Ghosts Of Royal Doulton

Ghosts Of Royal Doulton

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From Ian Mood
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Ghosts of Royal Doulton Factory, Nile Street, Burslem. 24 x 16 inch mixed media on board.

Royal Doulton was once the main employer of pottery workers in Stoke-on-Trent. Founded in 1815 it received a royal warrant in 1902. As well as the highest quality bone china and decorative items the Doulton brothers innovated ceramic sewage pipes which helped eradicate cholera in the UK. By 1904 over 1,200 people were employed at Burslem alone.

Bob Adams of Tunstall, aged 72, recalls the factory’s heyday: “When the potbanks closed at a quarter-past-five in the evening – half-an-hour earlier on Fridays – it was like seeing ants being tipped out of a bottle. Factory buzzers went off and people scurried everywhere, perhaps to run for buses. Nile Street became swamped with Royal Doulton workers, still with clay, plaster and marl on their clothes.”

Royal Doulton in Nile Street closed in 2005, dealing Burslem a crushing blow from which it has struggled to recover. The site is now being redeveloped as a new housing estate with the hope of attracting a new generation of families to revitalise the town centre.

Quotes and text credited to Mervyn Edwards © Burslem History Club