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British Industrial History

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Wade Ceramics

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Wade Ceramics Ltd. are manufacturers of porcelain and earthenware, including animal figures for their Collectors Club, whisky flagons, and a variety of industrial ceramics.

In the 1950s, the Wade potteries created "Whimsies," small solid porcelain animal figures first developed by Sir George Wade, which became popular and collectable in Britain and America. Their other brand names of inexpensive collectable porcelain include, "TV Pets," "Whoppas," and "Minikins".

Over the years, Wade has produced many licensed pieces based on popular TV shows, comic books, Disney films, and more recently the Mr. Men books and Pokémon, and has won numerous awards.

Wade Ceramics was established in 1867. It was originally made up of a number of different companies founded by various members of the Wade family, and was only finally united as Wade Potteries Limited in 1958. The original companies were:

In 1905, George Wade and Son took over rival company Henry Hallen. As the Hallen firm was owned by a distant relation and was founded in 1810, Wade Ceramics claim to have been established in 1810.

In the 1930s Colonel Sir George Wade gained control of the Wade companies that had previously been run by his father and uncles. He also started further Wade factories, including Wade (Ulster) Ltd in Portadown.

Following the death of Sir George Wade in 1986 at the age of 94 years and the death of his innovative son George Anthony (Tony) Wade of Leukaemia in 1987, the Wade potteries were taken over by Beauford Plc in 1998 and were renamed Wade Ceramics Ltd.

In early 1990s the Irish pottery factory was renamed Seagoe Ceramics and was closed down.[3][4]

Beauford Plc's pottery factories were taken over by a management buyout in 1999 becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Wade Allied Holdings Ltd. Edward Duke former CEO of Beauford became the major shareholder of Wade Allied Holdings and Chairman of Wade Ceramics. His partner, Paul Farmer became Managing Director of Wade.

In 2009 Wade Allied Holdings invested £7.9m in a new factory with the latest robotic manufacturing equipment to make ceramic flagons for the whisky industry.

The last Wade factory in Burslem was closed in 2010 and sold for housing development

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