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Report - J H Weatherby and Sons, Hanley - August 2015

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by AuntieKnickers, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. AuntieKnickers

    AuntieKnickers inquisitive historian
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    Visited with @The Stig , @BAJ , @raisinwing , @Jasper and another non member.
    Thanks to BAJ, Jasper and Raisinwing for the company.

    One of the last remaining family-owned pottery firms is to close after more than a century.
    J H Weatherby and Sons in Hanley is currently being run down and is will soon cease trading after 109 years.
    Its chairman, Christopher Weatherby, the great-great grandson of company founder John Henry Weatherby, today blamed cut-throat competition in the hotelware business for the firm's decline.
    At its height the company employed 200, but the figure was down to 50 at the turn of the year and now stands at 10.
    Mr Weatherby said: ‘‘We have decided to cease trading and are in the process of finishing off stock and things like that.
    ‘‘Basically we've decided to close down before someone else forced us to – while we are solvent rather than insolvent.
    ‘‘It's really upsetting. One of the main reasons is for the employees who work here.
    ‘‘We have had two or three generations of people working here and one of the things I've found warming is their reaction to this.
    ‘‘They have been very sympathetic and understanding. Everyone who works here has been very happy here.''
    The company was founded in Tunstall in 1891 and moved to Hanley the following year.
    It first made domestic ware such as basins and ewers, later moving into tableware and giftware.
    The firm also entered the market for hotelware – leading ultimately to its downfall.
    Mr Weatherby pointed to tough competition from home and abroad for the company's current problems.
    These included pressure on prices owing to ‘‘block production'' and the concentration of the business in relatively few hands.
    The 59-year-old added: ‘‘The hotel part of it was more fragmented. That has been changing and it's relying on more standard patterns.''
    Mr Weatherby admitted the firm had even considered importing cheaper products from abroad, but was deterred because of the high volumes needed to make the operation profitable.
    This route was controversially followed by another failed family firm,
    James Sadler and Sons.
    Although the Burslem-based family firm went under earlier this year with the loss of 140 jobs, James Sadler Imports Limited continues to trade.
    Mr Weatherby also partly blamed a planning issue dating back to the early 1970s, which ‘‘blighted'' the family firm and restricted investment in it.


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    thanks for looking
     
    The Wombat, mw0sec, Alley and 2 others like this.

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  2. Will Knot

    Will Knot 28DL Regular User
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    Not a bad site that.....certainly holding up the test of time.....they had been using it for airsoft...but the floors are far too gone now :confused:
    Nice pics and report there Auntie :thumb
     
  3. The Stig

    The Stig Urbex = Nosey Bastard
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    There was not any evidence of air soft to see (ie small plastics balls) at all on the site compare to Stanley tools over in Sheffield. But yes the flooring is looking well passed its sell by date
    Good set of picces there AK
     
  4. raisinwing

    raisinwing 28DL Regular User
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    Nicely done, good to see you guys again.

    Such a shame we didn't get any photos of @BAJ 's falls! ;)
     
  5. The Stig

    The Stig Urbex = Nosey Bastard
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    And I missed it, all I saw was a pair of legs in the air and a baj in a heap with you all laughing at him,,,, but saying that when aren't we laughing a baj? :D
     
  6. Oxygen Thief

    Oxygen Thief Admin
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    That place is an embarrassment to Stoke. The Potteries my arse. Used to be virtually intact. It's listed and the council have done nothing to protect it.
     
  7. NursePayne

    NursePayne 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    How depressing!!! If some of these places were preserved more like they do in Germany I would gladly pay to visit like a lot of people in this country would.
     
  8. BAJ

    BAJ Belgian Anus Jabber
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    Yeah cheers @raisinwing Thought I'd broke me arm haha
     
    raisinwing likes this.
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