Pottery Index

index of potters initials


list of Stoke-on-Trent potters

potters backstamps

 


What does A B C mean on pottery?
British pottery industry and the Second World War

 


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Wartime Concentration Scheme
Examples of Wartime Concentration Scheme licence marks
The Domestic Pottery (Manufacture and Supply) Order, 1945
Re-opening of Closed Potteries
Licences for the manufacture of fancies for domestic sale
Adverts referencing wartime restrictions

 

Also see: - Canteen ware produced for the British Government and Armed Forces


 


Wartime Concentration Scheme

The "A.B.C." Pottery Firms

The Second World War proved a particularly difficult period for the British pottery industry because severe restrictions were placed on the production of decorated pottery.

Production was concentrated in a reduced number of factories in order to save materials, energy and labour as these were needed elsewhere for the war.

This “concentration” of the industry was a restructuring to allow people to leave the the pottery trade to work in the armed forces or industries in demand for the war effort.

Decorated pottery required a lot of man-hours and energy costs for extra firing in the kilns. 
These were to become luxuries generally denied to the home market, but some production would continue for sale abroad in order to earn foreign currency. 

The domestic market would soon get used to plain, undecorated tableware.

The process was initiated in the autumn of 1941, but by the summer of 1942 they were extended to restrict the sale of decorated pottery in the home market. Some restrictions were relaxed in 1945 and subsequent years but they were not fully lifted until August 1952.

  • In 1941, British pottery production was subject to a Concentration Scheme whereby individual firms were classified as: nucleus, concentrated or closed-down.

  • In 1942, maximum retail prices were set and letters such as A, B or C incorporated in the backstamp.

  • The Scheme was revised in 1945 as the 'Domestic Pottery (Manufacture and Supply) Order'  and additional letter groups BY, CY and CZ created.

For more details, see: Ten Plain Years: The British Pottery Industry 1942-1952, Kathy Niblett, Journal of the Northern Ceramic Society Volume 12 1995, pp175-213

 

 


 

Examples of Wartime Concentration Scheme licence marks:

 

   
Crown Ducal - the trade name of A G Richardson
the mark on the left is the 'normal' mark, the one on the
right has the Wartime Concentration Scheme licence letter B


   
Marks of the Empire Porcelain Company
mark on the left dates March 1948 
mark on the right dates January 1952 



W R Midwinter 

CY was only used 
by Elijah Cotton

Johnson Bros 

 

 

Grimwades

 

 


 

The Domestic Pottery (Manufacture and Supply) Order, 1945:

 


A BOARD OF TRADE LIST

Covering the Domestic Pottery (Manufacture and Supply) Order, 1945
(S.R. & O. 498).

The firms on the following pages have been licensed to make undecorated domestic earthenware under the above Order. They are grouped according to the maximum prices which may be charged for their ware, having regard to their costs of production.

Under the second schedule of the above Order, the manufacture of undecorated domestic pottery is restricted to the following articles made:—

(a) from a white or light ivory body, glazed with a colourless or white glaze;

(b) from stoneware made in the natural colour of the clay and glazed with a colourless or brown glaze, or with a brown glaze on the outside and a white or colourless glaze on the inside; or

(c) from a natural clay body with a brown glaze or colourless glaze inside and outside, or with a brown glaze on the outside and either a white glaze or a colourless glaze on the inside;

that is to say:- 

cups 
egg cups 
mugs 
beakers 
plates 
saucers 
teapots
coffee pots
jugs
meat dishes and
     vegetable dishes 
sauce boats 
cooking ware
     including pie dishes
bowls
ewers
basins
chambers
hot water bottles
   and stoppers 
rolling pins


Manufacturers in Group I must mark indelibly under the glaze, the ware controlled under this Order with the letter C, 
manufacturers in Group II with the letter B
manufacturers in Group III with the letters BY, 
and manufacturers in Group IV with the letter A. 

In addition, there are two further groups for jugs and pudding bowls only, Groups V and VI. 
Manufacturers in these groups must mark wares controlled under the Order with the letters CY and CZ respectively.

GROUP I.

Ware to be Marked with the letter C.

Wm. Adams and Sons (Potters), Ltd. Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent (for pudding bowls only)

Avon Art Pottery, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (for teapots and coffee pots only)

John Beswick, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (for teapots and coffee pots only)

Blyth Pottery (Longton), Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent

Charles H. Brannam, Ltd., Litchdon Pottery, Barnstaple, Devon.

Thomas Brian, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

T. Brown & Sons, Ltd., Ferrybridge, Yorks. (CZ for jugs and pudding bowls).

Cartwright & Edwards, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Alfred Clough, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (CZ for jugs).

Colclough China, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (A for mugs, jugs and beakers).

Coopers (Anchor Pottery), Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

The Conway Pottery Co., Ltd., Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent,

Elijah Cotton, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (CY for jugs).

Dennis (Fenton), Ltd., Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent (CZ for pudding bowls).

Devonmoor Art Pottery, Ltd., Liverton, Newton Abbot, Devon.

Donyatt Pottery, Ltd., Ilminster, Somerset.

Ellgreave Pottery Co., Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (A for jugs and beakers),

A. T. Finney, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Gibson & Sons, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (for pudding bowls only),

A. E, Gray & Co., Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent,

T. G. Green & Co,, Ltd., Church Gresley Nr. Burton-on-Trent (for pudding bows only).

Howard Pottery Co., Ltd., Shelton. Stoke-on-Trent (for teapots only).

Johnson & Sons (Atherton), Ltd., Smallbrook Potteries, Atherton, Lanes.

David Lockhart & Sons, Ltd., 54, Cognn Street, Pollokshaws, Glasgow.

Longpark Pottery Co., Ltd., Newton Road Torquay.

Chas. W. McNay & Sons. Brldgeness Pottery, Bo'ness, Scotland (CZ for jugs).

C. T. Maling & Sons, Ltd., Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6 (CZ for jugs).

Mason, Cash & Co., Ltd., Church Gresley, Nr. Burton-on-lrent (CZ for pudding bowls).

New Hall Pottery Co., Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Price Bros. (Burslem), Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (B for mugs and. beakers and A for jugs).

Royal Aller Vale & Watcombe Pottery Art Co., St. Mary Church, Torquay,

James Sadler & Sons, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (CZ for jugs, A for beakers).

Smith & Warrilow, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Swinnertons, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (CZ for jugs and pudding bowls).

John Tarns, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Torquay Pottery (1932), Ltd., Hele Village, Torquay.

Trent Tiles (Botteslow) Co., Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Wearside Pottery Co., Millfield, Sunderland.

J. H. Weatherby & Sons, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (for pudding bowls only).

Arthur Wood & Son (Longport), Ltd., Longport, Stoke-on-Trent (A for jugs).

 

GROUP II.

Ware to be Marked with the letter B.


Wm, Adams & Sons (Potters), Ltd., Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent (C for pudding bowls).

Albert Potteries, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Geo. L. Ashworth & Bros., Ltd., Hanley Stoke-on-Trent.

Barker Bros., Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Barlows (Longton), Ltd., Church Street, Longton.

Barratt's of Staffordshire, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Booths Ltd., Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.

Bovey Pottery Co., Ltd., Bovey Tracey, Devon.

Burgess & Leigh, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Cone, Thomas, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Davison & Son, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Dunn, Bennett & Co., Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Empire Porcelain Co., Stoke-on-Trent (A for jugs).

Furnivals (1913), Ltd., Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent.

Gibson & Sons, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (C for pudding bowls).

Globe Pottery Co., Ltd., & Ridgways (Bedford Works), Ltd., Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent.

T. G. Green & Co., Ltd., Church Gresley, Burton-on-Trent (C for pudding bowls).

Grindley Hotel Ware Co., Ltd., Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.

Hollinshead & Kirkham, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.

Thos. Hughes & Son, Ltd., Longport, Stoke-on-Trent.

George Jones & Sons, Ltd., Crescent Potteries, Stoke-on-Trent.

James Kent, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

John Maddock & Sons, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Myott, Son & Co., Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (for cups only).

North Staffordshire Pottery Co., Ltd.,
Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent.

Palissy Pottery, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Pountney & Co., Ltd., Fishponds, Bristol.

Price Bros. (Burslem), Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (for mugs and beakers only)

A. G. Richardson & Co., Ltd., Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent.

Sampson Bridgwood & Son, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Shorter & Son, Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent.

Simpsons (Potters), Ltd., Cobridge, Stoke-on-Trent.

Sylvan Pottery, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Wade, Heath & Co., Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs only).

Washington Pottery, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

J. H. Weatherby & Sons, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (C for pudding bowls).

Wedgwood & Co., Ltd., Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.

A. J. Wilkinson, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Wood & Sons, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

 

GROUP III.

Ware to be Marked with the letters BY.

W. H. Grindley & Co., Ltd., Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.

Johnson Bros. (Hanley), Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Alfred Meakin (Tunstall), Ltd., Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent.

J. & G. Meakin, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Myott, Son & Co., Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (B for cups).

 

GROUP IV.

Ware to be Marked with the letter A.

Avon Art Pottery, Ltd., Longton. Stoke-on-Trent (C for teapots and coffee pots)

Belleek Pottery, Ltd., Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland.

John Beswick, Ltd., Longton. Stoke-on-Trent (C for teapots and coffee pots).

Blue John Pottery, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent

Carter, Stabler & Adams, Ltd., Poole, Dorset.

Geo, Clews & Co., Ltd., Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent (for mugs, jugs and beakers only).

Colclough China, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (for mugs, jugs and beakers only).

W. T. Copeland & Sons, Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent.

Doulton & Co., Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent

Ellgreave Pottery Co., Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs and beakers only).

Empire Porcelain Co., Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs only),

S. Fielding & Co., Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent.

Thos. Forester & Sons, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Grimwades, Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent.

Howard Pottery Co., Ltd., Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent (C for teapots),

Kirkham's, London Road, Stoke-on-Trent.

Lancaster & Sandland, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

Thos. Lawrence (Longton), Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

W. Moorcroft, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent

R. H. & S. L. Plant, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.

Price Bros. (Burslem), Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs only).

James Sadler & Sons, Ltd., Burslem Stoke-on-Trent (for beakers only)

Shaw & Copestake, Ltd., Longton Stoke-on-Trent. 

Shelley Potterles, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent

R. C. Southcliffe, Cardiff, S. Wales.

Wade, Heath & Co., Ltd., Burslem, Stoke on-Trent (B for jugs),

Josiah Wedgwood & Sons, Ltd., Barlaston
Stoke-on-Trent. 

Wiltshaw & Robinson, Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent.

Arthur Wood & Son (Longport),Ltd., Longport, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs only),

 

GROUP V.

Ware to be Marked with the letters CY.


Elijah Cotton, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs only).

 

GROUP VI.

Ware to be Marked with the letters CZ.

T. Brown & Sons, Ltd., Ferrybridge, Yorks. (for jugs and pudding bowls only).

Clokie & Co., Ltd., Castleford, Yorks. (for jugs and pudding bowls only).

Alfred Clough, Ltd., Longton, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs only),

Dennis (Fenton), Ltd., Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent (for pudding bowls only),

Chas. W. McNay & Sons, Bridgeness Pottery, Bo'ness, Scotland (for jugs only).

C. T. Maling & Sons, Ltd., Newcastle-on-Tyne, 6 (for jugs only).

Mason, Cash & Co., Ltd., Church Gresley, Nr. Burton-on-Trent (for pudding bowls only).

James Sadler & Sons, Ltd., Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs only).

Swinnertons, Ltd., Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent (for jugs and pudding bowls only).


This list reproduced in the Pottery Gazette Reference Book 1947 

 

 


 

 

Licensing the manufacture of domestic pottery by closed-down firms:

 


Re-opening of Closed Potteries

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review, August, 1945

"The  British Pottery Manufacturers' Federation and the Non-Nucleus Potters' Association have been notified by the Board of Trade that as part of the Board's general policy of sanctioning re-opening of closed firms, as and when premises and labour become available, it has now been decided to licence the manufacture of domestic pottery by closed-down firms as soon as they are in a position to produce ware.

In giving this intimation to the closed-down firms the Board of Trade point out that before permission is given to re-open it must be clearly understood:-

(a) That the Ministry of Labour will not be able to give any special assistance to the closed-down firms in securing labour to re-open.

(b) That the Board of Trade cannot give any special assistance in regard to the release of premises "out of turn," or to the securing of raw materials, including packing and wrapping materials.

(c) That closed-down firms must conform to the Domestic Pottery (Manufacture and Supply) Order, S.R. & O., 1945, No. 498, both as regards price and the type of ware permitted to be manufactured for the home market.

(d) That closed-down firms must, as time goes on, help to build up exports to the level set for the industry, i.e., to 50 per cent. of production by the end of the first year after the finish of the European war. 

(e) That firms licensed to manufacture will have to render to the Board of Trade each three months a return (Form K.S.) showing their production and sales similar to that already being furnished by nucleus firms.

(f) That in the case of earthenware manufacturers specifically:-

(1) There must be conformity to the standardisation which has been imposed by the Board of Trade as regards the number of types of ware permitted to be manufactured for the home market. Samples of the ware which it is desired to make must be submitted to the Federation for approval and registration.

(2) For the purposes of the Domestic Pottery (Manufacture and Supply) Order the Board will require to know the "price" group in which the firm desires to be placed.

(g) That in the case of china, jet and Rockingham and yellow-ware manufacturers, there must be conformity to the voluntary standardisations which have been agreed between the industry and the Board of Trade as regards the number of types of ware permitted to be manufactured for the home market.

All applications for permission to reopen should, in the first instance, be sent to the Board of Trade Regional Controller of the Area in which the closed-down firm is situated. The address for the Stoke-on-Trent area is Mr. A. Heckle, Regional Controller, Board of Trade, C.M.L. Building, Great Charles Street, Birmingham, 3.

 

 



 

 

Granting of  licences for the manufacture of fancies for sale in the home market:

 

 

 


Manufacture of Fancies

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review, August, 1945 p.475

 

A list of potters that had been granted licences (around June 1945) for the manufacture of fancies for sale in the home market. 

 

 

 

 


 

Examples of adverts referencing wartime restrictions:

 

WAR DEMANDS

Plain Design
No Decoration
Practical Utility the First
and Only Consideration

but when the time again comes for the exercise of craftsmanship and artistic skill in decoration, discriminating potters will again demand  

Matthey Products
for perfection in attractive decoration

 

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review - April 1944 p.223

 


 

 


For tableware Spode leads the way

Our 'utility' range
'Though limitations are stringent, the Spode factory has tried to produce shapes which are pleasing. Quality and durability remain unchanged'

Austerity demands the sacrifice of so many of the good things of life. Spode dinner and tea ware, for instance, For a time we must cease producing for the Home Market the colourful, delicately designed ware that has delighted generations of people with a love and appreciation of the best. We regret it as much as you : but one day we hope to resume the supply of our famous stock patterns

Spode the china of distinction
W. T. Copeland & Sons Ltd., Spode Works
Stoke-on-Trent

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review - April 1944 p.202


Copelands Grosvenor China

Still a Name to Remember

The production of the famous Grosvenor Decorated China is still suspended. For how long we cannot say just now. Yet we have high hope that now final victory has been achieved it will not be long before we can again supply our friends in the Trade with the same wide range of Grosvenor design that gained such popularity before the war.

Jackson & Gosling Ltd. Spode Works
Stoke-on-Trent


Pottery Gazette Reference Book 1947 p.6 

 



Constant in its flawless quality and aesthetic leadership for a hundred and fifty years, Minton China inevitably found widespread and gratifying welcome. When more normal days are re-established, Minton is equally assured of increasing favour wherever there is taste to delight, eye to enchant, or culture to satisfy. 

Minton
The World's Most Beautiful China

Mintons Ltd  .  Stoke-upon-Trent  .   Est. 1793

Pottery Gazette Reference Book 1947 p.33 


The time is approaching when 'austerity' goods will be a thing of the past, displaced by more interesting productions. The housewife in her endeavour to brighten her home will be even more discriminating, demanding not only more colourful and shapely designs, but also productions that are economical. When restrictions are lifted we will be able to satisfy this demand from our range of fine quality general earthenware. Meanwhile we continue to supply export markets. 

Wedgwood & Co Ltd
Tunstall  .  Stoke-on-Trent

Pottery Gazette Reference Book 1947 p.215 

 

 

Also see: - Canteen ware produced for the British Government and Armed Forces

 


Questions, Comments, Contributions? email: Steve Birks