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British Industrial History

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Thomas C. Wild and Sons

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of St. Mary's Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Telephone: Longton 3273-4. Cables: "Wed-Longton"

1895 Thomas Clarke Wild joined his father, Thomas Wild, in the purchase of the Albert Works, Longton. The partnership manufactured bone china teaware as Thomas C. Wild and Co.

1898 Thomas Clarke became sole proprietor on the death of his father

1905 The business traded as Thomas C. Wild. The St Mary’s Works, Longton, was purchased from Bernard Moore and used initially for decoration of the products manufactured at the nearby Albert Works.

1910 As Wild’s business prospered he acquired other factories and pottery businesses, including the Park Place Works in about 1910

1917 Acquired Royal Albert China Works

1917 Thomas Wild's sons, Thomas E. Wild and Frederick C. Wild, had joined the business in the early years of the 20th century and were admitted into partnership with their father in 1917, the business then trading as Thomas C. Wild and Sons.

1918 Acquired Shore and Coggins Ltd (and Edensor Works)

1919 Acquired William Lowe

By the early 1920s Wild owned or had controlling interests in about 15 North Staffordshire potteries.

1932 T. C. Wild retired from active management; the business was incorporated as Thomas C. Wild and Sons Ltd.

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Royal Albert Crown China. Specialities: Tea, Breakfast, and General Table Ware, also coffee, Morning, Supper, and Fruit Sets. Café and Hotel Ware. (Stand No. G.120).

1930s the sons rationalised the business, closing or selling some of their father’s acquisitions

1937 modernisation and expansion of the St. Mary’s Works.

WWII The business remained in production

1946 Further expansion of St Mary’s Works.

1947 Listed on the London Stock Exchange. The share issue, on 8th July 1947, closed five times oversubscribed only five minutes after opening. Control of the business, and its three remaining subsidiaries Roslyn China Ltd, Chapmans (Longton) Ltd, and Shore and Coggins Ltd, remained firmly in the hands of the Wild brothers and their sons.

1960 The company acquired Paragon China Co, further expanding its manufacturing base.

1964 the Lawley Group was merged with Thomas C. Wild and Sons Ltd to become Allied English Potteries (AEP)[1].

1966 AEP closed Shore and Coggins, leading to the resignation of Peter Wild, even though the closure was to free the Edensor Works to allow increased production of Royal Albert china.

1969 Kenneth Wild, managing director of T. C. Wild & Sons Ltd, and David Wild, managing director of Paragon China Ltd, resigned from their positions severing the last family links to the company.

1970 AEP renamed its Thomas C. Wild and Sons Ltd subsidiary as Royal Albert Ltd.

1972 the various Allied English Potteries Ltd companies were subsumed into Royal Doulton following Pearson's acquisition of Doulton. Royal Albert Ltd continued to operate as a unit of Royal Doulton until the St Mary's Works were closed in 1998 with the loss of many hundreds of jobs. Manufacture of Royal Albert ware was transferred to other Doulton factories and to Doulton’s manufacturing plant in Indonesia

2002 UK production of ‘Royal Albert' ceased in December. St Mary’s Works was eventually purchased by a private owner with the intention of converting the building into a small pottery manufacturing site and visitor centre.

2005 Wedgwood completed its takeover of Royal Doulton acquiring the Royal Albert brand. Wedgwood itself was placed in receivership in 2008, however ‘Royal Albert’ is still a core brand of its current owner WWRD Holding Ltd

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 11 August 1969