St Silas Pottery

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by webfooted

St Philip’s Marsh, St Philip and Jacob parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1885-1898 Thomas Hickery and Edwin Caleb Hickery, trading as Thomas Hickery & Son.
1898-c1900 Edwin Caleb Hickery.

The pottery appears to have closed, although there is are references to a John Thomas and an E. Scourse being associated with the pottery in 1901 and 1902 respectively.

The census returns from 1861 to 1881 showed that Thomas Hickery was the foreman, and subsequently, the manager of a brick and tile works near Morton Street in St Philip’s parish.    However, by 1885 he was recorded as running the St Silas Pottery with his son, Edwin Caleb, and trading as Thomas Hickery and Son.  In October 1888 they were selling a pair of rollers for crushing clay, which could be worked by either horse or steam.  In May 1892 they advertised for ‘a good potter for redware’.

In October 1896 it was recorded that high tides in the river Avon had flooded Hickery’s pottery works and that it was some days before work could be resumed.  The pottery was again flooded by high tides in February 1899, that time to a depth of from four to five feet, the water making its way into the kilns and halting production for several weeks.

Thomas Hickery died in 1898, aged 81, and the pottery was then run by Edwin Hickery who, in 1891, was noted as a ‘potter employer’.  Although the directories listed Edwin Hickery at the St Silas Pottery from 1901 to 1903 it seems likely that these entries are errors and that he had given up the pottery business by 1901 when he was recorded in the census as an ‘oil and soap stores keeper’.  However, the 1901 census records John Thomas as a ‘furnace stoker at pottery’, his address being given as the St Silas Pottery, Feeder Road.

There is also a reference in September 1902 to an E. Scourse at the St Silas Pottery but there is no other record of him as a potter.  However, William Scourse, Frederick William Robert Scourse and Robert Scourse are all recorded in the 1901 census as a brick maker, a brick merchant and a brick works manager, so the Scourse family were certainly associated with ceramic production in Bristol.

Wares produced

Red earthenwares.

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