Location and period of operation:






Earthenware manufacturer at the Bedford works, Shelton, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • The Bedford Works, Shelton, was founded in 1866 by Edward John Ridgway. 

  • From 1873 the partners were his sons John and Edward Ackroyd Ridgway and Joseph Sparks. 

  • From 1879 the business traded as Ridgways.

  • In 1920 the business was incorporated under the name Ridgways (Bedford Works) Ltd.


Formerly: Ridgway, Sparks & Ridgway  (1873-1879) 

Subsequently: Ridgways (Bedford Works) Ltd  (1920-1952) 




Bedford Works, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

 The Pottery Gazette, American and Canadian Edition, January 1st 1880


Ridgways Tureen
Ridgways Tureen



Ridgways platter in the MELBA pattern

other companies used the name 'MELBA' 

- click for more on MELBA -



transferware dinner set in the Devonshire Pattern  

photos courtesy: Penny LoPresto 

The bow and quiver mark without any place 
name was used around 1880-1885

The registration number 688 tells us that the shape of the serving tureens was registered in 1884

The number 2302 shows that the pattern design was registered on the 22nd February 1884

this mark with Stoke-on-Trent was 
used around 1885-1890



  both of these marks were used on various pieces of the dinner set  


Marks used on ware for identification:

This was the first Ridgway business to use "Ridgways" (in the plural) prior to this the identification were initials or "Ridgway". 


Bow and quiver mark without any place name


the registration number 73316 
shows that the pattern was 
registered in 1887

Bow and quiver mark with 'Stoke-on-Trent'


Bow and quiver mark with 'England'


The bow and quiver trade mark was registered by Ridgways in 1880. 
often the pattern name is included




c.1905 +

often the pattern name is included

Reproduction of earlier patterns and marks:

W. R.
Certain patterns and printed marks of William Ridgway and William Ridgway & Sons were reissued at later periods by this subsequent company Ridgways at the Bedford Works.  
  • If the mark has the name 'Ridgways' in the plural then is is from the later 1870-1920 period. 

  • If 'ENGLAND' is included then it is after 1891. 



The Bedford Works 

- click for more information -


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks