1929 Twyfords in the 1920s and 1930s  |  Commentary by the late Jim Gibson

1929 Twyfords Manufacturing film showing firing

1914 - 1930 The Potteries Factory - British Pathe

Click here to view> 

1930 Wedgwood in the 1930s

Wedgwood in the 1930s. Film 8225  Huntley Film Archives Smoky. industrial scenes in Stoke on Trent. Wedgwood pottery Factory front with canal. Mill mixing liquid stone. China clay. Throwing on the potters wheel. Shaped on turning wheel. Moulding. In the kiln - very old fashioned looking. Engravings. Glazing hand painting.   Great scenes of placing and firing at about 8mins 20seconds in

1935  The Potters Good Turn 

British Pathe,  Shot of ovens in Longton

1940 - 1949 Pottery

Royal Doulton factory in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent

1942 Thunder Rock

Thunder Rock is a 1942 British drama film based on Robert Ardrey's 1939 play. It was directed by Roy Boulting, and starred Michael Redgrave and Barbara Mullen, with James Mason and Lilli Palmer in supporting roles. Here is an excerpt from it showing bottle ovens on a potbank. Can you guess where the potbank was? Answers on a postcard please!  (Many thanks go to Marie Graves for spotting this one!)



1940s Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire Potteries 

Published on 2 Sep 2015  From the Kinolibrary Archive Film collections.
To order the clip clean and high res or to find out more visit Clip ref KLR887

1947  Five Towns

Britain on Film. Directed by Terry Bishop. 26 mins. The five towns of the Staffordshire Potteries region are passionately promoted in Terry Bishop’s film, which structures itself around the arrival of an innocent young woman from London, the girlfriend of a factory worker’s son, who’s educated in the glorious heritage of the potteries. As well as lovingly detailing the area’s famed production techniques, the documentary also looks at the challenges of post-war reconstruction in the region.

This is a teaser clip from the film, on YouTube:

For the full film go here>

Extracts from the film here:

1948 Potteries 

Visited By Members Of The Anglo-American Productivity Council

1950  Canal scenes in the Potteries 

Beulah_Library_Roll_F3-17. 6mm Kodachrome footage shot in the 1950s of the Trent and Mersey canal in the Potteries. Excellent shots of canal children playing in an industrial landscape.  This footage may be purchased from BEULAH at   Beulah  Director: Peter Sims  Cinematographer: James Ritchie Camera Assistant: David Watkin

1950s  Potbanks - Staffordshire Film Archive

Shots of Wedgwood factory Etruria, Spode factory Stoke, Twyfords factory Cliffe Vale, Burgess and Leigh factory Middleport, Shelton bar steel works Etruria.

1950s  "Potteries based film"

Opening sequence to a 1950s film set in the Potteries and based on one of the novels by Arnold Bennett.

1952  British Movietone

"Midlands "potteries" town, lorry along road - on wet day - factory chimneys, kilns, grim terraced houses and gas lamps" Scenes from Longton, Penkhull and Burslem in the City of Stoke-on-Trent. Black and white, silent. 4 mins

Additional information from Kevin Salt. "From the 1952 Dirk Bogarde film 'Hunted'. If you've not seen the film, the parts filmed in Stoke-on-Trent begin at 36:10. In the [movietone] video the street scene with lorry beginning at 0:36 is looking down Sutherland Road, Longton. The scene that follows (with the paper boy delivering a newspaper) is Oxford Street, Penkhull. (

Additional information about the scenes here>

1952 Sequences from 'Hunted' starring Dirk Bogarde

These sequences show images of The Potteries. General views of the landscape scattered with Bottle Ovens, views of Honeywall in Penkhull, views of Oxford Street in Penkhull and views of Sutherland Road in Longton.

1st sequence >  36:07 to 36:41

2nd sequence >   -  46:51 to 47:19

3rd sequence >  -   49:29 to 51:19

1952 Opening sequence to the film of  Arnold Bennett's "The Card" 

The Card starring Alec Guiness. Shows firing and smoking bottle ovens.

1959  Stoke on Trent Skyline

Smoking Chimneys, Industrial. Rare colour 35mm film 

1959  Hometown - Stoke

British Pathe. Stoke-on-Trent. Pottery chimneys. Town hall and busy intersection. Town hall of Hanley. Plaque to Arnold Bennett. Burslem Town hall. The square at Tunstall. Monument and park at Fenton. Queen's park at Longton. King's Hall at Stoke.

1960 Six Towns

Introduced by a windswept Eric Ball: "50 years ago this was smothered in smoke" (actually in March 1960 it still looks pretty smoky) this commemorative film produced by ATV celebrates the six towns that make up Stoke on Trent. Each jostled for prominence in 1910, Burslem going as far as building a new town hall, but lost out to Stoke in the civic race. Hanley has the shops and a new civic centre on the way and Longton the potteries but each retains its historic importance.  Here>

1961 Phoenix Works

Filmed in 1961.  Phoenix Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, was completed by Thomas Forester in 1881 for his expanding Majolica manufacturing business. It had 6 bottle ovens. 4 subsequently demolished. Towards the end of the film you can see the 4 holes in the roofs which were patched.

1964 The Potteries

When the swinging 60s hit Stoke its teenagers began to dance the twist and, on the surface at least, the city was thriving in the modern era. But this documentary for ATV's Look Around series shows how the six towns that came together fifty years earlier to form Stoke on Trent, are still proud of their separate identities. With this historical backdrop Stoke is trying to modernise and move forward with Hanley as its new civic centre. Images of bottle ovens in this 25 minute film here>

 The Potteries 1964

1969 Bob Boote talks about Stoke-on-Trent

The potteries of Stoke persist, but this is a vision of post-industrial Britain. With pits and factories closed, polluted sites spoilt Staffordshire until restorative action was taken. Landscaping forms a new contract between man and nature, railway lines become green corridors, a quarry becomes Brockton nature reserve, closed roads allow Cannock Chase to rewild, and the River Churnet runs clean.

This film was part of the Pacemakers series produced by the Central Office of Information for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to promote progressive Britons to the world. The film was edited for a wider audience and re-released in 1970 as Black Spot to Beauty Spot. Stoke native Bob Boote combined a career as a planner with activism as a pioneer conservationist. Here>

1975  David Sekers talks about Gladstone Pottery Museum

Scenes from work in a bottle oven and smoking oven chimneys

1978 The Last Bottle Oven Firing in The Potteries

Lecture by Alfred Clough. Audio recording. Special one-off event organised by Gladstone Pottery Museum in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent to record the skills required to fire a bottle oven

1990 Kilns and Firing

Kathy Niblett describes the massive changes in firing methods in the pottery industry of Stoke-on-Trent in the 1940s and 50s.


2012 The Canals and The Potteries

Potteries historian and film maker, Ray Johnson MBE,  joins us to chat to our Skipper Nicola about the impact of the waterways in the Potteries in Stoke-on-Trent, once of the industrial heartland of England.

2014  Middleport Pottery bottle oven restoration

PRT Project Adviser Harry Wardill explains the work to restore the bottle kiln at Middleport Pottery.

2014 History of Hudson and Middleton, Sutherland Works, Longton

Hudson and Middleton's Factory, Longton, Stoke on Trent  was the site of The Last Bottle Oven Firing in 1978. This is a marketing film from 2014. See the history and processes of Hudsons of England, manufacturers of 100% British handmade fine bone china mugs since 1875.
Published on 11 Nov 2014

More Potteries movies here>