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Report - TG Greens Pottery, Derbyshire, September 2012

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by ZerO81, Oct 10, 2012.

  1. ZerO81

    ZerO81 Team Weasel
    Staff Member Moderator

    Mar 7, 2010
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    TG Greens Pottery, Derbyshire

    The factory as it is today began life in 1864 when Thomas Goodwin Green was, rather suprisingly, on his honeymoon in Scarborough. He met a Mr Henry Wileman who owned a small pottery in Church Gresley, near Swadlincote, that had been built in 1790. Wileman was intending on selling the pottery, and Green, who had made a lot of money running a building firm in Australia, purchased it in 1864. For the next 25 years he built the firm up until it had to buy more land to expand using revolutionary new methods. Eventually the business became too large for Green to run on his own so he brought it Henry William King to assist him, and from then until 1964 the business was in the hands of the Green family and the King family.

    In 1871 Green built a totally new works next to the old site as he wanted to produce white earthenware as opposed to the "rough" pottery being made. This is what makes up a large portion of the buildings on site from what I could tell. Green was an extremely self sufficient man, and dug his own brick clay, built his own brick kiln, and even sunk a small coal mine into his land to get coal to burn his home made bricks. Green died in 1902 and control of the business went to Henry William King and Roger Green, with help from King's son Percy. The outbreak of war slowed down the growth of the works, and it was not until 1924 that Cornish Kitchen Ware, which is what the works is most famous for, was produced.

    Named Cornishware because a factory empolyee said it reminded them "of the clear blues and white-tipped waves of Cornwall", the iconic blue and white striped effect was caused by the lathe-turning process. The brand was revitalized in the 1960s by a designer called Judith Onions, but the Green family and the King family sold the works in 1964 and after that it became harder and harder for the Victorian pottery to survive in the modern world. In July 2007, the company went into receivership.

    I have seen quite a few reports popping up from this site over the past couple of months and have wanted to pay the place a visit for some time, things finally worked out and one Saturday morning we popped down the motorway to see it for ourselves. This place certainly did not disappoint, people say it has been trashed over the past few years, so I can only imagine how good the place was 'back in the day'. Ended up spending a good 7+ hours in here and still feel like there was more to see.


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