We met up with Humpa and Ravenwing93 for this explore
John Tams was born in 1837 in Longton, Stoke on Trent. He was apprenticed into the pottery trade and eventually went into partnership with William Lowe in 1865. The company was set up as Tams & Lowe and worked out of St. Gregory’s Pottery in the High Street of Longton. It was short lived as in 1873 they dissolved the partnership and when they separate ways. John bought Crown Works in Longton and specialised in manufacturing imperial measuring ware including mugs and other items for use in hotels and public houses.
Glass was becoming more popular in pubs and strict government regulations meant he had to change produce, developing more ornamental items as well as plain earthenware.
John Tams had a successful business and he ran it until he retired in 1918 and died a year later.
The company prospered, at one time it was valued at £33 million. The company was expanding, going from one factory to two. Gerald Tams became production director in the 1960′s and then chairman and director in 1984 when he led a buy out of the company. He helped the company expand to five factories in this time. In 1988, it was floated on the Unlisted Securities Market and then the Stock Exchange in 1995.
Gerald Tams died in 1999 of stomach cancer and the company was taken over by his wife Angela Tams. The firm continued in business until early 2000 when Lloyds Bank demanded repayment of a loan. This forced the company to close with 730 jobs lost.
The pottery was saved by a management buy-out, and became Tams Group Limited. They bought rights to Tams and Royal Grafton and kept Crowns Works as well as the other four factories. Sadly this was not last and they finally closed, calling in the receivers in 2006.
On the way out, we had a near miss with security, it went a little like this.
Security man: What are you doing
Us: Taking photos
Security man: What for?
Us: A project
Security: This is Private property.
Us: Is it?
Security: Course it is, your climbing over a fence.
Us: girls giggled, Men mumbled
It would have been scary but he was small and bald and had only the national geographic walkie talkie we believed he had purchased from Toys r Us. We had to leave in a hurry at this point as we could see someone far more frightening, the car park attendant making is way towards our cars.
To have experienced and failed is the mark of an inquisitive mind.
To have experience and succeeded is the mark of good preparation and planning.