Histories of UK potters and pottery manufacturers

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© Michael Perry 2011. Contact

Image courtesy of Lema Publishing Ltd, publishers of ‘Tableware International’ www.tablewareinternational.com

Last updated: 1st August 2011


James Wright Beswick

James Wright Beswick founded the Beswick pottery business in 1890 and later brought his sons John and Gilbert Beswick into the business. James Wright Beswick died in May 1920 (1921?).

John and Gilbert Beswick

Brothers John and Gilbert Beswick assumed control of the business on the death of their father, John managing production and Gilbert the sales side of the business. John Beswick died in November 1934, aged 65. Like his father, he was active in Stoke-on-Trent local government affairs, served as a Magistrate, and was life-long member of the Methodist Church. He was survived by his brother Gilbert, son John Ewart Beswick and by two daughters.

Gilbert I. Beswick, the second son of founder John Wright Beswick also worked in the family business and was still active as the Sales Manager in 1961!

John Ewart Beswick

John Ewart Beswick was the driving force behind the success of the Pottery from the mid-1930s until its eventual sale to Doulton in 1969

Arthur Gredington

Arthur Noel Gredington was appointed as the company’s modeller in 1939 and stayed with the company until his retirement in 1968. During his twenty-nine year tenure he produced over 400 superb animal models, some of which remained in production from the early years. His first equestrian model was Boise Roussel, the 1938 Derby winner, and this was not withdrawn until the close of the Beswick factory in 2002. Gredington apparently preferred to work in isolation and it is said he only visited the factory to deliver his latest models for appraisal. He is best known for his equestrian and canine models, but of equal quality are the many birds, farm and domestic animals, and wild creatures. He was also the first modeller of the Beatrix Potter figurines produced from 1948.

James Hayward

James Hayward was the Beswick decorating manager from 1934 and later became the company’s Art Director.

Albert Hallam

Albert Hallam joined Beswick at the age of 14 as apprentice mould maker and in due course became the head of mould making and an important modeller in his own right. His influence followed the retirement of Arthur Gredington and was instrumental in maintaining Beswick’s high standard of modelling and figure creation. His subjects were dogs, cats, horses and and butterflies. His model of the Norwegian Fjord Horse is a sought after collectible today.


©Michael Perry 2011