Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd (China manufacture)


Location and period of operation:

Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd (China manufacture)





Bone China manufacturer at the Windsor Pottery, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England.
  • The Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd (CWS) manufacturered Bone China at the Windsor Pottery, Edensor Road, Longton. 

  • Previously the Windsor Pottery was operated by Hill & Co. There appears to have been some discreprancy in the start date for the CWS, or an overlap in manufacturing, as Hill & Co are recorded as closing in 1920 and the CWS are recorded as starting in 1911. 

  • In 1971 the business was sold to Hammersley and Co (Longton) Ltd. who ran the works as a seperate business under the name 'Royal Windsor' 

NOTE: The CWS also operated an earthenware factory at the Crown Clarance Pottery. 




Windsor Fine Bone China

Pottery Gazette Reference Book - 1960 



Windsor bone china plate with  printed mark c1946 +   

typical bone china tea ware 


cups & saucers with an identical  crysanthemum pattern - but different backstamps...

one set has the 'normal' Windsor mark 


the other set is marked 'Royal London' - this may be a mark used after 1971 by Hammersley when they took over the business and ran it as 'Royal Windsor'


photos courtesy:  Thea Hawryluk 



Commemorative mug 
produced for the Queensferry & District Co-operative Society Ltd
Childrens Gala
September 16th 1911

The Co-operative pottery manufacturing business produced
commemorative ware for a number of Co-op branches and
districts - this mug appears to be one of the earliest as it
is dated 1911 - the same year that the pottery business started 


The CWS logo of a wheat sheaf and the motto 'Labor and Wait' is used as a makers mark on this mug.

Labor is spelt without the 'U' in the American style. 

This was quite intentional. The CWS was progressive in the liberal tradition, they were supporters of the Union in the American Civil War and were anti-slavery, and reflected this by taking their motto from the US poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, 'A Psalm for Life'. 

The last verse  reads: 

'Let us, then, be up and doing/ With a heart for any fate/Still achieving, still pursuing/ Learn to labor and to wait.' 


photos courtesy: Paul Davies 



Marks used on ware for identification:

Trade name was "Windsor" Bone China and from mid 1950s also included
"Clarence" bone chine - visually there was nothing to distinguish one from the other.

Generally the initials C.W.S. were only used in earlier marks  



Windsor China







Bone China
Made in England


mid 1950s+

mid 1950s+

Bone China
Made in England



C.W.S Ltd. - Windsor Pottery  


Windsor and Elektra Potteries, Longton

November 1962 - Bert Bentley Collection

The photograph show the two large updraught hovel ovens in the foreground, which dominated the works. These works were demolished in 1975 and the site now lies beneath the A50 road.

The Windsor and Elektra Potteries were on Edensor Road, just before the junction with Clayton Road. This photograph was taken looking south from in front of the old Alhambra Cinema, with Clayton Road going off to the left of the Windsor Pottery.  

Windsor Pottery was owned and operated by the Co-operative Wholesale Society from 1911. The CWS was part of the Co-op group of shops and suppliers. In Longton, the CWS also operated the Crown Clarence Pottery. The Windsor Pottery produced bone china and was previously operated by Hill & Co. 

Courtesy: Staffordshire Past Track


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks



related pages...

Index page for the Co-operative Society in Stoke-on-Trent