Shaw and Copestake Ltd






 

Location and period of operation:

Shaw and Copestake Ltd

Longton

1894

May 1982

 

Earthenware manufacturer at the Drury Works (later called the Slyvan Works), Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England

  • The business was founded in 1894, at the Drury Works, Normacot Road, by William Shaw and his uncle William Copestake. 

  • William Copestake retired after four years and Mr. Richard Hull became William Shaw's partner in the business. 

  • Richard Hull's son - also named Richard Hull - joined the business in 1924. Following his father's death in 1935 Richard Hall (jnr) became a partner in the business. 

  • In 1936 the business became incorporated as a Limited company and Richard Hall (jnr) became joint managing Director. 

  • In 1938 the directors of Shaw & Copestake acquired the company 'Thomas Lawrance' and the name was changed to  Thomas Lawrance (Longton) Limited of the Falcon Pottery, Waterloo Street, Longton.  

  • The name "SylvaC" seems to have been registered by Shaw & Copestake in 1938

  • "The Sylvan Works were founded in 1894 by William Shaw and his uncle William Copestake. The latter retired after only four years and in his place William Shaw was joined by Richard Hull, the father of Richard Hull of the Falcon Pottery, who had then recently returned from a sojourn in Canada. Richard Hull junior (of the Falcon Pottery) succeeded to his father's place as a partner in the Sylvan works when the latter died in 1935, and in the succeeding year, when the firm became a limited company, William Shaw became its Managing Director. For six years it was under his direction before he retired, whereupon he was succeeded by Richard Hull and was joined on the Board by Eric J. Dennis of the Falcon. Thus the connection of the two firms was already established" 1956 book 'British Potters and Pottery Today'

  • "Still closer relationship resulted however when, in the War years, the Ministry of Supply took over the Sylvan Works, for the business was transferred to the Falcon Pottery [under the Wartime Concentration Scheme]. This war-time amalgamation proved so satisfactory that it was decided, in 1945, to continue the arrangement on the sales side, while each continued to cater for its own particular market for earthenware 'Fancies'." 1956 book 'British Potters and Pottery Today'

  • In 1957, to accompodate both businesses, a new factory was built in Normacot Road, Longton, on land opposite the old Shaw and Copestake factory.  At this time around 140 people were employed.  

  • At this time around 140 people were employed.  

  • At the new premises,  the output of the two businesses gradually merged and in 1962 the Thomas Lawrance business was folded into that of Shaw & Copestake.  Use of the Falcon Mark of Thomas Lawrence was ceased in 1964. 

  • Following the voluntary liquidation of Shaw and Copestake in 1982 the factory and contents were bought by the North Midlands Co-Operative Society and from there they leased it to a workers co-operative society called Longton Ceramics

 

 

 

Concurrently:  Thomas Lawrance (Longton) Limited  [as a sister company] 

 

Subsequently:  Longton Ceramics

 


 


Shaw & Copestake
Sylvan Works, Normacot Road, Longton, Staffs
 
Manufacturers of
Decorated Vases, Jugs, Flower Pots, Cheese Stands, 
Trinkets and Toilet Ware, and Fancy Earthenware

June 1904 Pottery Gazette

courtesy: 'The SylvaC Story' - Susan Jean Verbeek

 


 


Shaw & Copestake,
earthenware manufacturers

from..... 1907 Staffordshire Sentinel 
'Business Reference Guide to The Potteries, Newcastle & District'


 


Shaw & Copestake Ltd
Sylvan Works : Longton, Stoke-on-Trent

1947 Pottery Gazette 


 


SylvaC
Shaw & Copestake Limited


1951 Pottery Gazette 


advert for both Thomas Lawrence (Longton) Ltd
and
Shaw & Copestake Limited

1956 Pottery Gazette 

 

 


Examples of Shaw & Copestake ware:

"The productions of the Sylvan Works, under the trade name 'Sylvac', comprise an extensive range of animal models and other novelties, posy bowls, flower vases, etc. The animal studies in particular are their pride, since they demand a very high degree of skill, both in modelling and potting."

1956 book 'British Potters and Pottery Today'

 

 

 


Posy trough with deer 
Woodland Range
designer: Reginald Thompson
produced 1960s to 1982

pattern number - 4231

 


Range of terrier dogs
produced 1939-82

pattern numbers - 1378, 1379, 1380

 


leaf shaped and patterned small dish

 


Vase with square foot
designer: George Matthews
produced 1970s

pattern number - 4950


Hand Painted 
William Shakespeare character jug
produced 1960s - 1975

pattern number - 4473


Honey Pot with Rasberry face
designer: George Matthews
produced 1970s

pattern number - 4898 

 



Two handled cup from the Teddy Nursery range
pattern number - 3617 

The pattern originally dates from c.1960-62 and is one of the last designs produced by the Thomas Lawrence company. 
The Teddy Range was very popular and was continued under the Sylvac name by Shaw & Copestake and by subsequent owners such as Crown Devon


SylvaC Ware
Made in England

impressed number - 3617

 

 


Teddy Nursery range

Zooline Nursery range

The Teddy and Zooline nursery patterns shared the same shapes 
all these were produced from the 1960s to 1989 (under Crown Winsor
The exception being the train engine and truck (5478,9) which were only produced in 1981-82)

 

courtesy: 'The SylvaC Story' - Susan Jean Verbeek

 


 

Marks used on ware for identification:

Early ware was unmarked. "SylvaC" was a trade name often used by Shaw & Copestake, 
it was not until c.1937 that the name "SylvaC" was impressed on the bottom of the ware 
but it was very haphazard and much ware was unmarked. 

SILVO
[some 1920's ware was identified with this impressed mark]

SylvaC
[SylvaC is always spelt with a large S and C]

SylvaCeramics

 


 

early Shaw & Copestake 'daisy' trademark
Made in England
 

printed 'daisy' mark - used before the introduction of the trade mark "SylvaC"

c.1925-37

 


SylvaC
Semi-Porcelain
Made in England
 


printed modified 'daisy' mark - with the trade mark "SylvaC"

The name "SylvaC" seems to have been registered in 1938

c.1937-40

 


 


SylvaC Ware

Metal foil tag. 
This mark was also used as a printed mark.

There is a similar mark for export ware which has 
"Made in Great Britain" 

1930's


 


SylvaC
Made in England
 

Typical impressed mark used continually 
from the early 1940s onwards
1940s +

4290 is a pattern reference 




SylvaC Ware 
Made in England
 

Printed mark with "SylvaC Ware" in sloping script.
Also used without the word "ware" 

1946+ (to late 50s) 


SylvaC Ware 
England
 

Simple printed marks 

1940-50s


SylvaC 
Made in England
 

Simple printed marks 

1940-50s

 


 


SylvaC Ware 
England
 

Impressed script mark 

1940-50s


SylvaC 
Made in England

impressed mark 

1950s +


SylvaC 

impressed mark 

1950s +

the impressed numbers are pattern references 

  


 


SylvaC Ware 
Made in England
 

printed label

1950-60s


SylvaC 
Made in England

printed label
Note the introduction of the top hat wearing 'man' made from the letters S and C


1960s +

 


 


SylvaC Ware 
Made in England
 

Printed mark - based on the foil label of the 1930s

1960s +


SylvaC
Staffordshire 
Made in England

Printed mark used on Toby and Character jugs

1960s +

 


 

SylvaC 

various foil labels, generally used with impressed or printed marks

1970s 


 


Sylva'C'eramics 

early 1980s 




Shaw & Copestake Sylvan Works 
(originally called the Drury Works)

This photo taken from Gower Street, Normacot Street is running left to right. 
At the left is the Sealion pub on the corner of Chadwick Street 
(the Spiritualist Church is now on the site of the pub) - on the far right is St. James Street.

photo: 26 September 1960 - Lovatt Collection

 


 


Shaw & Copestake Ltd and Thomas Lawrence Ltd in 1962

courtesy: 'The SylvaC Story' - Susan Jean Verbeek

 

In 1957, to accompodate both businesses, a new factory was built in Normacot Road, Longton, 
on land opposite the old Shaw and Copestake factory.  

 


 


the same buildings in 2008

the old pottery buildings have been converted into business units 

 


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks