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Collection Selections: Framing Stoke-on-Trent

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Here’s one of two special Collection Selections: the result of the opening of the Daily Herald Archive to the Pararchive: Open Access Community Storytelling and the Digital Archive—a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

Mining the archive for the project was Niamh O’Donnell, a student at the School of Media and Communication, along with support from Fiona Philip and Daniel Mutibwa, Pararchive Research Fellows at the University of Leeds. The team picked out a slice of history showing the federated city of Stoke-on-Trent, its factories, luminaries and workers over four decades.

The selection of photographs was made on behalf of the Ceramic City Stories (CCS), a community heritage group based in Stoke-on-Trent, home of ceramic giants Wedgwood, Minton and Spode as well as many other manufacturers in the industry. The images will feed into CCS’s own local research and projects such as Yarn, an online storytelling service co-produced by the Pararchive project.

Wedgwood Potteries, 1949, A J Tanner, Daily Herald Archive © Science Museum Group collection

Tom Simpson and assistant Doreen McGiff. Doreen operates the lathe by treadle: she knows what speed, when to reverse, when to stop and start, just by watching.

Wedgwood Pottery factory at Etruria, 1961, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

68-year-old Len Boulton, a setter maker, at work on moulds for fine china. He has worked in this same old building for the last 40 years.

Ghanaian Tea Set, 1966, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

This roomful of china is only part of the world’s largest banqueting service. It was ordered by the government of Ghana and has just been completed by John Aynsley, a Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm. Unfortunately the former president, Nkrumah, was deposed after his personal crest had been engraved on many of the pieces. The crest had to be rubbed out by the firm’s craftsmen. It’s a good thing the service had not all been engraved: altogether there were over 18,000 pieces, from meat dishes to coffee cups. The service was made in three stages.

Paintresses at work at pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, 1930, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Painters at work on handmade pottery at Stoke, creating designs on pottery prior to the opening of the Stoke Pageant.

Sticking, Photographed around 1932, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

“Sticking” the handles on teapots at the Royal Doulton Works, Lambeth.

Wedgwood Pottery, Photographed around 1935, James Jarché, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wedgwood Pottery Works, Photographed around 1935, James Jarché, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wedgwood, Photographed around 1935, James Jarché, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Workers hand-painting crockery and pottery.

Wedgwood at Etruria, Photographed around 1935, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Making the longest vase that has ever been made at Wedgwood.

Thrower at work, Shelley Pottery Works, Fenton, 1932, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wedgwood Potteries, 1949, A Tanner, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Weaving intricate gold leaf patterns on the most expensive export plate, Bert said “I’ve hand painted a 400 piece set for Washington’s White House”.

Painting and Decorating, 1932, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Painting and decorating a lustre piece at Josiah Wedgwood pottery works.

Women working in Wedgwood, Photographed around 1935, James Jarché, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Thrower, Photographed around 1932, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

This thrower is forming a vase on a potter’s wheel at the works Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent.

Wedgwood, Photographed around 1935, James Jarché, Weekly Illustrated, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

China Clay Pottery, Photographed around 1935, James Jarché, Weekly Illustrated, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Kilns at Burslem Pottery, Photographed around 1935, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wedgwood Pottery Factory at Eturia, 1961, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wedgwood Pottery Factory at Eturia, 1961, Daily Herald Archive, © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Here 54-year-old Sid Walker, foreman, surveys the scene. Inside work is still carried on.

Wedgwood Potteries, 1949, A J Tanner, Daily Herald Archive, © Science Museum Group collection

James Dawson has worked for 30 years applying minute Greek mythological figures to the famous “Jasper Ware”. His two assistants, Dorothy Wynn (left), and Margery Ellis (right), cast the figures ready for application.

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