St Thomas Street Pottery 2

Posted on: August 9th, 2016 by webfooted

(also known as Price’s Pottery)
37, 38, & 42, 43 & 44 St Thomas Street (originally known as Thomas Street), St Thomas parish.

Summary of operating dates and proprietors

c1808-1809 Tripp & Company.
1809-1817 Charles Price I, trading as Price & Read.
1818-1822 Charles Price I.
1822-1844 Charles Price I and Charles Price II, trading as Charles Price & Son.
1845-1849 Charles Price I, Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price, trading as Charles Price & Sons.
1849-1863 Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price.
1864-1882 Joseph Read Price, Charles Price III, Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price, trading as Joseph & Charles Price & Brothers.
1882-c1901 Alfred Newell Price, Samuel Newell Price and Arthur Newell Price, trading as Price, Sons & Company.
c1901-1930 Alfred Newell Price and Arthur Newell Price and, until his death in 1922, John Harold Price, trading as Price, Sons & Company.
(William Powell & Sons amalgamated with Price, Sons & Company in 1907, the firm then trading as Price, Powell & Company).
1930-1946 Alfred Newell Price and Charles Newell Price, trading as Price, Powell & Company.
1946-1961 Charles Newell Price, trading as Price, Powell & Company.

The pottery closed.

There was a single reference to a firm known as Tripp and Company, brown stone potters, running a pottery in St Thomas Street from 1808 to 1809.  It is assumed that they were running the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.

The pottery seems to have been taken over by Charles Price I in 1809 when the firm known as Price and Read was listed as brown stone potters at 123 Temple Street and ‘next to the Bunch of Grapes, Thomas Street’.  Although Charles Price I was working on his own he still retained the surname of his late partner, Joseph Read, in the name of the business.  In 1810 the pottery was offered for sale by auction when it was described as ‘all those three messuages or tenements adjoining together, situate in Saint Thomas Street … and also the extensive yard and potter’s manufactory complete, situate behind the said messuages, one of which said messuages is now in the occupation of William Peters, tinman, and the other two are used as warehouses, and are, together with the said manufactory, in the occupation of Charles Price, potter …’.  However Charles Price I continued to operate the pottery after that date.

From 1812 to 1849 Price and Read, Charles Price and then C. Price and Son, were exporting stoneware to Waterford, Dublin, Cork, Youghall, Limerick, Belfast, Dundalk, Newry, Guernsey, Jersey, Jamaica, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Calcutta.

From 1818 to 1822 Charles Price I was trading under his own name, the firm being listed in the directories as ‘Charles Price (late Price & Read), brown stone potters’.  In January 1822 he entered into partnership with his eldest son, Charles Price II, and announced this in an advertisement: ‘Bristol Old Stoneware Pottery, Temple-Street and St Thomas-Street, Charles Price takes this opportunity of returning his very grateful acknowledgements to his friends and the public, for the liberal support he has experienced in the late firm of Price & Read, and since on his own account, including a term of upwards of 25 years, and begs to inform them that he has taken his son Charles into the partnership with him under the firm of Charles Price & Son. C. Price & Son respectfully solicit a continuance of that preference which the old concern have been favoured with for so considerable a period’.

In April 1824 they advertised that: ‘Charles Price & Son beg to inform their friends and the public that they have added to their general trade, the manufacture of patent stone ware water pipes, which for their durability, purity and price, give them a decided preference to either wood or lead. C. Price & Son beg to state, that the pipes are extensively used for the purpose of draining land, as well as the conveyance of water from roofs of houses, etc., etc.’.

In 1845 Charles Price I took another son, Joseph Read Price, into the business, the firm then trading as Charles Price & Sons.  Charles Price I died in January 1849 and in his will he left the following property for the use of his sons Charles Price II and Joseph Read Price as tenants in common: ‘the messuage or dwellinghouse number 123 Temple Street together with the pottery, kilns, warehouses and other hereditaments and premises wherein I now carry on in partnership with my sons Charles and Joseph Read Price the trade or business of a stoneware manufacturer … all of which premises … extend from Temple Street … and fronting which the said messuage or dwellinghouse stands to Thomas Street … fronting which the said warehouses stand … together with all the machinery, implements and utensils and my share and interest therein …’.

In February 1849 the following notice appeared in the Bristol Times: ‘St Thomas and Temple Street Potteries. Charles and Joseph Read Price, in continuing the business so many years carried on by them in connection with their late father (under the firm of Charles Price and Sons), beg to state they have always a large stock of every description of the improved stoneware on hand, and orders to any extent for exportation and the home trade will always command their attention’.

In 1851 Joseph Read Price was recorded as a potter employing 30 men and by 1871 he was employing about 60 men and 40 boys.

The firm traded as Charles and Joseph Read Price, manufacturers of the improved or highly glazed stoneware until 1863 when Charles Price II appears to have retired from the business.  He died in January 1869 and in his will he appointed trustees who were empowered to sell to his three sons, Charles Price III, Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price his freehold and leasehold premises in Thomas Street and Temple Street occupied by them and Joseph Read Price under a lease granted by him to them, together with the steam engines, machinery and fixtures in the premises.

From 1864 the firm comprised Joseph Read Price and the brothers Charles Price III, Samuel Newell Price and Alfred Newell Price, trading as Joseph & Charles Price & Brothers.

In November 1873 there was an industrial dispute in Price’s Pottery.  This was reported in the newspapers who said that ‘A general summoned meeting of the whole of the operative labourers employed by Messrs Price Brothers, Potteries, Temple Street, took place on Friday evening … to consider the advisability of memorialising their employers for a general advance of wages. A working labourer presided, and opened the meeting by some sensible remarks, in which he stated that the present rate of wages paid by the firm of Messrs Price Brothers was below the wages paid by the Bristol and other potteries in the city. He said that the average wages of a labourer in Messrs Price’s firm was from 13s to 17s for a lone week’s work. He therefore advocated the necessity of a general advance of wages being accorded to them in the face of the exorbitant price of provisions. [The following resolution was carried]: That, as the members of every trade and the operative labourers have received a considerable advance in their wages of late, which is justified through the very high price of every article of subsistence, we give our employers due notice that we shall require an advance of sixpence per day all the year round, to come into force on and after Monday morning November 17, 1873′.

The dispute was not settled by the employers and on 22 November it was reported that: ‘On Monday last some of the labourers, to the number of about thirty, employed at Messrs Price’s pottery, Thomas Street, came out on strike on a question as to the amount of their wages. It appears that the men, having joined the Labourers’ Union, the firm received a printed notice from the secretary of the Union, intimating that the men had had a meeting and demanded an advance of 3s per week.  No notice was taken of this circular, and the firm intimated that they preferred treating with the men themselves, and that they were surprised that no demand was made upon them by the men except through the printed circular of the union. They received, just before the expiration of the notice, a written letter from the men that unless the demand or arbitration were conceded they should strike. On Monday, after an interview had taken place between two of the union committee and the members of the firm, the latter saw the men, and expressed themselves willing to give two-thirds of the demand, namely two shillings advance to such of the men as they were willing to take back from amongst those who had struck. This offer was declined, and the men accordingly remained out on strike. Since then we learn that the firm have taken on some fresh labourers, and have determined to do without the labour of those who have struck. It has been stated that the weekly earnings of the men have been averaged, according to the skill of the workmen, from 15s to 24s, including overtime. In reply to this the secretary of the union has stated that the average earnings per week of 54 hours have been 18s, and that 24s a week means a weekly working of excessive hours of overtime’.

Clearly it was not the intention of the Price family to meet the demands of their employees and they simply advertised for new workers on 22 November: ‘Constant work for steady, industrious and intelligent men. Wages from 18s and upwards, Apply at Messrs Price’s Pottery, Thomas Street. Only those of good character, and who can read and write, need apply’.

In 1876 it was reported that: ‘J. & C. Price & Bros., stoneware potters, 69 Victoria Street, Bristol, exhibited jars and vessels of all kinds of highly glazed stoneware, capable of resisting the action of all spirits and acids; ale bottles, spirit jars, barrels, preserve jars, water filters, feet warmers, etc., at the International Exhibition in Philadelphia’ and that they had also won a Prize Medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1867.

Charles Price III died in 1877 but the firm continued trading as Joseph & Charles Price & Brothers until Joseph Read Price’s death in 1882.  It was subsequently run by Alfred Newell Price, Samuel Newell Price and their nephew, Arthur Newell Price, trading as Price, Sons & Company.  In 1881 Samuel Newell Price was described as a ‘stoneware potter (master), employing 75 men and 20 boys’.

In December 1883 the pottery advertised: ‘Clay modelling. Messrs Price, Sons, and Company, of the Old Stoneware Potteries, have set apart a room in their manufactory for the use of lady amateurs desiring to experiment with clay. Full particulars on application to 89 Victoria Street’.

In September 1884 there was a report on the Industrial and Fine Arts Exhibition which included: ‘Price, Sons, and Co., Old Stoneware Potteries, Victoria Street. Pottery is another industrial art which Bristol has for centuries made its own, and it has always given employment to large numbers of skilled workpeople. The old stoneware of Bristol manufacture has been known far and wide, and Messrs Price, Sons, and Co. are one of the oldest of the existing firms, they having absorbed two or three of the oldest potteries in the city, and the family of the present firm have been connected with the pottery for nearly a century.  The improved Bristol stoneware illustrated by their exhibits at Stand 45, and noticeable for the beautiful glazing of the surface – specially excelling in this respect the production of other towns – is a Bristol speciality; and even when initiated elsewhere it is always known as ‘Bristol ware’. The improvement consists in its being so highly glazed and vitrified that it has all the advantages of the smooth surface of glass incorporated with the strong body of stoneware. This quality specially commends it to the large firms who now produce immense quantities of jams and preserves.  These producers are substituting this stoneware for glass, the brittleness of which gives rise to a danger already often incurred by the consumer, who is unable to detect in jam or preserves the presence of a bit of glass. This ware, moreover, is in no way affected by acid in the fruit. Messrs Price, although one of the oldest firms in our city, seem at the same time to prove themselves not the least enterprising. We notice two new, important, and evidently successful branches added to their original business. We refer to their electrical department, in which they exhibit insulators, accumulators, battery jars, porous cells, etc., which have already been largely adopted by electrical engineers. Prominent on their stand also, are articles in what might be well termed the art department, in which they show some really beautiful specimens of plain and figured, glazed and unglazed vases; the latter being in great demand just now by the ladies for painting. The shapes and designs are specially good, and the floral adornment in wreaths, sprays, clusters and single flowers is light and graceful in extreme. The filters, for which during the past 40 years they have been noted, are also a feature of Messrs Price, Sons, and Co’s exhibits’.

In February 1885 the Exhibition of Womens’ Industries included vases sent by Messrs Price Brothers from their pottery, showing floral embellishments, all the work of women.

At the Bath and West of England Society Show in 1886: ‘Messrs Price, Sons & Co., Victoria Street, are well represented by a stand of pottery of a variety of descriptions, some of which are marked by great taste in design. The assorted samples of Redclyffe ware, perfectly vitrified and suitable for painting, decorated and undecorated, deserve favourable notice. Ware for many uses, including electrical battery jars, porous cells, and insulators for electric purposes, are also shown’.

A detailed description of the St Thomas Street Pottery 2 appeared in the Bristol Observer newspaper of 1 October 1892 and is quoted in full below:

‘Returning as before to industries, interest is found of another sort, and in point of age scarcely any could claim prior right to notice than the potter.  The art of moulding clay and baking or burning the article produced is pretty near coeval with man, and the potter’s wheel of today is practically the same as it was thousands of years ago, in the earliest history of the race.

The old stoneware potteries in Thomas Street, of which Messrs Price, Sons, and Co. are the owners, are also tolerably antique, having been founded as long ago as 1740.  The firm devoted themselves to the production of all sorts of glazed stone-ware and to the making of the insulators which requires much more careful treatment.

On the ground-floor, as we enter the building, we see the clay in firm half-dry blocks being unloaded from the carts; it is in just the same condition as it has been dug from the pits, and brought to the port by ship.  Clay, of course, differs in its composition, and the selection has to be made in view of the nature of the article to be produced.  Dorsetshire and the neighbourhood of Newton Abbot supply most of that used by Messrs Price, and it is a little surprising to find that the first operation is to dry the compact, square lumps as they come from the clay store to the manufacturing rooms.  In the dried condition it is hardly distinguishable from the white pipe-clay used for cleaning soldiers’ belts and gloves, and it is so friable that it is easily broken up on its passage through a disintegrating machine.  At this stage the other ingredients are added and mixed up with the pulverised clay to obtain the composition which will, in burning, give the hard, close-grained structure of aptly-named stone-ware.  The mixture goes into vats, where it is wetted, and lies so that the moisture may evenly pervade it: from there it passes into an upright cylindrical grinding machine.

From the bottom of the mill the stiff clay is squeezed out, and looking like an endless bar of a whitey-grey soap six inches high and of the same breadth, it travels across the floor on a number of little roller wheels, until it projects over the top of the second mill reaching down into the room below.  A revolving cutter slices off pieces of the continuously arriving bar of clay, and after being again ground it oozes out in similar fashion on the lower floor, and is now ready for the throwing room – in other words for the potter’s wheel.  There are a number of such apartments, all having a family likeness in their overhead pulleys and straps, their rows of potter’s tables, and their smooth and unctious coating of clayey particles.

One of the first workmen we come to is making two-gallon stone jars, and an assistant is dumping up masses of clay to keep him supplied with conical lumps he needs for his wheel.  Air bubbles are the bane of the potter, and the plastic mass is handled so as to get rid of them as far as possible.  Throwing one of the lumps on to the small revolving table, kept in rapid motion by wheels and straps, it adheres to the surface, which has been smeared with moist clay.  Shaped by the potter’s two hands, it is astonishing to the stranger to see with what quickness the clay rises into definite shapes, and these succeed one another with great rapidity.  One moment the form is that of an earthen jar with wide open mouth and very thick sides.  At another the top is closed more in the fashion of the completed article, but the exterior surface is marked by a spiral of indentations left by the pressure of the artisan’s fingers.  The sides have not only to be made even but to be of fairly equal thickness, and it may be the mouth of the jar is opened for the entrance of the workman’s hand several times in the course of its structure.  Height, diameter, and capacity have all to be borne in mind as this work proceeds.  The height and the point at which the narrowing of the neck begins are indicated by bits of stick projecting from a part of the table, and the diameter is now and again tested by a pair of callipers.  Much practice, however, makes the potter very expert in judging these things, and not many of the completed jars are found, when their liquid capacity is measured, to be seriously out.

At a wheel turned by a strong lad four-gallon jars are being made.  The method is the same, but the size, of course, occasions greater difficulty, and the workman’s arm is only just long enough to enable him to reach the bottom of the tall cylinder of stiff clay shortly to have its top narrowed in into a shapely neck.  Handles are added afterwards, when the vessel has become a little drier.  The handles are pressed into shape, some being ornamented by a little fluting, and are sufficiently soft to readily stick to the vessel made a day or two before.  They are attached very rapidly, and a workman bends the straight handle into its proper form, and with his fingers flattens down the ends firmly on to the jar in less time than it takes to write about it.

Piecework lends speed to fingers.  Ginger-beer bottles – and there is of late a renewed demand for ‘stone gingers’ – ink bottles, large and small, and tiny jars, holding one or two ounces, for scent, are being made at other tables in immense numbers.  One man can turn out 700 or 800 lipped ink jars a day, a fair indication of the speed in making the smaller classes of goods.

Stone-ware barrels and filters form, of course, a much heavier kind of work, and are usually made in sections, and connected afterwards.  Many of the articles, when dry enough to be touched without stickiness, have the name of the firm for whom they are made impressed on them by metal type, and in other cases are printed in colours.

The manufacture of insulators for telegraphic and telephone purposes is an important branch of the business.  Some forms of insulator require very careful moulding.  In shape they are somewhat like a jam-pot, with a substantial tube in the centre of its cavity, and attached firmly to its bottom.  The insulator, however, is made from one piece of clay, and the exterior wall of the cylinder assumes some queer phases while the interior tube is being produced.  The moulded article when partly dry is transferred to a lathe to be made perfectly even and smooth, and to have the required channels cut through it.

Other articles of the better class, such as jugs of ornamental form, have to undergo a somewhat similar treatment to give them a burnished surface.  Drying and dipping into the liquids which glaze and supply the required colour when acted upon by the furnace heat are preliminary to the burning necessary to give the ware the hard texture it requires for its battle of life.

The public are tolerably familiar with the appearance of the upper part of the kilns used, – huge conical chimneys which are at once both fireplace and oven.  The kiln has in its thick brick circumference nine fireplaces, some of the flues of which run across the bottom of the chamber enclosed by the circular wall and others discharge their fiery heat into it.  It is entered by a doorway big enough for a man with a load on his head to walk through, and is charged while cold.

A man, who deserves credit for his skill in balancing, brings into the kiln-room a long board, on which stands the ware to be burned, and one wonders how he manages to carry so many articles inclined to topple without their coming to grief.  He places his burden on a table, from which several men fill the goods carefully into saggars, in other words, circular or oval tubs of fire clay. No article must touch another, or the two would, when the glaze was melted in the heat, adhere, and precautions are taken to prevent the ware sticking to the saggar.  A second saggar is placed mouth down on top of the first, so as to form a cover for the contents, and the circular or elliptical fire-clay boxes are marched off to the kiln and piled one on to the other up to its ceiling.  The kiln full, the doorway is closed, the kiln walls are strengthened by chains, and the fires lighted.

Lump coal only is used, and before long the interior of the kiln is so intensely hot that the glare is blinding when one is asked to look into a draw-hole.  From this aperture small bits of ware are from time to time fished out so as to see how the work is progressing.  If the fires are lit on Monday night they are raked out on Wednesday afternoon, and it takes three days for the saggars and their contents to cool.  The goods are tested by compressed air being forced into them and are ready for the market.  The baskets with which the spirit jars are covered are made in the factory, and from ten to twenty men are usually employed in this department.  Only a few of the useful forms taken by stone-ware have been mentioned, but these have given a general insight into the methods on which the manufacture is conducted’.

Samuel Newell Price retired from the firm in 1901 and it was then run by Alfred Newell Price, Arthur Newell Price, and, until his death in 1922, Alfreds son John Harold Price, trading as Price, Sons & Company.  William Powell & Sons of the Temple Gate Pottery amalgamated with Price, Sons & Company. in 1907, the firm then trading as Price Powell & Company.

The Bristol Times and Mirror newspaper published a description of Price, Powell and Company’s pottery on 27 March 1923 and that is quoted in full below:

Treatment of Rough Materials
Two most interesting hours spent at the Old Stoneware Potteries gave me an insight into the modern working of the industry.  In order that my impressions should begin at the beginning of things in these large works, I first watched the principal raw materials being brought in.  It consists of clay obtained from pits in South Devon, and arrives in large lumps roughly cubic in shape.  Here I should like to digress for a moment, however, to mention that I also visited the roof of the establishment in order to get a bird’s-eye view of the pottery.  This showed me that it covers a considerable area, for I saw an imposing array of roofs sheltering the various departments which are all spacious and airy.  To return to our clay, I found that on its arrival it is stacked around the outside of the great kilns with which it is destined later to make a much closer acquaintance.  It is necessary that the clay should be thoroughly dried, and the radiation of heat from the kilns soon effects the process.  The dry blocks of clay are then pounded by a powerful machine from which the resulting powdery clay is received in the receptacles of an endless revolving ladder which afterwards drops it into a big trough.  Naturally, the water which is then added is speedily absorbed.  The wet clay is then passed through various mills and subjected to treatment until it reaches the consistency fit for the hands of the potters.

All the machinery at the pottery, by the way, is run by steam, and the principal of the firm, Mr Arthur N. Price, who piloted me with great patience and courtesy, mentioned that one of the engines had been running since 1877, and is working better now than in its early years.  The clay is moved from the store vault by means of a power hoist, and goes to the potters, with its texture beyond reproach.

The Potter’s Wheel
Though I had on previous occasions witnessed the art of the potter, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the “throwing rooms”, as the department in which the potters are installed are named.  The clay for each article is weighed.  For each of the familiar stoneware ink bottles, for instance, the requisite ball of clay was weighed out.  After this operation it is ready for the “throwing wheel” at which the potter sits.  I watched with fascination the dextrous operations by which the popular stone ginger beer bottles are formed.  The potter placed the ball of clay upon his wheel, which he then started in rapid rotation.  Under his sensitive hands the bottle quickly took shape and was in a few seconds ready for the application of the “rib” – a flat piece of iron so shaped as, when held against the spinning clay, to contour the shoulder and neck of the bottle.  The potters work to gauge, which indicate the height of the required bottle or other article, and the position of the shoulder.  An upright near the wheel supports two horizontal rods tipped with flexible whale-bone.  These horizontals are set in accordance with the gauge stick and guide the potter in getting the shoulder and neck of the bottle just in the right place.  Another rib is inserted for a moment to fashion the lip of the bottle.  To the layman the making of stoneware bottles by means of this simple wheel seems to need amazing skill, but so clever are the operators that they do it at a tremendous pace.  I timed the production of a bottle on the wheel and found that it took exactly three-quarters of a minute!  Some of the potters have been at this work a very long time; one of them is not far short of seventy years of age, and another is seventy and more.  The well-known stone bottles are by no means all the same.  Some are for “crown corks” now so popular; others for ordinary corks; and some for screw stoppers.  Moreover, every customer requires goods made in a slightly different form – needing some slight variation in height or shape.  At the time of my visit a large number of stoneware bottles were being made for export to South America.

Other goods I saw on the wheels or placed on shelves to dry included jars (with or without screw stoppers) in great demand by chemists and for domestic purposes; drinking “fountains” for birds; varnish bottles; jars used to hold cordials and other liquids (many thousands of jars for Army use were made at this pottery during the war); big jars which are fitted with taps and used at inns and cafes, pickle jars, honey pots, and furniture polish jars.  After leaving the throwing wheels, all the pottery is placed in warm places near the kiln to dry.

Glazing Process
Now I was initiated into the mysteries of the glazing process.  All the glazes are made on the premises, and are finely ground in up-to-date glaze mills.  The firm’s stoneware is glazed with a highly vitrified and brilliant enamel which is acid resisting, and therefore fits it for a variety of uses.  As an example of the subsequent process, I will take the case of a jar which is to be glazed white over most of its area, but amber over the shoulders and neck – the common practice in glazing.  The jar is dipped in one kind of glaze up to the shoulder, and when it emerges the superfluous glaze is removed by passing the bottom of the jar over brushes.  When the glaze is dried the jar is dipped upside down a certain distance into another variety of glaze and then dried.  The lower part of the jar was then whiteish, but to my surprise, the shoulder and neck was of a kind of battleship grey.  The kiln, however, changes that into a beautiful amber tint.

“Firing” the Article
I had now reached the “firing” process.  When the goods have been dipped in the glaze and dried, they are ready for the kilns.  They are packed in “saggers” – the large cylindrical receptacles made from clay and grit on the premises.  A proportion of these break in the kilns, and the resultant “shards” are ground up for use as material in the making of saggers.  When a sagger has been filled, it is covered with another sagger, and hundreds of these double receptacles are carefully stacked in the kiln.  The huge furnace underneath is then lit, and the heat from it travels through a series of flues – the principal ones are given the curious name of “bags” – into the kiln.  For a long time the interior of the kiln is in a state of white heat, and the glow from the kilns and the furnace gives a picturesque effect.  As in cooking, the men in charge of the firing find it necessary to make trials.  Rings of clay dipped in glaze – they are very like the neck of a stone bottle – have been placed at a convenient spot within the kiln.  At intervals an iron rod is inserted through a small aperture in the wall of the kiln and a ring is withdrawn.  The experts at the pottery have no difficulty in deciding, from the result of these trials, whether or not the firing process has been completed.  The kilns reach a very high temperature – from 1,200 to 1,300 degrees centigrade.  When the firing has been satisfactorily accomplished the fires are let down and the kiln is allowed to cool, after which the saggers are taken out and the goods in them go either to the packing department to be crated for delivery, or to the store rooms.

Moulded Articles
Hot water bottles, other than the usual rounded shape, have to be moulded, and the moulds for these much-appreciated foot-warmers and other moulded articles are all made at the pottery.

An interesting little process was the printing of the name of the firms on bottles and jars.  It is done before they are dipped in glaze and there are two methods.  Much of the printing is done by rubber stamps, but the choicest work is accomplished by means of transfers, and I saw some splendid transfer work being executed.

Many orders are received for large jars cased in basket, and I saw basket workers busily engaged in wickering the jars in their closely woven willow armour.I also saw the making of stoneware taps for vessels containing acids and other chemicals.  The revolving parts of these taps have to be ground to an exact fit.

In conclusion, I may sum up the characteristic output of the firm as consisting of jars and bottles for all purposes, drugs, spirits, ale and stout, ginger beer (which is an important feature), ink, blacking, and varnish bottles, bread pans, jam and pickle jars.  A large business is conducted by it in foot warmers and also insulators, for which Bristol stoneware is specially suitable.

In addition to their home trade, the Old Stoneware Potteries export large quantities of articles to Canada, India, South Africa and Australasia.

Alfred Newell Price died in 1930 and the pottery was then run by Arthur Newell Price and his son, Charles Newell Price.  The pottery was seriously damaged by enemy bombing on 24 November 1940 and Charles Newell Price obtained planning permission to put three temporary ‘Nissen’ huts on the site of the St Thomas Street Pottery 2.  This was sufficient to accommodate an office, a store and the basket makers’ workshop.  From this limited enterprise and with the help of the Potteries in the Midlands, who paid him a commission on stone ware sales in the south-west, Charles Newell Price was able to make a living for himself and the few staff he had been able to keep employed since the Blitz.

The balance sheet for 1946 showed a net profit of £1,203.  Compensation for war damage was eventually paid in 1949 and the amount payable was £2,500.  Total compensation to all the interested parties was only £8,762, which was far below the market value of the premises. Arthur Newell Price died in 1946 and the company was then run solely by Charles Newell Price.

From the Nissen huts by St Thomas Street, the firm moved to other temporary buildings at Ashton Gate and finally to 1 Upton Road, Southville, which Charles Newell Price named ‘St Thomas House’.  The accounts were finally closed in 1961 and Pearsons of Chesterfield bought the goodwill in the business.

Wares produced


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