Stoke

Stoke-upon-Trent, commonly called Stoke, is one of the six towns of the city of Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, England. The town was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1874 and is one of six that federated to form the county borough of Stoke-on-Trent in 1910, along with Hanley, Tunstall, Burslem, Longton and Fenton. It is the seat of the city's council, though Stoke-on-Trent's city centre is usually regarded as being the nearby town of Hanley which, since federation, has been the most commercially important of the six towns. Stoke had, for a long time, been the focus of a large parish which encompassed Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burslem and Fenton. Stoke remained a small village until the 18th century when Josiah Spode and Thomas Minton established their potbanks. Development was rapid thereafter.

Stoke
Spode works, 1929

BOTTLE OVENS LONG SINCE GONE


Minton factory on London Road, Stoke.
Stoke
Minton factory on London Road, Stoke.
Trent and Mersey Canal in the middle
Photo: Courtesy Staffordshire Past Track more here>   Date: c1930

Stoke
Minton Factory, London Road, looking towards Stoke centre
Photo: source unknown  Date: 1960s?

Stoke
Minton's Factory, London Road, Stoke
China biscuit bottle oven
Watercolour by Reginald G  Haggar 1966
Phot: source unknown

Stoke
Minton factory, London Road. Looking towards Stoke centre.
Photo: Courtesy Alan Gerrard  Date: 1960s 

Stoke
Possibly Minton Factory
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown



South Wolfe Street, Stoke, looking towards the rear of the now-demolished Minton Factory
Stoke
South Wolfe Street, looking towards the rear of the now demolished Minton Factory
Notice the one bottle oven but 3 tall chimneys
Photo: source unknown  Date: unknown

Stoke
Spode Works
Two paintings by Reginald G Haggar, late 1960s
Photos: source unknown


Stoke
Spode updraught hob-mouthed bottle oven with hovel - collapsed March 1972
"It was in 1960 that the last firing of a bottle oven on the Spode Works [Stoke] took place.
It was a china biscuit oven - that is, the bone china clay-ware was fired
to about 1260°C to the 'biscuit' stage."
Extract from: Manufacturing Processes of Tableware during the Eighteenth & Nineteenth Centuries by Robert Copeland 2009

SPODE OVEN COLLAPSES
The demise of the bottle ovens at Spode was rarely recorded in any formal manner although fabulous photos of them exist particularly from the 1930s. The base of one oven survives (in 2017). Robert Copeland described the date it had become a 'ruin'. "1972" he said, "'March; it was a Friday; about 2pm. (recorded elsewhere as 23 Feb 1972 at 14:15) There was a loud whoosh and the hovel of the bottle oven collapsed as I walked nearby." It was a very close shave and must have been a terrific shock.


Stoke
Spode bottle oven hovel collapses March 1972





Stoke
Spode 'Art Kiln' demolition
Photo: source unknown  Date:1938



Stoke
Empire Porcelain demolished 1968
Photo: source unknown




Cliffe Vale, Stoke
Twyfords in Garner Street. Bottle ovens and the Twyford Fleet
Photo: Source unknown   Date 1950s

Cliffe Vale, Stoke
Twyfords Cliffe Vale Factory, Shelton New Road
Photo: Source unknown  Date: poss 1950s

Cliffe Vale, Stoke
Twyfords Cliffe Vale Factory, Shelton New Road
Photo: unknown source  Date: Unknown but possibly 1930s



SOME BOTTLE OVENS STILL HERE

Falcon Pottery Works,  Sturgess Street


Updraught bottle ovens at Falcon Pottery Works (occupied Portmeirion Group Ltd), Sturgess Street, Stoke
Stoke
Updraught hob-mouthed bottle ovens at Falcon Pottery Works,  Sturgess Street
Since 2011 - owned by a company called Connexa
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: 1975

Stoke Updraught hob-mouthed bottle ovens at Falcon Pottery Works (occupied Portmeirion Group Ltd), Sturgess Street
Stoke
Updraught hob-mouthed bottle ovens at Falcon Pottery Works, Sturgess Street
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: April 1976  taken during the Bottle Oven Survey more here>

Stoke Hob mouth on one of the bottle ovens at Falcon Pottery, Sturgess Street
Stoke
Hob mouth on one of the bottle ovens at Falcon Pottery, Sturgess Street
Photos: Terry Woolliscroft Collection   Date: April 1976 taken during the Bottle Oven Survey more here>

Dolby Mill, Lytton Street

Calcining oven Lytton Street, Stoke former Dolby Mill 1975
Stoke
Calcining kiln, Lytton Street, Stoke, formerly Dolby Mill
Photo: Terry Woolliscroft  Date: 1975

Twyfords Cliffe Vale factory Grade II Listed.  Date first listed: 20-Aug-1979  "Pottery works and bottle ovens. 1887 with later modifications. Brick with stone dressings and plain tiled roofs. Frontage range of 3 storeys and 22 bays (2-2-4-1-4-9). Entrance bay has stone pilasters and entrance with cast-iron lintel over and 3 stilted arched windows above, and ornamented segmental pediment bearing date. Flanking this entrance bay are 2 towers with paired windows with stone aprons in the upper floors, and stone quoins. The outer range to the right has giant arched colonnade with windows with cambered brick heads, and moulded brick eaves cornice. 2 bays to the left in a similar style, then a gabled range with giant brick arches. 2 calcining kilns of circular section joined together at base, but with free-standing caps"

Cliffe Vale, Stoke
Calcining kilns, Twyfords Factory, Shelton New Road.
Now part of a housing development
Photos:  Courtesy of  'Potteries Bottle Kilns' page on Facebook  Date: 2015

Cliffe Vale, Stoke
Twyfords Cliffe Vale Works, two calcining kilns
Photo: source unknown  Date: Mid 1960s