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Report - - Royal Doulton Pottery (Beers on the roof!) 29.04.07 | Industrial Sites |

Report - Royal Doulton Pottery (Beers on the roof!) 29.04.07

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Myself & Madmax met up with a very low knackered looking blue car... well, either the suspension is fooked... or the two fella's in the back are carrying some timber! :D It was Turkey, Dweeb, Si O Doom & Raddog... heavily ladened with Beer! So we tottered off into Royal Doulton with the mission of taking a photo's and to drink beer in the sunshine on the roof... NICE!!!


A little bit of the rise and fall of Royal Doulton:
Royal Doulton was once one of the worlds leading manufacturers of tableware and collectables. The heredity of the company stretch back over 200 years. John Doulton and partner John Watts started a pottery in Lambeth, South London in 1815. His son Henry Doulton developed it and it became Britain's leading manufacturer of sanitary wares and other industrial ceramics as well as a major producer of ornamental pieces, and tableware. In 1877, Doulton took over the Nile Street Burslem factory, where tableware and art pottery were produced. By 1882, this branch of Doulton's operation was making bone china. The Lambeth Studio in London continued until 1956.

Having taken over many of its rivals both in industrial and decorative wares, the Royal Doulton Group was once one of the largest manufacturers of ceramics in Britain. One time, Royal Doulton employed around 6,000 people worldwide, and its factories were amongst the most modern and efficient in the industry. Through his vision and industrial genius, Sir Henry Doulton (1820-1897) laid the basics for what is now a modern, and definitely, international company. Sir Henry would now be turning in his grave, at what Doulton are doing to it's reputation as being one of the best British china products. In 1901 King Edward VII conferred on the company the double honour of the royal warrant and the specific right to use the title "Royal".

A few years ago, Royal Doulton, announced that it was to start producing wares in Indonesia, but it said that it would not effect jobs in Stoke-on-Trent, as the ware made in Indonesia was to be sold in America and would never come to British shores. Twelve months later apiece made in Indonesia was spotted for sale in Stoke-on-Trent, that was the beginning of the downfall of Doulton. Even now, in their shops throughout England and even in Stoke-on-Trent, you can find pottery made in Indonesia, what a kick in the teeth for the people of Stoke.

The Beswick Factory in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent has been producing ceramic animal figures for almost 100 years, and it was a natural development to produce a range of Beatrix Potter figures. Bunnykins is said to have first appeared before the Second World War when the general manager of Royal Doulton's factory in Burslem, Cuthbert Bailey, wanted to develop a new nurseryware line. By coincidence his daughter, who taught history at a convent school, had previously drawn memorable pictures of animals at the family farm as a child. The result was that the daughter, known as Sister Mary Barbara , produced some designs for Royal Doulton, with the first pieces appearing in 1934. Sister Mary Barbara later stopped creating the designs because of the time that they took, but Doulton soldiered on in the knowledge that it was on to a winner. Charles Noke, a well-known character in the company's history, is credited with creating the first three-dimensional models by sculpting a rabbit family in the late 1930s. By the time the Second World War began, there were 66 different scenes in production and six figural pieces. Following the war another celebrated Royal Doulton designer, Walter Hayward, took on the Bunnykins responsibility. By 1980 there were more than 150 designs. Unfortunately the Beswick factory is to close its doors, and 200 workers are to clock off for the last time at Christmas, 2002. The production of the bunnykins range has now been moved to Indonesia and China.

The latest on Royal Doulton is, it has now closed its last factory in Stoke-on-Trent, Nile Street, and its rivals, Wedgwood have now taken the company over. Royal Doulton is no more, during Doulton’s life it has made thousands of people redundant, and caused misery to thousands of families.
Wedgwood has recently announced plans to bring back to the Potteries some of the wares that Doulton sent to Indonesia. If this happens that would be great news for the Potteries.

Here's a few of my shots from the day... enjoy.