Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Midwinter

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W. R. Midwinter Ltd, earthenware manufacturer, of Albion Pottery, Navigation Rd, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent

  • 1910 Pottery founded by William Robinson Midwinter at Bournes Bank, Burslem in about 1910. Manufacturer of Rockingham teapots, tea wares and toilet wares.
  • 1914 Business expanded rapidly; moved to the Albion Works.
  • WWI William Midwinter served in the Royal Navy; care of the business was left in the hands of his wife.
  • Post WWI Further expansion in the 1920s and 1930s; the firm became well known for its semi-porcelain dinnerware and tea and coffee-ware marketed under the Porcelon trade name
  • 1932 the business was incorporated as W. R. Midwinter Ltd, with William Midwinter and A. T. Godwin as Directors. The firm acquired the Hadderidge Pottery, Burslem at about this time.
  • By the late 1930s it had become one of England's largest potteries, with more than 700 employees.
  • WWII Production continued but at a much reduced level,
  • Post WWII: Midwinter's son, William Roy, joined the business.
  • Late 1950's, under the leadership of Roy Midwinter, the company became one of the leading innovators in British tableware production. A large part of this was due to the noted ceramicists and designers who worked for the pottery, including Jessie Tait, Terence Conran, Hugh Casson, John Russell and Peter Scott.
  • 1964 Success of the Fine shape tableware and continuing demand for the Fashion tableware encouraged Midwinter to acquire the neighbouring A. J. Wilkinson Ltd and Newport Pottery Co Ltd in order to expand production.
  • The Midwinter Pottery was also an innovator in producing 'accessories' to their basic dinner services and tea sets.
  • The Clayburn Pottery, a sister company to Midwinter, made pieces such as lamp bases that could be added to a Midwinter dinner service.
  • In the 1960s, the Spanish Garden design, that was very successful on dinner ware and tea sets, adorned articles such as a bread bin and chopping board.
  • Late 1960s: Despite the success of the ‘Fine’ shape, the firm encountered financial difficulties in the late 1960s and was taken-over by J. and G. Meakin Ltd.
  • 1970 Wedgwood Group acquired Meakin and Midwinter (Holdings) Ltd. Roy Midwinter left Wedgwood in 1981 and became associated, as a designer, with Federated Potteries Ltd.
  • Pottery was produced under the Midwinter name from their factory until 1987 when the business was closed.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Pottery History [2]