Staffordshire Potteries Ltd


Location and period of operation:

Staffordshire Potteries Ltd

(old Meir airport)



(See sources)

*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 Staffordshire Potteries were the largest manufacturers 
of mugs in the world, producing over 750,000 per week


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks