This special Collection Selection is the result of the opening of the Daily Herald Archive to 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.
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.
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.
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.
Painters at work on handmade pottery at Stoke, creating designs on pottery prior to the opening of the Stoke Pageant.
“Sticking” the handles on teapots at the Royal Doulton Works, Lambeth.
Workers hand-painting crockery and pottery.
Making the longest vase that has ever been made at Wedgwood.
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 a lustre piece at Josiah Wedgwood pottery works.
This thrower is forming a vase on a potter’s wheel at the works Josiah Wedgwood and Sons. Ltd., Stoke-on-Trent.
Here 54-year-old Sid Walker, foreman, surveys the scene. Inside work is still carried on.
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.