J J West, Crate makers, Navigation Road, Middleport

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Date:December 1963

Description:J J West & Sons were crate makers for the pottery industry, operating a crate yard in Navigation Road alongside the short Burslem Branch Canal. This was a short (1/2 mile) branch coming off the Trent & Mersey Canal near the southern end of Newport Lane.

The large poles in the photograph (called heads) would be trimmed, split and cut to make the frame for pottery crates. Thinner hazel withies would be soaked and woven into the frame to complete the container. Straw was used to pack pottery ware for transport to market. Crate making was an important ancillary trade for the pottery industry right up into the 1970s when wooden crates were replaced by wire mesh containers.

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Creators: Mr Bert Bentley - Creator

Image courtesy of: Stoke on Trent City Archives.

Donor ref:SD1480/105-10 (204/35405)

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