Maling history

The 1940s - Rescued from uncertainty

The Ford B pottery had been state-of-the-art when it was built in the 1870s. By the late 1940s, it was more like an antique, and so were its working practices. Many of the skilled workers never returned after the war, and there was not enough time to train up new workers in the ways of the pre-war era. And the pottery was still being run by trustees until a buyer could be found.

Rescue for the pottery came in the form of Hoults - a Newcastle removals firm. They were naturally interested in the geographical site - 14 acres of land close to the city centre, where they could store furniture and park their substantial fleet of vans. Fortunately, under the enlightened leadership of the new Managing Director, Fred Hoult, the pottery business also benefited. New electric kilns were bought, staff were sent to Staffordshire to learn the 'modern' ways of manufacture, and vigorous attempts were made to revive the crucial export market.

Pieces from the pre-war years were resurrected (a fact which makes dating of Maling wares from around this time extremely difficult). An example is the range of embossed plaques which had first appeared in the 1930s. Many of these will be found to carry a stamped date which indicates that they are 1940s productions, although the designs were first introduced pre-war. 'Waved' designs continued to enjoy popular appeal.

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