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Report - - TG Green & Co Ceramics, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, January 2022 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - TG Green & Co Ceramics, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, January 2022


HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
1. The History
T.G. Green & Co was founded by Thomas Goodwin Green of Boston, Lincolnshire circa 1864. Having made his money in Australia, the successful builder and entrepreneur returned to England and married Mary Tenniel, the sister of illustrator Sir John Tenniel of ‘Punch’ and ‘Alice's Adventures in Wonderland’ fame. While on honeymoon in Scarborough, he purchased an existing pottery business based in Church Gresley from its owner Henry Wileman, and T.G. Greens was born. From there, he built up his business into one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of pottery, including kitchen, hospital and institution ware, domestic pottery, bowls and cookware, and tea and dinner wares. TG Greens employing over 700 people at its peak in two factories, it remained a family business until 1964.

Some old archive shots and postcards:



One after the 1904 fire:



The company’s defining moment came with the introduction of their Cornish Ware range in 1920s. The exact date of its creation is vague but was conceived by Frederick Parker who joined Green's as a General Manager in 1919. Onwards. It started to appear in price lists, catalogues, and advertisements from 1923.

Old advert for Cornishware:



The secret of its almost instant and lasting popularity was that every piece was turned on the lathe, to cut sharp-edged, clean bands through the blue slip to reveal the white clay beneath. The name Cornish Kitchen Ware came from the south of England when a representative saw the colours of Cornwall’s skies, clouds, and white-topped waves in the design. The signature colour was referred to as 'E.blue', meaning electric blue. In the 1930s the success of Cornish Ware inspired the development of new shapes and colourways, and related ranges such as the blue and white spotted Domino Ware and the cream and green-lined Streamline Ware. The products were sold through high-street stores such as Woolworths, high-end retails such as Harrods and via exported to the rest of the world. It was these important export markets that kept TG’s in business during the difficult years of the Second World War and in the1950s, Cornish Ware was soon re-established as a family favourite. In the late 1960s, the range was restyled, forming the basis of modern-day Cornish Ware today. Cornish Ware was only a small part of T. G. Green’s production, and they have made a wide variety of other tableware and domestic since the 1860s and which remain of increasing interest to collectors.

Despite the success of its signature product, the company ceased production in 2007 when the factory was closed under the ownership of parent company, The Tabletop Group. The range was revived in 2009 when T. G. Greens was bought by a trio of British investors. The factory remains uncleared of stock and many other artifacts although parts remain in poor condition. The four bottle kilns are now Grade II listed and are on Historic England’s “Heritage at Risk” register. The owner has previously applied to demolish selected buildings. Historic England discussed a grant-aided condition survey with both the owner and Council but the Council instead are looking to work on a feasibility study for the site but to date have made no progress.

Google Maps view of the sprawling site:



And a 1967 Insurance plan:



2. The Explore
Not sure why it has taken me so long to get round to exploring this place and subsequently writing up the report. For such an extensive place that has a lot to see, it doesn’t get as much attention as you would expect on here.

Explored with several non-forum members and fellow forum-buddy @Bikin Glynn this place turned out to be a great explore and we spent a good two hours in here. Given the amount there is to take in, it is a place you really need to make a revisit to, especially given I wasn’t particularly pleased with my pictures. I didn’t even get a single decent picture of the outside of the bottle kilns!

It's also very easy to get lost and disorientated in here. Once we’d made our way in and into the main body of the factory we frequently found ourselves back at the place we were ten minutes ago. There is a lot to see but much of the factory is in darkness. When there was natural light, on the upper floor for example, we weren’t helped by the dull and overcast weather outside.

3. The Pictures

Apologies - a bit picture heavy!

Truckin’ on in there:



Externally, it’s nothing special:



First up, time to register with the medical centre:







Needs a bit of a touch-up:



Roof down here:



Some small ovens:





Ladder to nowhere:



On to reception:



And the stock storage area:





Literally cages of stuff:



Star Wars reject:





Loving this Dressler Tunnel Oven:





Axles didn’t rose:



Max pipage:





Hey desolate storeroom!



Hey very desolate storeroom:



Clockin’ on:

 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
CONTINUED:
And more still:





Hey little kart!





Lotsa little knobs:



Old office:



Mind where you step:



More patterns:



Upstairs we go.



Love this old hand winch:



Quite a lot still left!



Mind where you step:



The colour is office door blue:



It’s a vicious circle:



What it says on the tin:





Love these circular kilns:









Quite a bit:





Inside of one of the bottle kilns:





Service lift:





Room of patterns:



And another:



Semi-outside:



Some bits are muckier than others:

 

dave

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Great effort looking a bit the worse for wear these days. I nearly bumped into secca with one of the biggest alsations i ever saw fortunately it was towards the end of the explore time to get out.
 

Mikeymutt

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Cracking in depth report in your usual thoroughness. Like mentioned before it's looking really bad now with collapses. Like the roof on the shrink wrapped pots. I think upstairs were the staff canteen is situated is meant to be bad now.
 

HughieD

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Cracking in depth report in your usual thoroughness. Like mentioned before it's looking really bad now with collapses. Like the roof on the shrink wrapped pots. I think upstairs were the staff canteen is situated is meant to be bad now.
Cheers @Mikeymutt
Yeah, really mixed condition explore. Some bits just like they were when the place was in its heyday, others totally collapsed.

Great effort looking a bit the worse for wear these days. I nearly bumped into secca with one of the biggest alsations i ever saw fortunately it was towards the end of the explore time to get out.
Cheers mate. Yeah - head stories about secca here. When we went we didn't see a soul so explore passed off without incident, thankfully....
 
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Calamity Jane

i see beauty in the unloved, places & things
Regular User
What a great site. So much to admire here. I always like seeing these old potteries and kilns. Cant believe how much there is too photograph. Great report, really comprehensive. :thumb
 

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