Stoke-on-Trent - Potworks of the week
the Toft brothers worked at Tinkersclough, Hanley
"Tinkersclough at the present day"
"Staffordshire Pots and Potters" - GW & FA Rhead
must have been drawn from the Caldon Canal at Etruria - looking towards Hanley
- the blue circle on the map below shows the location of the viewer -
the Potteries loop line railway runs from Etruria, through Tinkersclough to Hanley
Tinkersclough - 1949
photo: The Warrillow Collection - Keele University Collection
- the red circle on the map above shows the location of the photographer -
The light coloured mound
at the front of the photo is slag from the Shelton works deposited at
"Toft worked at Tinkersclough, which is now a group of a few hundred houses and a couple of potteries. It was formerly a lane, or "clough," about midway between Shelton, Hanley, and Wedgwood's Etruria, and doubtless a convenient resting-place for travelling gipsies and tinkers; hence, probably, its name.
It is not positively known whether Toft—Thomas Toft; there were two prominent Tofts, Thomas and Ralph—had a factory of his own, or whether he executed orders for his dishes for other potters.
Fortunately there are many signed examples of both the Tofts in existence. One dish is mentioned by Mr. Solon as having been seen in a cottage in Hanley, inscribed in front with the maker's name in slip, and scratched on the back the inscription :
In the Willett Collection is a large yellow dish with a bird in dull red slip; this is signed " Ralph Toft," and bears the date 1676."
"Staffordshire Pots and Potters" -1906 - GW & FA Rhead
It is believed he was married in 1663 and was buried in Stoke on December 3 1689.
Slipware is a kind of coarse earthenware decorated with a coloured clay and water mixture of creamlike consistency called slip.