THE HISTORIC SPODE FACTORY IN STOKE

Doris Hall posing in the 1930s

Doris Hall posing in the 1930s with a tea set made for Her Majesty The Queen when she was Princess Elizabeth.

A group of workers at the factory gate

A group of workers at the factory gate with a consignment of Copeland wares shipped on the Queen Mary’s maiden voyage in 1936.

The People

This uniqueness also stems from the enormous archive of papers and photographs relating to the site that has accumulated over 200 years and which is owned by the Spode Museum Trust. There can be few factories anywhere where daily life over so long a period is so well and so continuously documented. The stories of the Spode and Copeland factory owners, or the dynasties of workers such as the Bruce family, who worked as printers and china painters from 1814 until at least 1902, or of the brilliant but highly eccentric Samuel Alcock, a china painter in Victorian times, or of the employee whose ashes are buried on the site, or of five workers from the same Stoke family who all lost their jobs when the factory closed in 2008, are all there to be told, with many many others.

Plate makers Bill Tilseley, Frank Foulkes and Walter Day at work c.1935

Plate makers Bill Tilseley, Frank Foulkes and Walter Day at work c.1935. The Spode Museum Trust has been able to rescue many of the old tools that were used at that time.