s and from 1935 traded as part of Wade Potteries Ltd with the other major Wade family businesses George Wade & Son Ltd and Wade Heath & Co. Ltd. The company manufactured relief-moulded art nouveau-style tiles. Tube-lined tiles were made in the 1930s, and the company was still making tiles in the 1960s.

Wade Potteries Ltd

c.1935–1989

Wade Potteries Ltd was a holding company for the enterprises making up the’ Wade Group’. From c.1935 the various Wade companies were gradually consolidated under the leadership of Major George A. Wade, the only son of George Wade the founder of the business. George Wade & Son Ltd, Wade Heath & Co. Ltd and A. J. Wade Ltd traded under the umbrella of ‘Wade Potteries’ from about 1935, however, the actual date of formation of the limited company is unclear.

By 1953, Wade Group companies included George Wade & Son Ltd manufacturing mainly electrical porcelains; A. J. Wade Ltd, glazed tile manufacturers; Wade (Ulster) Ltd, manufacturers of tableware and giftware; and Wade Heath & Co. Ltd makers of fancy, ornamental, and general tableware. All of the companies continuing to trade under their own names. Wade (PDM) Ltd was established in 1969 and in 1975 Wade Potteries Ltd acquired the Scottish stoneware manufacturer Govancroft Potteries Ltd.

Wade Potteries Ltd became a public company, Wade plc (c.1980?), but in 1989 the company was taken over by the engineering group Beaufort plc, who adopted the new name Wade Ceramics Ltd. For further information see the entries for Wade Ceramics Ltd and for the other individual Wade companies.

Wade Ceramics Ltd

1989–Active 2009

Manufacturer of industrial and domestic ceramics and giftware at the Royal Pottery (to 2003) and at the Royal Victoria Pottery, Westport Rd, Burslem. Formerly Wade Potteries Ltd (c.1935–1989). The name Wade Ceramics Ltd was adopted in 1989 following the purchase of Wade Potteries Ltd by engineering group Beaufort plc. Beaufort’s ownership was short-lived and in 1999 Edward Duke and Paul Farmer purchased the Wade assets in a management buyout. Wade Ceramics Ltd is now the wholly owned operating subsidiary of their Wade Allied Holdings Ltd. Wade recently acquired ‘North Light’, a business specialising in high quality resin animal models, especially dogs and horses.

The current Wade business specialises in producing branded ceramics for the international distilling and brewing industries (a legacy of the purchase of Govencroft Potteries Ltd in 1975), promotional wares, Wade ‘whimsies’, figurines and collectors’ items, giftware, vitrified hotel tableware and kitchenware. Wade is also an important manufacturer of industrial ceramics for the electricity industry.

Wade & Co.

1887–1927

Earthenware manufacturer at the Union Pottery, Burslem. Subsequently Wade Heath & Co. Ltd. The brothers John and William Wade and G. H Heath founded Wade & Co. in 1887, originally to manufacture glazed tiles (a business that was continued from c.1923 as A. J. Wade Ltd). The business continued until 1927 when it was incorporated as Wade Heath & Co. Ltd. In addition to tiles, Wade & Co. manufactured teapots, jugs and other domestic earthenware. Seen the following entry for Wade Heath & Co. Ltd.

Wade Heath & Co. Ltd

1927–1989?

Earthenware manufacturer at the Flaxman Tile Works, High St, Burslem (1927-1938) and then at the Royal Victoria Pottery, High St, Burslem. The Wade Heath business was established in the late-nineteenth century by Mr G. H. Heath in association with brothers John and William Wade, as Wade & Co (1887–1927). The business became a limited liability company in 1927 under the name Wade Heath & Co. Ltd. It became a subsidiary of Wade Potteries Ltd the umbrella for the various ‘Wade’ companies controlled by Major George A. Wade in 1935. The Wade Heath & Co. Ltd business was still active in 1974 and possibly up to the formation of Wade Ceramics Ltd in 1989.

Wade Heath & Co. Ltd produced fancy, ornamental and domestic earthenware, giftware, tableware, and novelty items, all in vast quantities. Wade Heath trade names include ‘Wadeheath Ware’ and ‘Flaxman Ware’. Many backstamps were used and most include the Wade Heath name and/or the name of the Royal Victoria Pottery. From the 1950s, the generic ‘Wade’ mark was used for the company’s wares.

Wade (Ulster) Ltd

1950–1966

Porcelain manufacturer at the Ulster Pottery, Watsons St, Portadown, County Armagh, Northern Ireland and a member of the Wade Group. Wade established its factory in Northern Ireland in 1946 at the instigation of its Chairman George A. Wade and under the management of his son-in-law Henry Straker Carryer. It was registered as a private limited company, Wade (Ulster) Ltd, in January 1950.

The new factory was intended to manufacture electrical insulators, but when demand for industrial products fell, the factory turned to the manufacture of high quality giftware. Iris Carryer, George Wade’s daughter, was art director and it was at her suggestion that Wade began manufacture of the animal models that became known as ‘Whimsies’. The Portadown factory manufactured the even-numbered sets although all were marked ‘Wade, England’. Henry and Iris Carryer ran the business until retiring in 1964 and the name was changed to Wade (Ireland) Ltd in 1966.

Wade (Ulster) Ltd produced porcelain tableware, vases, bowls, tankards, smokers’ requisites, Irish character figures and Irish badged giftware using the trade names ‘Irish Porcelain’, ‘Shamrock Porcelain’ and ‘Celtic Porcelain’. Wares can be identified by the prominent Shamrock included in most backstamps. Wade (Ireland) Ltd also manufactured for other Wade companies in addition to the production of ‘Whimsies’.

Wade (Ireland) Ltd

1966–1989?

Formerly Wade (Ulster) Ltd. The company name was changed to Wade (Ireland) Ltd in 1966 and in 1969 the operations were integrated with those of George Wade & Son Ltd, although the companies continued to trade separately. The products and trade marks of Wade (Ulster) Ltd were continued under the new name.

Wade (PDM) Ltd

1969–?

Wade (PDM) Ltd was established in 1969 as a subsidiary of Wade Heath & Co. Ltd to specialise in the design and marketing of advertising products. The business has been a subsidiary of Wade Ceramics Ltd since 1989.

Wagstaff & Brunt

1880–1927

Manufacturer (?) of earthenware and china at the Richmond Pottery, Longton. Wagstaff & Brunt may have been wholesalers and pottery dealers for whom other firms manufactured, but marked their product with a Wagstaff & Brunt trade mark.

Wain (H. A. Wain & Sons Ltd)

1937–mid-1980s

Earthenware manufacturer at the Melba Works, Gladstone St, Longton. H. A. Wain & Sons Ltd was established in 1937 by Mr Horace Wain at the Melba Works, manufacturing fancy earthenware including figures, animal models, vases, flower jugs and garden pottery. The business closed on the outbreak of war in 1939 and reopened in 1946 under the management of the two sons of the founder. Horace Wain (Jnr) was still listed as the proprietor in 1970 and the business is believed to have continued to the mid-1980s. Post-1946 the business manufactured earthenware tableware, tea and coffee sets, and a wide range of utilitarian and fancy earthenware including salad ware, marmalades, cheese stands, butter dishes, etc, in addition to the pre-war range of fancy and garden earthenware.

In the late 1960s Wain became an important maker of high quality, hand-crafted animal models including horses, dogs, kittens, safari animals, birds of prey etc. An advertisement in Tableware International in 1979 (Vol 9(3), page 48) offers ‘A fine collection of ceramic horses by Melba Ware‘—models of shire horses each complete with leather harness and matching hand-made wooden cart. Wain used the trade name ‘Melba Ware’ and a script form of the name was used as the company’s mark.

Waine (Charles Waine (& Co.) (Ltd))

1891–1920

China manufacturer at the Derby works, Longton, and user of the ‘English China’ trade name. The business traded as Charles Waine Ltd from 1913 until it closed in 1920.

Walton & Co.

Walton (J. H. Walton)

(?–1912), 1912–1921

China manufacturer at the Albion China Works, Longton. Formerly trading as Walton & Co (?–1912).

Walton Pottery Co. Ltd

1946–1956

Maker of salt-glazed stoneware at Old Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. The business closed in 1956.

Wardle & Co. (Ltd)

Wardle Art Pottery Co. Ltd

(1871–1910), 1910–c.1935

Earthenware manufacturer at the Washington Works, Hanley. Formerly Wardle & Co. (1871–1910). Wardle & Co. was established in 1871 as a producer of utilitarian earthenware. Art pottery was produced from about 1885 including tube-lined and slip-decorated ware. The business was taken over by J. A. Robinson & Sons Ltd in about 1910 and the name changed to the Wardle Art Pottery Co. Ltd. The parent company, J. A. Robinson & Sons Ltd, subsequently became part of the Cauldon Potteries group and the Wardle Art Pottery is believed to have closed in about 1935. Wares are impressed with the name ‘Wardle’.

Warrilow (George Warrilow (& Sons) (Ltd))

1887–1940 (Inc. c.1928)

China manufacturer at the Queens Pottery, Longton. The company became the Rosina China Co. Ltd in 1940. See the entry for the Rosina China Co. Ltd.

Warrington Pottery & Co. Ltd

1912–1930

Manufacturer of earthenware and stoneware at the Registry Street Works, Stoke.

Washington Pottery (Staffordshire) Ltd

1946–1973

Manufacturer of earthenware at College Rd, Shelton. The Washington Pottery was owned and run by the Tittensor family. The company name became English Ironstone Tableware Ltd in about 1973. The Washington Pottery produced domestic tableware, teapots, mugs, souvenirs and fancy earthenware in traditional and contemporary designs. Hotel and catering ware was also produced. See the entry for English Ironstone Tableware Ltd.

Watcombe Pottery Co.

1867–1901

A manufacturer of terracotta and earthenware at Watcombe, Torquay, Devon. Formerly the Watcombe Terra-Cotta Clay Co. (1869-1871). The pottery at Watcombe was established by G. J. Allen in 1871 following the discovery of a seam of red clay during construction of his house. A Staffordshire potter, Charles Brock, was the first manager. Allen died in 1884 and the business was purchased by Evans & Co. who sold it to the clay merchants Hexter, Humpherson & Co. in 1901. The new owners combined the Pottery with their Aller Vale Pottery as the ‘Royal Aller Vale & Watcombe Pottery Co.’. The business manufactured terracotta statues, busts, urns, garden pottery and similar ware. In the early 1870s, Christopher Dresser is believed to have designed domestic ware produced at the Watcombe Pottery. The Watcombe Pottery mark was a printed or impressed ‘Watcombe Torquay’. See, also, the entry for the Royal Aller Vale & Watcombe Pottery.

Waterford Wedgwood plc

1986 (1989)–2008

Waterford Wedgwood plc was the holding company for the businesses of Waterford Crystal Ltd and Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd and was established in 1989 following the merger of the two companies.

In 1986 Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd was the subject of a hostile takeover bid from the London International Group, the owners of Royal Worcester and Spode at the time. The LIG bid was rejected by Wedgwood, but to safeguard the company’s future, its Chairman, Sir Arthur Bryan, negotiated a friendly takeover by the Irish glassware manufacturer Waterford Crystal Ltd. The takeover, which valued Wedgwood at £252.6 million, was completed in 1986 although formation of the new holding company, Waterford Wedgwood plc did not occur until 1989.

In the late-1980s the new conglomerate faced increasing production costs combined with recession in its key North American markets and in 1988 private investors led by Irish businessman J. F. O’Reilly, offered a company buyout. Although initially refused, O’Reilly and his co-investors acquired 15% of Waterford Wedgwood in 1990 and under a new management team the company returned to profitability in 1992. In 1995 Waterford Wedgwood acquired Stuart & Sons Ltd, the UK’s leading manufacturer of crystal glassware. A 9% stake in Rosenthal A. G. of Selb, Germany, was acquired in 1997 and this was increased to 85% in 1998. Further acquisitions included the US cookware company All-Clad (May 1999) and Hutschenreuther, the German porcelain and giftware brand in August 2000. Waterford Wedgwood now termed itself ...the world’s leading luxury lifestyle group with four world class brands—Waterford Crystal, Wedgwood, Rosenthal and All-Clad’. In addition to the Wedgwood, Rosenthal and Hutschenreuther names, the group also produced ceramics under the Coalport, Mason’s, Johnson Bros, Franciscan, Thomas and Waterford names.

In March 2003 Waterford Wedgwood announced a restructure of its earthenware operations with the closure of its two Johnson Bros factories, the total outsourcing of Johnson Bros earthenware production to Asia, and the concentration of Wedgwood fine earthenware production at Barlaston. In November 1999 Waterford Wedgwood bought a 14.9% stake in rival ceramics firm Royal Doulton plc, the interest was increased to 21% in mid-2003 and in April 2005 Waterford Wedgwood acquired the remaining 79% of Royal Doulton’s share capital, thus acquiring the rights to the key Doulton, Mintons, and Royal Albert brands.

Far from stabilizing the deteriorating financial position of Waterford Wedgwood, the 2005 purchase of Royal Doulton for £90 million, exacerbated Waterford Wedgwood’s financial difficulties and by September 2008 the Group’s net debt had reached an unsustainable £377 million. A share issue in September 2008 to raise £122 million to pay down debt raised only half the required funds and on 2nd December 2008 the company announced that it had breached loan covenants with its banks. Three extensions to the deadline for payment were negotiated, but on 5th January 2009 Waterford Wedgwood plc was placed in the hands of administrators.

On the 27th February 2009 it was announced that most of the assets had been sold to the US private equity company KPS Capital Partners leaving approximately £748 million in debt and pension liabilities in the hands of the receivers. A new company, WWRD Holdings Ltd now holds the UK and international assets, and owns the various subsidiary companies of the former group. See the entry for WWRD Holding Ltd for further information on the new owners of Wedgwood.

Watson (Henry Watson & Sons)

Watson (Henry Watson’s Potteries Ltd)

(1913–1943), 1943–Active 2009

Terracotta, earthenware and ceramic manufacturer at Wattisfield, Diss, Suffolk. Formerly Henry Watson & Sons (1913–1943). The Watson pottery was founded in the early 1800s by a Thomas Watson. The family concern traded as Henry and Joseph Watson from 1876, as Henry Watson & Sons from 1913 and then as Henry Watson’s Potteries Ltd from January 1943 to the present. The business is still owned and run by the Watson family. In 1968, the Pottery teamed up with noted designers the Marquis of Queensbury and Martin Hunt to produce a range of ‘Suffolk-style’ wares decorated with an orange/red selenium glaze. For the most of its working life, however, the Pottery has been an important manufacturer of agricultural and horticultural pottery including pipes, tiles and flower pots. Present day wares include traditional Suffolk pottery bowls and storage containers, kitchenware and tableware. ‘Wattisfield Ware’ is used as a trade name.

Wearside Pottery Co.

1928–1957

Manufacturer of earthenware at Millfield, Sunderland. Formerly the Sunderland Pottery Co. Ltd. The business closed in 1957, but was re-opened in 1960 by Mr R. P. Pitt at Seaham, County Durham. Wearside Pottery made utilitarian earthenware including mixing bowls, pie dishes and ovenware.

Weatherby (J. H. Weatherby & Sons (Ltd))

1891–Post-1970

Manufacturer of earthenware at the Falcon Pottery, High St, Hanley. The Weatherby business was founded in 1891 by John Henry Weatherby and his father at the Falcon Pottery. J. H. Weatherby was still Chairman of the company at his death at 85 in 1954 and the business remained in family ownership until at least 1970. The Weatherby business produced domestic tableware, hotel and catering ware, hospital ware, souvenirs and fancy earthenware. Small animal models similar to the Wade ‘Whimsies’ were made in the mid-1950s under the name ‘Zookies’. The Weatherby trade names were ‘Falcon Ware’, ‘Royal Falcon Ware’ and ‘Weatherby Ware’. The ‘Falcon Ware’ name was also used by Thomas Lawrence (Longton) Ltd who operated from the Falcon Works in Barford St, Longton.

Wedgwood & Co. (Ltd)

1860–1965 (Inc. 1900)

Manufacturer of earthenware and stoneware at the Swan Bank Works (to 1862), the Unicorn Works (until the mid-1880s) and then the Pinnox Works, Amicable St, Tunstall. Founded as Podmore, Walker & Co. in about 1834, Enoch Wedgwood joined the business in about 1850 and from 1856 it traded as Podmore, Walker & Wedgwood with Enoch Wedgwood as the senior partner. The partnership was dissolved in 1859 but the business was continued by the brothers Enoch and Jabez Wedgwood trading as Wedgwood & Co. Enoch Wedgwood died in 1879 and was succeeded by his sons Edmund and Alfred Enoch Wedgwood who ran the business until about 1900 when family control ceased. Under new owners the business was incorporated as Wedgwood & Co. Ltd in 1900. The business was sold to Semart Importing Co. of the USA in 1965 and renamed Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd.

The Wedgwood & Co. business was an important producer of high quality earthenware and stoneware decorated with traditional underglaze transfer printed patterns. Wedgwood, or its predecessor Podmore Walker & Co., was reputedly the originator of ‘Asiatic Pheasants’ the signature Wedgwood pattern which was produced throughout the life of the business. Wedgwood & Co. trade names include Royal Semi-Porcelain, Imperial Porcelain, Wacolware and Royal Tunstall.

The firm’s products are sometimes confused with those of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd, but in all cases the addition of ‘& Co.’ or ‘& Co. Ltd’ distinguishes the ware from that of Josiah Wedgwood. Numerous marks were used by the company, many including the head of a Unicorn. See the entry for Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd for further information.

Wedgwood (Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd)

1965–1980

Manufacturer of earthenware and stoneware at the Unicorn Works and the Pinnox Works, Amicable St, Tunstall. Formerly Wedgwood & Co. Ltd, the business was sold to Semart Importing Co. of the USA in 1965 and renamed Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd.

Semart was an importer of tableware based in New Jersey and purchased Wedgwood & Co. Ltd (and Crown Staffordshire China Co. Ltd) in order to guarantee supply for its distribution network in North America. In 1969 Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd purchased the Furnivals name and the rights to three of Furnivals traditional underglaze patterns which the company then marketed using the Furnivals name. In 1974 the company acquired the Crown Ducal business of A. G. Richardson & Co. Ltd in order to expand its production facilities. Use of the Crown Ducal name and patterns was continued, however, until at least 1977.

The company was acquired by the Wedgwood Group in 1980 and has since operated within the Wedgwood Group as the ‘Unicorn Pottery’. Enoch Wedgwood, like its predecessor, specialised in domestic earthenware decorated with traditional underglaze transfer printed patterns. See the entry for Wedgwood & Co. Ltd.

Wedgwood (H. F. Wedgwood & Co Ltd)

c.1954–1959

Producer of china and earthenware at the Islington Works, Longton. Trade names included Islington China and Islington Ware.

Wedgwood (Josiah Wedgwood Ltd)

1966–1989?

A holding company for the various businesses within the Wedgwood Group. Formed in 1966, Josiah Wedgwood Ltd was a holding company and did not manufacture in its own right. See the entry for Wedgwood (Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd).

Wedgwood (Josiah Wedgwood (& Sons Ltd))

c.1759–1989 (2008) (Inc. 1878)

Manufacturer of earthenware, stoneware and bone china at Etruria and Barlaston, Staffordshire, and internationally. Josiah Wedgwood began pottery manufacture in his own right in 1759, renting the Ivy House Works, Burslem from his cousins John and Thomas Wedgwood. The Brick House (subsequently named the Bell Works) was leased in 1764 and in 1766 Wedgwood acquired the Ridge House estate of 350 acres where he constructed the Etruria Works opened in 1769.

‘Etruria’ included a modern factory intended for ornamental wares, houses for Wedgwood and his partner in the venture, Thomas Bentley, and housing for the workers employed at the Manufactury. Wedgwood had met Bentley, a Liverpool merchant, in 1762 and at Wedgwood’s urging Bentley became a partner in the Etruria venture intended to manufacture ornamental wares. Bentley also managed the Wedgwood London showrooms from about 1769 until his death in 1780.

Josiah Wedgwood was the sole proprietor of his business until 1790 when he took his three sons John, Josiah and Thomas, plus nephew, Thomas Byerley, into partnership. Only Josiah (II) and Thomas Byerley continued their interest in the business and from 1793 the firm was known as Josiah Wedgwood, Son and Byerley. Josiah Wedgwood died in 1795 leaving the Etruria estate and factory to his second son Josiah (II). Neither Josiah (II) nor the other sons, all well provided for by their father’s estate, took more than an intermittent interest in the business and its day-to-day management fell to Thomas Byerley until his death in 1810. Josiah (III), eldest son of Josiah (II), became a partner in 1823; however, it was Josiah II’s third son, Francis Wedgwood, made a partner in 1827, who restored a foundering business.

In 1878 the business was incorporated as a private company, Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Ltd. The Barlaston Hall estate was purchased in 1937 and construction of a new factory and village commenced in 1938. Construction was halted by the war, but resumed in 1945 and the factory commenced full production in 1950. It remained the company’s major manufacturing base in the United Kingdom until 2008. Etruria, home of the Wedgwood businesses for 180 years was demolished in 1966.

Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd became a public company in July 1940 as part of a restructure of the company’s share capital to fund the completion of the Barlaston factory. The capital raising of £350,000 in new one pound shares was subscribed by the existing family shareholders numbering approximately 150 and control of the company remained firmly in the hands of the Wedgwood family. In 1966, following the acquisition of William Adams and Tuscan China Holdings Ltd the company was restructured: Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd was renamed Josiah Wedgwood Ltd, and a new trading subsidiary ‘Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd’ was formed to continue the manufacturing and trading activities of the original company. The new holding company, Josiah Wedgwood Ltd, listed as a public company (although still controlled by the Wedgwood family) on the London Stock Exchange in May 1967 allowing the public, for the first time, to purchase shares in the company. Appropriately, the Chairman of the new company was Josiah Wedgwood, the great-great-great grandson of the founder.

In addition to Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd, other trading subsidiaries included William Adams & Sons (Potters) Ltd, Tuscan China Holdings Ltd, R. H. & S. L. Plant Ltd, Susie Cooper Ltd and New Chelsea China Co. Ltd. Further Wedgwood acquisitions in the late-1960s and 1970s included Coalport China Ltd (1967), Johnson Bros (1968), J. & G. Meakin Ltd and W. R. Midwinter Ltd (1970), and Mason’s Ironstone China Ltd (1973). The acquisition of Johnson Bros and its five earthenware factories alone doubled Wedgwood’s size. Through these acquisitions Wedgwood acquired the rights to the Adams, Tuscan, Royal Tuscan, Susie Cooper, Coalport, Foley, Johnson Bros, Meakin, Midwinter, Shorter, Clarice Cliff and Mason names. Enoch Wedgwood (Tunstall) Ltd was acquired in 1980 adding the Enoch Wedgwood, Crown Ducal and Furnivals brands. The Wedgwood, Adams, Coalport and Johnson Bros names have been continued as core Waterford Wedgwood brands to the present day.

In 1986, following a hostile take-over bid from the London International Group (then the owners of Royal Worcester and Spode), Wedgwood’s Chairman, Sir Arthur Bryan, negotiated a merger with Waterford Glass Ltd (effectively a take-over by the Waterford interests). The merged group was renamed Waterford Wedgwood plc in 1989.

The output of the Wedgwood factories has been vast and includes virtually every class of ceramic. Josiah Wedgwood was not only an able and innovative potter, but a businessman of exceptional acumen who exploited every opportunity to promote himself and his products. He was one of the first to recognise that manufacturers must adapt to the changing whims of the buying public; and also that meticulous attention to quality paid dividends for the manufacturer. Teapots and other wares slip cast in the form of fruit and vegetables were an important product of the Whieldon-Wedgwood partnership (1754-59) and Wedgwood retained the rights to his inventions, including the clear green glaze used on the ‘Cauliflower Ware’ produced at his Ivy House and Bell Works. Wedgwood introduced creamware, an attractive light cream-coloured earthenware, from c.1760 gradually improving the body and glaze. Made into classical shapes and transfer printed (from c.1763) creamware, (marketed as ‘Queen’s Ware’ from 1765) became a staple of the Wedgwood factories for nearly 200 years. Pearl ware, jasper ware, and basaltes were other important Wedgwood innovations. So fine were the products and so good the quality, that there were avid collectors of Wedgwood’s wares in his own lifetime!

Although known primarily for earthenware, Wedgwood produced bone china in the period 1812-1829 and from 1878 to the present day. Prominent designers and artists for the Wedgwood Group in the 20th century include designers Keith Murray and Eric Ravilious and art directors John Goodwin and Victor Skellern. The Wedgwood trademark has been the one word ‘WEDGWOOD’ impressed on earthenware and jasper. On bone china (manufactured from 1878) the mark has been the Wedgwood name plus a representation of the Portland Vase. For the post-1989 history of this important company see the entry for Waterford Wedgwood plc.

Weetman Giftware

1952–?

Manufacturer of figurines and giftware in both earthenware and bone china at Sandyford, Tunstall.

Wellhouse Pottery Ltd

Active 1970s

A studio pottery established by Geoffrey W. Hiscock, Raymond Smith and Peter Greenham at Well St, Paignton, Devon. The business manufactured earthenware tableware, coffee sets, kitchenware, storage jars, giftware etc. Hiscock and Smith were also the proprietors of the Toni Raymond Pottery at nearby Torquay.

Wellington Pottery Co.

1899–1901

See the entry for Lockitt (William H. Lockitt).

Welshcrest China Ltd

1972–?

Manufacturer of bone china figurines. Welshcrest China Ltd was founded by Mr Brian Morrissey and partners in September 1972 at Somerset Rd, Cwmbran, Gwent, Wales. Although established in 1972, the company’s first models were not marketed until two years later in 1974 and were intended for the limited edition collectors’ market. Roland Chadwick was the art and design director for Welshcrest, producing some notable series including ‘Taffies’—humorous Welsh characters, ‘Charades’ representing child portraits, and various Welsh themed series, one a 32-piece chess set representing the battles between Henry IV and Owain Glyndwr of Wales.

Wenford Bridge Pottery

19392004

A studio pottery established in 1939 by Michael Cardew at Wenford Bridge, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall. Michael Cardew had been taught potting as a child by William Fishley Holland and, later, was the first potter to train under Bernard Leach when the latter returned to England from Japan in 1923. On leaving the Leach Pottery, Cardew re-opened the Winchcombe Pottery, Gloucestershire, in 1926, remaining there until the move to Wenford Bridge in 1939. He purchased an old inn on the banks of the River Camel, converting the building into a pottery. The first kiln was constructed in 1939 and a second in 1950. Michael Cardew worked in West Africa from 1942, combining work as a pottery teacher with (post-Second World War) travelling, lecturing and developing his own unique pottery style. Cardew retained ownership of Wenford Bridge and lived and worked at the pottery from his return to England in 1965 until his death in 1983.

From 1983 the pottery was run by Cardew’s eldest son Seth Cardew, an accomplished art potter in his own right. The Wenford Bridge Pottery closed in 2004 when Seth Cardew established a new pottery at Masia Albadas, Spain.

The Wenford Bridge Pottery produced earthenware and stoneware. It is associated with the one-off art pottery of Michael and Seth Cardew, but also produced more mundane wares such as ornamental stoneware—bulb bowls, vases, flower bowls, ovenware, teapots and the like. From the 1950s, the pottery was an important centre for teaching both practical pottery skills and the philosophy surrounding Michael Cardew’s unique oeuvre.

Wessex Ceramics Ltd

1979–Active 2005

Wessex Ceramics Ltd was established in 1979 as a subsidiary company of James Broadhurst & Sons Ltd, and subsequently of the Churchill Group. Wessex Ceramics was established as an importer and distributor of tableware, glassware and cutlery marketed under the ‘Royal Wessex’ name.

West Highlands Pottery Co. Ltd

?–Active 1970

Earthenware manufacturer at West Bay, Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland. This pottery produced promotional wares—jugs, ashtrays, lamp bases, vases, coffee sets, souvenirs etc.

West Riding Pottery

1882–1926

Earthenware manufacturer at Knottingly, Yorkshire. The West Riding Pottery was established by Thomas and Edwin Poulson in 1882 adjacent to the existing Ferrybridge (Knottingly) Pottery. The brothers had interests in other Knottingly Potteries and traded as Poulsen Bros manufacturing domestic earthenware. The West Riding Pottery continued until 1926. See the entry for Poulsen Bros (Ltd).

West Surrey Ceramics Co.

1956–?

Earthenware manufacturer at Godalming, Surrey. Formerly the Compton Pottery Co., West Surrey Ceramics was formed in 1956 by Mr I. A. Tippetts, a former director of Compton Potteries, Ltd. The new business incorporated that of Compton Potteries and the Kingwood Pottery, Sandyhills, Whitley, Surrey.

Westminster Pottery Ltd

1948–1956

Earthenware manufacturer at Robson St, Hanley. Westminster Pottery was a maker of tableware and general and fancy earthenware including character jugs, biscuit barrels, toast racks and similar items. ‘Old English Cottage Ware’ similar to that manufactured by Price Bros. and other makers was advertised in 1955. The business closed in 1956.

Wetheriggs Pottery

1855–1993

A craft pottery at Clifton Dykes, Penrith, the Lake District. The Wetheriggs Pottery (also known as the Thorburn Pottery, Penrith Pottery or Schofield Pottery) was established in 1855 as a brick and tile factory and became a pottery when acquired by the Schofield family, formerly potters at the Stepney Bank Pottery, Ouseburn, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The founder, John Schofield died in 1917 and the business passed to his wife, Margaret Thorburn. It was managed by members of the Thorburn and Schofield families until 1973 when the business was purchased by Mr Peter Snell. In 1990, Snell sold the pottery to Mr Peter Strong, formerly of the Soil Hill Pottery, Halifax, but the business was re-sold in 1993. The pottery, including original steam machinery was restored in 1995 and is now (2009) run as a community activity and pottery heritage centre. The original Wetheriggs Pottery produced slip-decorated ware, giftware and garden pottery.

Wemyss Ware Studio

2009–

Manufacturer of ‘Wemyss Ware’ Scottish pottery at the Griselda Hill Pottery, Fife, Scotland. See the entry for Hill (Griselda Hill Pottery).

Weymek Pottery Co. Ltd

1972–?

Manufacturer of coffee mugs. The business was founded in September 1972 and operated at Longton. Weymek was one of the businesses that formed the short-lived Federated Potteries Ltd in 1982 and may possibly have been acquired by Alfred Clough Ltd prior to this date.

Whichford Pottery

1976–Active 2009

Manufacturer of hand-made flowerpots and gardenware. The Whichford Pottery was founded in 1976 by Jim and Dominique Keeling at Whichford, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire. The Pottery manufactures gardenware, including hand-made flowerpots, crests and sculptures. Commissions are undertaken and very large pots are made on request. The Pottery’s mark is a square seal with the Whichford name and a central urn.

Whieldon Sanitary Potteries Ltd

1932–Post 1949

Manufacturer of sanitary pottery. Whieldon Sanitary Potteries Ltd was established in 1932 to continue the business formerly known as F. Winkle & Co. Ltd. The latter company was purchased by Ridgways (Bedford Works) Ltd in 1931 and according to the bankruptcy proceedings of H. T. Robinson, Ridgways retained Winkle’s earthenware business while the sanitary pottery business was taken by the new company (also controlled by Robinson and his associates Reginald Mellor and Colin Brunt). By 1949 Whieldon was a subsidiary company of Doulton & Co.

[Whieldon was acquired by Doulton in 1937 to allow sanitary and industrial lines to be transferred from Niles St – to allow for expansion of earthenware and bone china at the latter site. Eyles – history of Doulton & Co. Burslem.]

Wilcock & Co. (Ltd)

1863–c.1889

Manufacturer of bricks, architectural earthenware, tiles and art pottery. See the entry under Burmantofts.

Wild & Adams (Ltd)

1909–1928 (Inc. c.1923)

Earthenware manufacturer at the Royal Crown Pottery, Warren St, Longton. Thomas C. Wild was the principal partner in this business producing utilitarian earthenware. The business ceased to operate in 1927 and was closed in 1928.

Wild Bros.

1904–1927

Bone china manufacturer at the Salisbury Works and the Crown China Works, both in Edensor Rd, Longton. Wild Bros. was a partnership between brothers Thomas C. Wild and James Shelley Wild. From c.1922 to 1927 the business was run by James Wild alone. The business was a maker of china tea sets for the lower end of the market.

Wild (Thomas C. Wild (& Co.))

Wild (Thomas C. Wild & Sons (Ltd))

(1896–1917), 1917–1970 (Inc. 1933)

Manufacturer of bone china at the Albert Works and the St Mary’s Works, Longton; and, through subsidiary companies, a maker of bone china and earthenware at many other locations in the Potteries.

Thomas Clarke Wild joined his father, Thomas Wild, in the purchase of the Albert Work in 1895, the partnership manufacturing bone china teaware as Thomas C. Wild & Co (1896–1904). Wild became sole proprietor on the death of his father in 1898 and from 1905 to 1917 the business traded simply as ‘Thomas C. Wild’. The St Mary’s Works, Longton, was purchased from Bernard Moore in 1905 and used initially for decoration of the products manufactured at the nearby Albert Works. As Wild’s business prospered he acquired other factories and pottery businesses, the Park Place Works was acquired in about 1910, followed by the Royal Albert China Works in 1917, the Shore & Coggins Ltd business (and Edensor Works) in 1918 and that of William Lowe in 1919. By the early 1920s Wild owned or had controlling interests in about 15 potteries.

Thomas Wild’s sons Thomas E. Wild and Frederick C. Wild joined the business in the early years of the 20th century and were admitted into partnership with their father in 1917, the business then trading as Thomas C. Wild & Sons. Wild retired from active management in 1932 and the business was incorporated as Thomas C. Wild & Sons Ltd with Thomas and Frederick Wild as the permanent directors. In the course of the 1930s the sons rationalised the business closing or selling off some of their father’s many acquisitions and, beginning in 1937, undertaking the modernisation and expansion of the St. Mary’s Works.

As a major exporter, the business remained in production during the Second World War and in 1946 the decision was made to again expand the St Mary’s Works. To fund the expansion the company was one of the first pottery businesses to list on the London Stock Exchange. The share issue, on 8th July 1947, closed five times oversubscribed only five minutes after opening. Control of the business, and its three remaining subsidiaries Roslyn China Ltd, Chapmans (Longton) Ltd, and Shore & Coggins Ltd, remained, however, firmly in the hands of the Wild brothers and their sons.

The company acquired Paragon China Ltd in 1960 greatly expanding its manufacturing base, however, in 1964, the Pearson Group through its subsidiary Lawleys Ltd made a cash and share offer for the whole share capital of T. C. Wild & Sons Ltd and the offer was accepted. Thomas E. Wild was appointed as life president of Thomas C. Wild & Sons Ltd and sons Kenneth and Peter Wild joined the Board of the newly formed Allied English Potteries Ltd. The Wild businesses initially operated independently within Allied English Potteries, but in 1966 AEP closed the Shore & Coggins Ltd business, leading to the resignation of Peter Wild—ironically the closure was to free the Edensor Works to allow increased production of the Wilds’ own iconic Royal Albert china. In 1969 Kenneth Wild, managing director of T. C. Wild & Sons Ltd, and David Wild, managing director of Paragon China Ltd, (also an AEP Board member) resigned from their positions severing the last family links to the company founded by their grandfather.

Allied English Potteries Ltd changed the name of the company to Royal Albert Ltd in 1970. The famous St Mary’s Works continued in operation until 1998 when closed by Royal Doulton with the loss of some hundreds of jobs. The heritage building was purchased by a private owner with the intention of converting the building into a small pottery manufacturing site and visitor centre.

Thomas C. Wild & Sons Ltd was primarily a manufacturer of good quality, bone china teaware. Thomas C. Wild built his early success on ‘Derby’ patterns, emulating the Crown Derby wares in a good quality but cheaper china. The pattern ‘Heirloom’ was typical and, in various forms, was produced by the company into the 1960s. Harold Holdcroft was appointed art director in 1934 and under his direction the company produced some notable art deco tea ware shapes and decorations. Holdcroft’s most famous pattern ‘Old Country Roses’ was released in 1962. It was based on an earlier (1921) Wild pattern ‘Kings Ransom’ and is still in production, with innumerable variants, today.

Use of the name ‘Royal Albert’ dates from c.1904. Early marks (pre-c.1922) include a crown surrounded by a garter carrying the words ‘Royal Albert Crown China’ and the initials ‘TCW’. From c.1917 to c.1935 the crown is surrounded by the words alone with the word ‘England’ beneath. Post 1935 marks use the words ‘Royal Albert Bone China’. Many variations occur and the pattern name is often included. Elaborate floral backstamps are also common on post-1945 wares. For the post-1970 history of the business see the entry for Royal Albert Ltd.

Wildblood, Heath & Sons (Ltd)

1899–1927

Bone china manufacturer at the Peel Works, Longton. Formerly Wildblood & Heath (1889-1899). The Wildblood, Heath businesses produced tableware, but were mainly makers of hotelware and ‘badged’ ware for hospitals, schools and other institutions. ‘Clifton China’ was used as the trade name.

Wileman & Co.

1872–1925

Manufacturer of bone china and earthenware at the Foley Potteries, Longton. Brothers Charles and James F. Wileman manufactured china and earthenware at The Foley, Longton, from c.1864. They had inherited the business on the death of their father Henry Wileman and in 1866 the business was divided, Charles managing the china works and James Wileman the earthenware factory. Charles retired in 1870 and James Wileman became the sole proprietor of both businesses. In 1872, Joseph Shelley, a long time traveler for the Wileman brothers, became James Wileman’s partner in the china works, the partnership trading as Wileman & Co. Shelley’s son Percy Shelly joined the business in 1881 and when James Wileman retired from the partnership in 1884, the business became a Shelley family concern.

Joseph Shelley died in 1896 but the able Percy Shelley continued and expanded the business still using the Wileman & Co. name. His three sons Kenneth, Victor and Norman Shelley joined the family business in 1918. In 1925 the name ‘Shelleys’ replaced that of Wileman & Co., however, the change was short-lived and in 1929 the business was incorporated as Shelley Potteries Ltd.

Wileman & Co. manufactured fine bone china teaware and tableware for the sophisticated buyer in competition with Minton, Worcester and other fine china makers, and the teaware is now widely collected. The ‘Dainty’ teaware shape modelled by Rowland Morris was introduced in 1896 and variants of the basic shape were still in production when the Shelleys business closed in 1966. Domestic earthenware was produced from c.1894 including toilet sets, kitchenware and ornamental items. Wileman & Co. were also important manufacturers of crested or heraldic china from c.1900 to the early 1920s. The crested ware, both tableware and artifacts in the style of W. H. Goss, are of high quality and are now rarely seen. The Wileman & Co mark, used from 1872 to c.1910 is a characteristic intertwined ‘WC’ surmounted by a crown (several variants). The words ‘The Foley China’ are often included. From c. 1910 Wileman & Co. used a broad shield enclosing the name ‘Shelley’. The mark is often accompanied by the words ‘Late Foley’ making the link to the earlier Foley name. For further information see the entries for Shelleys and for Shelley Potteries Ltd.

Wilkinson (Arthur J. Wilkinson (Ltd))

1885–1964 (Inc. c.1896)

Manufacturer of earthenware and ironstones at the Central Pottery, Burslem and at the Royal Staffordshire Pottery, Burslem. Arthur J. Wilkinson founded the company that bears his name in about 1885. Control passed to his brother-in-law Arthur Shorter, on Wilkinson’s death in 1894. The company was incorporated in about 1896 but remained in the control of the Shorter family until 1964 when it was sold by Clarice Cliff-Shorter to W. R. Midwinter Ltd. Midwinter, including the rights to the Clarice Cliff name, was acquired by Wedgwood in 1965.

  1. J. Wilkinson Ltd produced good quality domestic earthenware for the middle of the market. The Royal Staffordshire Pottery was the headquarters for companies owned and run by the Shorter family. In addition to A. J. Wilkinson Ltd, the family owned Shorter & Son Ltd and the Newport Pottery Co. Ltd (from c.1920). Design, production and decorating facilities were shared between the firms and Clarice Cliff-designed shapes and decoration will be found with the Wilkinson marks.

Williamson (H. M. Williamson & Sons)

c.1879–1941

Bone china manufacturer at the Bridge Pottery, Cooke St, Longton. The firm was concentrated with E. Brain & Co. Ltd at the Foley China Works, Fenton, in 1941 as part of the wartime consolidation of the pottery industry, but did not reopen at the end of the war. The business produced good quality bone china teaware sold under the ‘Heathcote China’ name.

Willow Potteries Ltd

c.1925–Late-1930s

Manufacturer of crested china. Willow Potteries Ltd was established in about 1925 to continue the business of Hewitt Bros (who operated at the Old Willow Pottery, Longton) following H. T. Robinson’s acquisition of the Hewitt business. Willow Potteries Ltd operated as part of Cauldon Potteries Ltd and in association with the similar Robinson owned W. H. Goss Ltd and Arkinstall & Sons Ltd crested china businesses.

Wilson (J. Wilson & Sons)

1898–1926

China manufacturer at the Park Works, Fenton. The business produced domestic and ornamental china.

Wiltshaw & Robinson (Ltd)

1890–1958

Manufacturer of earthenware and china at the Carlton Works, Copeland St, Stoke. The famous ‘Carlton Ware’ business was founded in 1890 by James Frederick Wiltshaw in partnership with the brothers James Alcock Robinson and William Herbert Robinson. Harold Taylor Robinson (son of J. A. Robinson) replaced his uncle in the partnership in 1906 and it traded briefly as Wiltshaw, Robinson & Son Ltd. James Wiltshaw bought out the Robinson family’s interest in 1911 although the business continued to trade as Wiltshaw & Robinson Ltd. James Wiltshaw died in an accident in 1918 and his only son, Frederick Cuthbert Wiltshaw, returned from military service to take over the business.

Under Cuthbert Wiltshaw and designer Enoch Bolton (from the early 1920s) Wiltshaw & Robinson Ltd became a leading manufacturer of domestic and ornamental earthenware. The company remained in production throughout the Second World War, emerging in the 1950s and 1960s as a leading manufacturer of contemporary earthenware. In January 1958 the business name was changed to Carlton Ware Ltd reflecting the now internationally known trade name. No change in ownership was involved and Cuthbert Wiltshaw remained as owner and governing director until his death in 1966.

Wiltshaw & Robinson Ltd produced a vast array of unique, always contemporary, domestic and ornamental earthenware. Best known are the embossed wares introduced in 1926 and the highly glazed lustrous wares also introduced in the 1920s (but also manufactured in the 1950s and 1960s), however, these represent only a fraction of the attractive and highly collectible wares produced in the 1920s and 1930s and specialist texts should be consulted. In the post-Second World War period the factory expanded the range of floral and fruit embossed wares and introduced contemporary designs such as Windswept (introduced 1961), the well known two-tone leaf dishes and many other wares.

Although best know for earthenware, Wiltshaw & Robinson Ltd also manufactured bone china. From the early 1900s to the 1920s the company was a leading producer of bone china crested wares similar to those of W. H. Goss and marketed under the trade name ‘Carlton Heraldic China’. Bone china manufacturer Birks, Rawlins & Co. was acquired in 1930 (although the two businesses were associated from 1928, or possibly earlier) and the latter’s Vine Pottery was used to produce attractive ‘Carlton China’ teaware in the early 1930s.

Wiltshaw & Robinson used numerous trade names for their very varied domestic and ornamental wares. The famous script ‘Carlton Ware’ mark was introduced in 1926, although the trade name ‘Carlton Ware’ had been used on wares from about 1900. For the post-1958 history see the entry for Carlton Ware Ltd.

Winchcombe Pottery

1926–Active 2009

A studio/workshop Pottery established in 1926 by Michael Cardew at Winchcombe, Cheltenham, Glostershire. Formerly known as Beckett’s Pottery or the Greet Pottery, the pottery buildings were purchased by Alfred Butler, a local farmer, in about 1923. Butler leased the buildings and the bottle kiln to Michael Cardew in 1926 and with the assistance of the chief thrower from the former pottery, Elijah Comfort, Cardew began production of his hand-made domestic earthenware. Ray Fitch joined Cardew in 1936 and when Cardew left to found the Wenford Bridge Pottery in 1939, Fitch continued to manage the Winchcombe site.

Following the disruption of the Second World War, Fitch purchased the Pottery in 1946 and re-started production. Many well known art potters have worked at Winchcombe in the later half of the 20th century including Toff Milway, Christopher Harries, Joseph Fitch and Michael Cardew himself. The Pottery continues to be run by members of the Fitch family. Modern Winchcombe Pottery wares are wood-fired domestic stoneware, including plates, teaware, mugs, goblets, kitchenware, bowls, vases, lamp bases etc.

Winkle (F. W. Winkle & Co. (Ltd))

1890–1931

Manufacturer of earthenware (Whieldon Ware) at the Colonial Pottery, Stoke. The business was established in 1885 as Winkle & Wood, operating at the Pearl Pottery, Hanley. The company then traded as F. W. Winkle & Co. Ltd from 1890 and in the early 20th century was controlled by brothers William and Joseph Hewitt, later to be the owners of Barker Bros Ltd. The business was taken over by Ridgways (Bedford Works) Ltd in about 1931. According to the bankruptcy proceedings of H. T. Robinson, Ridgways retained the domestic earthenware part of the business, but the sanitary pottery business was taken by a new company, Whieldon Sanitary Potteries Ltd, established for that purpose. Winkle produced well made and attractively decorated blue and white teawares and other domestic earthenware.

Winkle (Arthur Winkle & Co. Ltd)

1931–?

Manufacturer of sanitary pottery at the Britannic Pottery, High St, Hanley. The company was established and run by Mr Walter Bakewell until his death in 1941 and was continued by his son John Kenneth Bakewell.

Winter (David Winter)

1979–Active 2009

Sculptor and modeller of cottage models at Borden, Kent. David Winter initially produced ceramic tiles and miniature heraldic shields, but in 1979 began to model miniature cottages and historic buildings. The models were manufactured and marketed through John Hine Ltd, a company established by David Winter and John Hine. From 1997 to 2002 the David Winter cottage models were manufactured and distributed by European giftware manufacturer Enesco Limited. The David Winter models are artistic creations cast in gypsum and hand painted. There is an active collectors’ club and numerous web sites and books devoted to the David Winter cottage models.

Winterton Pottery (Longton) Ltd

1927–1954?

Earthenware manufacturer at Hanley. The Winterton Pottery closed in 1941 under the wartime concentration scheme and its production was absorbed by Cartwright and Edwards Ltd, at the Borough Pottery, Stoke. The company re-opened in 1946 under the new management of Mr J. K. Lowndes. Mr Gerald Wood proprietor of Arthur Wood & Son (Longport) Ltd became a partner in the early 1950s (perhaps 1948?), but the business was sold to the Keele Street Pottery Group in the early 1950s. In 1962, the Winterton Pottery was referred to as a ‘non-manufacturing unit’ of Staffordshire Potteries (Holdings) Ltd. The Winterton Pottery was a maker of dinner and tea ware and also produced cellulose decorated wares. The pottery used the trade names ‘Winterton Ware’ and, on art wares, ‘Bluestone Ware’.

Wold Pottery

1954–Active 2009

A studio pottery established by Aidan Dixon at Routh, Beverley, Yorkshire in 1954. Jill Christie was apprenticed at the pottery in 1973 and when Aidan Dixon retired in 1985 she took over the business. The pottery moved to Loftus, North Yorkshire in 2004 where Christie continues to make the fine domestic earthenware and special commissions that have been the hallmark of the Pottery. The pottery’s mark is an impressed ‘WOLD’.

Wood (Arthur Wood)

Wood (Arthur Wood & Son (Longport) Ltd)

(1904–1928), 1928–2003

Earthenware manufacturer at the Bradwell Works, Davenport St, Longton. Established as Capper & Wood in 1892, the partnership was dissolved in 1904 and Arthur Wood continued the business under his own name from 1904 to 1928. Gerald Wood, his son, entered the business in 1924 and it became Arthur Wood & Son (Longport) Ltd in 1928, specialising in the manufacture of teapots.

During the 1930s and 1940s the company expanded through the acquisition of other teapot makers and earthenware manufacturers, and when the Arthur Wood Group listed as a public company in 1955, the member companies were Arthur Wood & Son (Longport) Ltd, Price Bros (Burslem) Ltd, Kensington Pottery Ltd, and Davenport Pottery Co. Ltd—the latter a factor and distributor of pottery ware. Carlton Ware Ltd was acquired in 1967, but was sold in 1987. Gerald Wood, son of the founder was still chairman of the Arthur Wood Group plc(?) in 1980 with his son Anthony F. Wood as vice-chairman.

In October 2003 the Arthur Wood Group plc went into administration, unable to pay its creditors. The Arthur Wood name, intellectual property and remaining stock were sold to Rayware Ltd, a Liverpool-based, pan-European supplier of homeware including glassware, tableware, giftware, textiles and furniture. Since the sale, ‘Arthur Wood’ and ‘Price & Kensington’ have been prominent Rayware brands, supplying teapots, teaware and other domestic earthenware.

Arthur Wood was an important maker of earthenware teapots, table accessories and ornamental earthenware. The product range expanded in the 1920s to include tableware and fancy earthenware and, following the Second World War, the company became important manufacturers of tableware and general domestic earthenware. Arthur Wood piggybanks, manufactured in the 1960s and 1970s are now collectible. The company used the trade name ‘Royal Bradwell’. Marks include the name ‘Arthur Wood’.

Wood & Barker Ltd

1897–1903

Manufacturer of domestic earthenware at the Queen Street Pottery, Burslem. Formerly Thomas Wood & Sons.

Wood & Hulme

1882–1905

See entry for Hulme (Henry Hulme & Sons).

Wood (J. B. Wood & Co.)

1897–1926

Earthenware manufacturer at the Heathcote Works, Longton.

Wood (W. Wood & Co.)

1873–1932

Earthenware manufacturer at the Albert Street Works, Burslem. W. Wood made general earthenware and architectural pottery including door handles and similar wares.

Wood & Son(s) (Ltd)

1910–1982 (Inc. 1910)

Manufacturer of earthenware at the Trent, New Wharf and Stanley Potteries, Burslem. The business was established in 1865 by Absalom Wood and his son T. F. Wood. The business traded first as Wood & Son, then as Wood & Sons (from c.1907) and was incorporated as Wood & Sons Ltd, in 1910.

Mr Harry F. Wood succeeded his father, T. F. Wood, as chairman in 1921 and under his management Wood & Sons Ltd became a large and successful earthenware manufacturer. Associated companies included H. J. Wood Ltd (at the Alexandra Pottery, Burslem), Bursley Ltd (later renamed Susie Cooper Pottery Co. Ltd, at the Crown Pottery, Burslem) and the Ellgreave Pottery Co. Ltd (Ellgreave St, Burslem). The business became a public company in 1954 under the style Wood & Sons (Holdings) Ltd, although Wood & Sons Ltd continued as the main operating company.

The business went into receivership in December 1981 and was sold to the Yorke family, some of whom were Board members of the failed company. Under its new owners the business traded as Wood & Sons (1982) Ltd until its closure in 1995.

Wood & Sons Ltd and its subsidiaries produced a vast array of well designed, good quality earthenware for the middle market. The company produced mainly teaware, tableware, fancy earthenware and hotelware. Ivorine China, a semi-porcelain body, was produced in the 1930s and from the 1940s ‘Beryl Ware’—tableware in a green coloured body—was popular. Trade names included ‘Wood’s Ware’, ‘Bursley Ware’, ‘Woods Ivory Ware’ and ‘Ivorine China’. See the entry for Wood & Sons (1982) Ltd.

Wood & Sons (Holdings) Ltd

1954–1982

A holding company established for the public listing of Wood & Sons Ltd in 1954. Wood & Sons Ltd continued as the operating company of the group. See the entry for Wood & Sons Ltd.

Wood & Sons (1982) Ltd

1982–1995

Earthenware manufacturer at the Trent Pottery. Formerly Wood & Sons (Holdings) Ltd (1954–1982). In December 1981 the Wood & Sons group of companies went into receivership and the business was acquired by the Yorke family. Mr E. Yorke and Mr N. E. Yorke, both former directors of Wood & Sons (Holdings) Ltd, purchased the Stanley Pottery and the rights to produce the shapes and patterns of the former business. An advertisement under the new company’s banner in Tableware International in January 1983 (Vol 12(12), page 11) advises availability of ‘two timeless underglaze prints’, Yuan and Blue Willow, on the former Wood & Sons classical Alpine shape. The business closed, however, in 1995.

Wood (Tony Wood (Studio 82) Ltd)

1982–mid-1990s?

The Tony Wood Studio was established by Mr Anthony F. Wood at Fenton in early 1982 and followed the failure and receivership of his family company Wood & Sons (Holdings) Ltd in December 1981. The new business was established to manufacturer ceramic giftware and is known for its Toby Jugs and novelty teapots modelled by Wilfred Blandford. Piggybanks were another Tony Wood product. Wares are labelled with a simple script ‘Tony Wood’ signature or with a printed ‘Tony Wood Studio’, Staffordshire, England.

Wood (H. J. Wood (Ltd))

1884–?

Manufacturer of earthenware at the Alexandra Pottery, Burslem. H. J. Wood Ltd (the origin of the ‘H. J.’ initials is unclear) was established by father and son Absolum and T. F. Wood, partners in Wood & Sons in about 1884 to produce and market art ware and contemporary designs. The business was incorporated into Wood & Sons Ltd in the 1930s, but continued to trade under its own name until at least the mid-1970s. The ‘Bursley Ware’, ‘E. Radford’ and ‘Radford Handcraft’ names on art wares are associated with H. J. Wood Ltd. In addition to art ware H. J. Wood produced domestic earthenware, teapots, lamp bases, plaques and fancy earthenware. See also the entries for Radford (E. Radford) and for the Radford Handcraft Pottery.

Wood (J. T. Wood & Son)

1954 –

Maker of floral porcelain at Dresden, Longton. Mr John Wood established a family business manufacturing floral porcelain wall ornaments and flower arrangements in 1954. Its fate is unknown.

Worcester Royal Porcelain Company Ltd

1862–1959

Manufacturer of bone china, Parian, and earthenware at Severn St, Worcester. The Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd was established in 1862 following the retirement of William Henry Kerr and the dissolution of his partnership with Richard William Binns. Principals of the new business were Richard Binns who acted as art director, Edward Phillips in charge of production, and Edward Evans who acted as company secretary. The company prospered in the second half of the 19th century acquiring Thomas Grainger’s Worcester factory in 1889 and that of James Hadley in 1905. Binns retired from the business in 1897 and Edward Evans became the managing director.

The impact of the economic depression at the end of the 1920s affected Worcester’s business and it was placed in receivership on 23rd September 1930. Ownership of the company passed through several hands, but after three years of confusion the business was purchased outright in 1934 by Charles William Dyson Perrins, a prominent businessman and Mayor of Worcester. Dyson Perrins had been a director of Worcester since 1891 and the company’s Chairman since 1901. Under his guidance the company prospered and he remained as governing director of the company until 1954 when Worcester Royal Porcelain Company Ltd became a public company and listed on the stock exchange.

The Palissy Pottery Ltd (formerly A. E. Jones (Longton) Ltd) was acquired in 1958. In 1959 the business was restructured and Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd became the holding company for the group under the new name ‘Royal Worcester Ltd’. The fine china manufacturing business based at Worcester continued under a new subsidiary company named, confusingly, Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd.

The 20th century Worcester wares are diverse and include tableware and the richly decorated ornamental ware for which the company is well known. From the late-1940s figurines and animal model, many by leading designers, become an important part of Worcester’s production. The trade name ‘Royal Worcester’ is recognised world-wide. See the following entry for Worcester (Royal Worcester Ltd).

Worcester (Royal Worcester Ltd)

1959–1988

Holding company for the member companies of the Royal Worcester Group. Royal Worcester Ltd was formed in 1959 when the business formerly known as Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd was restructured. Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd became the holding company for the group under the new name ‘Royal Worcester Ltd’. Group subsidiaries were a new ‘Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd’, established to continue the manufacture of china at Worcester, the Palissy Pottery Ltd, Royal Worcester Industrial Ceramics Ltd and various North American distribution companies.

In 1976 Royal Worcester Ltd and the Carborundum Corporation, owners of Spode Ltd, merged their fine china businesses to form Royal Worcester Spode Ltd, owned 55% by Royal Worcester Ltd and 45% by the Carborundum Corporation. Royal Worcester Ltd became the sole owner of Royal Worcester Spode Ltd in 1978 buying-out the Carborundum Corporation interest.

Royal Worcester Ltd was acquired by industrial company Crystalate Ltd in 1983 but was sold to a subsidiary of the UK industrial conglomerate LRC International Ltd in September 1984. In 1986 LRC attempted a takeover of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd, but the bid failed and in 1988 LRC disposed of its Royal Worcester ceramics business to Luxembourg-based private investment company Derby International Corp. SA. Under Derby International’s management, Royal Worcester Ltd was renamed ‘The Porcelain and Fine China Companies Ltd’ the holding company for Royal Worcester Spode Ltd and its USA-based associate company until the failure of the Royal Worcester and Spode businesses in 2008. See the entries for Royal Worcester Spode Ltd and The Porcelain and Fine China Companies Ltd.

Worcester (Royal Worcester Spode Ltd)

1976–2008

Royal Worcester Spode Ltd was formed in 1976 by the merger of the ceramics business of Royal Worcester Ltd (manufacturing under the name Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd) with that of Spode Ltd. The merger followed unsuccessful attempts by Spode’s owner, the Carborundum Corporation, to sell the business, first to Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Ltd, and then to Royal Worcester Ltd itself. Failing outright sale, Carborundum Corporation and Royal Worcester Ltd merged their ceramics interests to form Royal Worcester Spode Ltd owned 55% by Royal Worcester and 45% by Carborundum Corporation. Royal Worcester Ltd acquired its partner’s shareholding in 1978 and became the sole owner of Royal Worcester Spode Ltd. Hammersley China Ltd (formerly a subsidiary of Spode Ltd) was closed in 1981 and the Hammersley name and production moved to the Palissy Pottery acquired by Royal Worcester in 1958.

Ownership of Royal Worcester Ltd changed several times in the 1980s and since about 1988 Royal Worcester Spode Ltd has been a subsidiary of The Porcelain and Fine China Companies Ltd (formerly Royal Worcester Ltd). Porcelain manufacture at the famous Severn St. site in Worcester ended in September 2006 leaving only a small group of skilled hand decorators to continue the tradition begun in 1751. In September 2008, facing financial failure, the Royal Worcester business was put up for sale and in November 2008 it was placed in administration. In April 2009 it was announced that Portmeirion Potteries plc had acquired the names and certain intellectual property associated with the Royal Worcester and Spode businesses. See entries for Royal Worcester Ltd, Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd, Spode Ltd and The Porcelain and Fine China Companies Ltd.

Wrecclesham Pottery

1872–1997

See the entry for the Farnham Pottery (A. Harris & Sons).

Wren Giftware Ltd

1990–1998 (Active 2009)

Wren Giftware Ltd was established in 1990 as a specialist manufacturer of bone china mugs at King St, and Bishop St, Longton. Wren was acquired by the Denby Group in 1995 for £1.3 million, but in 1998 the Wren business was sold to ‘a major Stoke Potter’, believed to be the Churchill Group plc, and the plant and equipment sold. Wren Giftware Ltd of Bishop St, Stoke is still listed as a manufacturer of vitreous tableware and kitchenware in 2009.

Wuidart (J. Wuidart & Co. Ltd)

1869–Late-1960s

Importers and distributors of ceramics and glass. J. Wuidart & Co. Ltd, of Holborn-Circus, London was founded in 1869 and imported Scandinavian glass and ceramics. Their main business was in glass and the company acted for Kosta Boda and Orrefors, and probably manufactured art glass to its own designs. It imported and distributed ceramics from Bing & Grondahl and the Arklow Pottery (and probably other foreign manufacturers). The business was still active in the late 1960s.

Wulstan Pottery Co. Ltd

c.1940–1957

Earthenware manufacturer at the Sefton Works, Cannon St, Hanley.

WWRD Holdings Ltd

2009–

WWRD Holdings Ltd is the company established to hold the assets of Waterford Wedgwood plc following its sale (from administration) to New York-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners in March 2009. The formation of the new company was announced on 26th March 2009 and involved the purchase of certain Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton assets in the United Kingdom and North America, the purchase of intellectual property in Ireland (but not the Waterford factory) and the purchase of subsidiaries in Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Australia. According to the statement released by KPS Capital Partners, WWRD will continue to be a leading provider of luxury and lifestyle products worldwide under the well recognised brands Waterford, Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Royal Albert, Minton and Johnson Bros.

Wye Pottery

1956–?

A studio pottery established in 1956 at Clyro, Powys, Wales, by Adam Dworski, a self-taught potter. The Pottery produced figurines, plaques and wheel-thrown pottery. Earthenware and stoneware bodies were used with majolica glazes.

Yelland (Manor) Pottery

1955–1985

A studio pottery established in 1955 by Michael Leach at Fremington in North Devon. Leach worked at the pottery producing art wares until his death in 1985. The Yelland Pottery mark is an impressed seal with a central ‘Y’.

Yellowsands Pottery

1926–?

See the entry for Bembridge Pottery.

Youghal Pottery

?–Active 2006?

Earthenware manufacturer at Youghal, County Cork, Ireland. Makers of hand made earthenware using a local red clay body. The mark is an impressed seal ‘Youghal Pottery’.