Past Remains

A view of yesterday from today

Simpsons (Potters) Ltd, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Stoke-on-Trent is famous for its erstwhile pottery factories, known locally as Pot Banks, having been the main industry in the area. Unfortunately, due to cheap imports from China and elsewhere, many of them have now closed down and have been left abandoned and derelict. Even well-known brands, such as Royal Doulton, have suffered the same fate. Interestingly though, unlike many abandoned places, these factories have mainly been left intact, with hardly any trashing inside. It always amazes me how much pottery is left stacked on pallets, very little of which has been broken.

The ascendants of the family name have allegedly been pottery makers since the 16th century. As a firm however, they have operated since 1904, firstly under the name of Soho Pottery Ltd, then under the name of Simpsons itself. In 1918 they moved to these premises called The Elder Works, and continued there until 2004. 

Above, a selection of moulds. Below, one of the many pallets left remaining in the factory. Some are in pristine condition, still wrapped in plastic with all the crockery intact, but I liked this one the best as it made a more interesting photo.

The main factory floor, above, and below is inside one of the offices upstairs with various dyes and trial pieces on one of the desks.

These and more photos can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album.

Recent Photos