Thomas Twyford


Location and period of operation:

T Twyford




 (See sources)

Earthenware (mainly sanitary ware) manufacturer at the Bath Street Works, Hanley and then Cllife Vale Potteries.

Subsequently: Tyfords Ltd.

Date-line for Twyfords

Shelton New Road, Cliffe Vale Works

1893 trade journal entry for Twyfords

Census details for Thomas W Twyford


Thomas Twyford
Bath Street Works, Hanley

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




Cliff Vale Potteries
Cliff Vale Potteries photo: 2000

Bottle Kilns at the Cliff Vale Potteries
Bottle Kilns at the Cliff Vale Potteries 




Thomas Twyford Hanley
Thomas Twyford Hanley


Twyford, Thomas William, 1849-1921, Pottery Manufacturer

Thomas William Twyford was born in Hanover Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent at two minutes before four in the afternoon of Sunday 23rd September 1849. He was the eldest son of Thomas Twyford and Sarah (nee Jones) He came from a family of potters who had started making commercial pottery in 1680.

In the early 1880's Thomas designed, developed and manufactured the first one piece wash out pedestal closet and called it the UNITAS. This was pioneering work in sanitaryware.

In 1887 Thomas William Twyford opened his "model" factory in Cliffe Vale near Hanley. The factory was described as "model" because it was considered by government inspectors, at the time, as a pattern for all Staffordshire factories. Each workman had his own opening window and fresh air.

Up to 1886 Thomas William was Liberal in his politics. He then split with the party over the issue of Home Rule for Ireland and later became the chairman of the North Staffs Unionist Party. He contributed to the foundation of the Unionist Newspaper, The Staffs Evening Post, whose first issue appeared on 29th March 1892. Rivalry between The Post and the other local paper, The Sentinel, lasted for about four years when the two papers eventually merged. Thomas William Twyford became the Chairman of the Evening Sentinel in 1896.

In March 1888 Thomas was appointed to the magistrates bench. He served as Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire and in 1906 became High Sheriff of the county. The Grand Duke Michael of Russia, who leased the nearby Keele Hall, in the first years of the 20th Century, conferred on him the Order of St. Ann. 

In the South African war he helped to found the Soldier and Sailors Family Association and in the First World War provided premises in his Bath Street works for the Hanley Infants Welfare Centre. He became a Colonel of the local volunteer force and was a member of the North Staffordshire Tribunal.

He was twice President of the Staffordshire Agricultural society, a supporter of the allotment movement and a patron of the Hanley Flower Show. 

He served as President of the North Staffs Choral Society and was an authority of on early Staffordshire pottery

He helped provide premises for the Newcastle-U-Lyme Cripples Guild and gave the cripples an annual treat at his home at Whitmore Hall.

He married Susannah, daughter of Edward Whittingham, in 1872 and had two children; Harold who served in the South African war and the First World war, and Dora who helped establish the Scout and Guides movement.

The family lived successively at Shelton, Endon, Moor House Biddulph and finally at Whitmore Hall, where Thomas became a breeder of Labrador Retrievers and became a member of the North Staffs Hunt.

He died at Chine Hotel, Boscombe, Bournementh on 21st March 1921 and was buried in Whitmore churchyard in sight of his home, Whitmore Hall. There is a memorial to him in Shelton Church, near Hanley..

To the beloved memory of
Thomas William Twyford
DL of Whitmore in this County

Born 23rd September 1849
Fell asleep 21st March 1921

Faith unto death

Sacred to the memory of
Susannah Twyford
wife of Thomas William Twyford
who died November 10th 1922 


SOURCE: Terry Woolliscroft, (Twyford Archive).


Questions / comments / contributions?
email: Steve Birks

updated: 28 Nov 2004