Henry Richard's Ceramic Tile works, Williamson Street, Tunstall

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Date:February 1964

Description:The bottle ovens and workshops belonging to Henry Richard's Ceramic Tile company awaiting demolition in the mid 1960s. They were part of the Pinnox Tile Works that backed onto the eastern end of Williamson Street. Today this area is a mixture of open space and retailing. The photographer, Bert Bentley, noted that this photograph showed the "End of the Pottery Era".

Henry Richards pioneered the use of downdraught bottle ovens in the early 20th century to make more efficient use of coal. The hot gasses passed over the ware twice, making the most of the heat from the fires. These ovens could fire 200 saggars, containing over 10,000 square yards of tiles, in one go. The oven took five days reach 1250 degrees Centigrade and then a further three days to cool down. Bottle ovens were "intermittent" and produced pottery in batches, unlike modern tunnel kilns which allow almost continuous production.

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Creators: Mr Bert Bentley - Creator

Image courtesy of: Stoke on Trent City Archives.

Donor ref:SD1480/090-16 (204/35277)

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