Staffordshire Potteries Ltd
Location and period of operation:
*1986 Continued as part of the Coloroll Group.
Staffordshire Potteries Limited grew out of the Keele Street Pottery Group – a company which had grown through acquisition of several smaller local firms. The disused 38 acre Meir Airport provided the opportunity to gradually develop production on that site and by 1963 most operations were located there.
During the 1950s they became the largest producer of utilitarian white cups, also manufacturing blue band kitchen ware and dinner and tea wares. These cups are advertised in the trade press for 1957 thus – "the demand for odd white cups is considerable and these three popular shapes [Windsor; Worcester block handle; Osborne] will satisfy most requirements. Packed in cartons of four dozen they are easily transported and stored." (Pottery & Glass May 1957 p.xxxvii)
During the 1960s and 1970s the company concentrated on the production of mugs, kitchen and dinner wares. The Kilncraft brand name was introduced in 1972 and introduced a new range of modern shapes, colours and surface decorations, such as the Bramble and Bacchus ranges. This range was so successful that the name and trade mark was adopted as the corporate symbol for Staffordshire Potteries Ltd.
In 1979 the company acquired Royal Winton, who were successful manufacturers of vases, giftware and planters.
In 1981 a new range of red stoneware ‘cook and serve’ dinner wares and cookwares was produced, specially designed for microwave ovens. "Designed for practical cooking and elegant serving." (Staffordshire Potteries 1982 catalogue) However, by 1983, this range described as "rustic stoneware style", had been abandoned in favour of more delicate, pastel colours and both freelance and in-house designers were being used. (Tableware International October 1982 p.14-17)
By 1985, Staffordshire Potteries were the largest manufacturers of mugs in the world, producing over 750,000 per week, including commissioned designs for promotional and corporate purposes.
In 1986 the company was taken over by Coloroll Group of Manchester. This Group also acquired Biltons Tableware of London Road, Stoke-on-Trent. This activity made Coloroll overnight a major player in the manufacture of earthenware in Stoke-on-Trent.
1949 49% of shares of Keele Street Pottery Group sold to South Western Industrial Gas and Water Corporation
1950 Name changed to Staffordshire Potteries Limited
1951 Became a quoted public company
1951-1955 Leases taken on hangars at Meir Airport
during 1950s Paramount Pottery closed
1963 Thomas Cone & Conway Pottery closed. All production, sales and administration now at Meir
1972 Establishment of Kilncraft brand name
1976 Factory shop opened at Meir
1979 Acquisition of Royal Winton
1979 Staffordshire Potteries (Holdings) Ltd. acquire Taunton Vale Industries (tableware & kitchen accessories) and Salt & McKee (Toronto) – the latter renamed Canadian Classic Fine Bone China Ltd. Both closed in 1980
1984 Selling to Marks & Spencer
1986 Bought by Coloroll Group
Source: Potteries Museum
at one time
Potteries were the largest manufacturers
of mugs in the world, producing over 750,000 per week
Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks