Keele Street Pottery Co Ltd


Location and period of operation:

Keele Street Pottery Co Ltd


1913 (?) 
c. early 1950's

as Staffs Potteries

 (See sources + Potteries Museum)

The policy of growth by acquisition in the 1947-1949 period ensured that a wide range of goods were produced. During this period, the emphasis was on production for export. A message from the Managing Director in a company leaflet states "we all know that the Nation’s first need is to manufacture for export, to enable us to earn dollars, and so purchase the raw materials essential for industry."

White utility wares were in production at some factories in the group, whilst others concentrated on decorated ware for export.

1915  Establishment of Keele Street Pottery by C.H. Bowers, Elijah Brookes, J.Robinson, and H.W. Pitt

1916  Commenced mass production of once fired egg cups

WWII Closed under Concentration of Industries Act and used by government to store shell cases

1946  Re-opened with 5 bottle ovens, producing once fired white cups

1947  Product range extended to include ornamental ware, cottage ware and other fancies

1947-1949  Acquisition of other companies

       Paramount Pottery Ltd., Hanley (estd. 1946) – white cups & cottage ware
       Winterton Pottery Ltd., Longton (estd. 1927) – dinner & tea wares
       Thomas Cone Ltd., Alma Works, Longton (estd. 1892) – dinner & tea wares
       Collingwood Bone China Ltd. (estd. 1887)
       Conway Pottery Ltd., Fenton (estd.1930) – white cups
       Piccadilly Pottery, Tunstall (estd. 1946) - wholesaler
       Lawton Pottery, Tunstall

1949   49% of shares sold to South Western Industrial Gas and Water Corporation

1950   Name changed to Staffordshire Potteries Limited

1951   Became a quoted public company. Began to lease buildings at Meir Airport


C.H. BOWERS:  Began work with Booths of Tunstall where he later became Managing Director. Became Alderman of the city of Stoke-on-Trent 1910. His son, C.G. Bowers, followed the same career path with Booths, moving to Keele Street Pottery in 1946. C.G. Bowers died in 1961.

ELIJAH BROOKES:  (extract from an undated Evening Sentinel cutting) "Mr Brookes was born in Brierley Hill, South Staffordshire in 1845 and began his working life as an engineer on the railway at Stockton & Darlington, later becoming an engineer and contractor in North Wales. He lived at Old House Green, Mow Cop, [Staffordshire] at the time of his death.

In 1882 he came to Staffordshire as a manufacturer of Birmingham small wares [metal wares] and by 1892 became associated with the pottery trade, specialising in high-class jet ware. Then for several years he was at Longton as a general earthenware manufacturer."

In 1915 Mr Brookes and partners began the Keele Street Pottery, Tunstall. The company was set up for "the mass production of utility wares". He was "the inventor of many patent appliances in the pottery trade" and remained a Director of the company that he founded until his death. He lived at Old House Green, Mow Cop.

He left three daughters (all married). The bearers of the coffin were members of the Taylor and Hollinshead families. Wreaths were sent by the Clay, Decorating, and Warehouse Departments of the Keele Street Pottery.

H.W. PITT: was Technical Manager, developing once fired ware.

Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks