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  1. History “Basically, we’ve decided to close down before someone else forced us to – while we are solvent rather than insolvent. It’s really upsetting. One of the main reasons is for the employees who work here. We have had two or three generations of people working here and one of the things I’ve found warming is their reaction to this. They have been very sympathetic and understanding. Everyone who works here has been very happy here†(Christopher Weatherby, 2000). J. H. Weatherby & Sons was founded in 1891, in Tunstall. Mr. Weatherby later established the Falcon Works, a larger pottery workshop, in 1892, when they moved the company to Hanley. The site at Hanley was comprised of extensive workshops built around a large central yard. The entire structure was built using brick and a plain tiled roof. Inside the courtyard there was, and still is, a bottle kiln with a circular hovel over a downdraught oven. A number of muffle kilns were also located at this site, and at one time they were rumoured to have been the only ones of their kind left in the city of Stoke. The company specialised in ornamental goods (tableware and giftware) to everyday domestic ware (basins and ewers), and as they expanded their main lines turned to hotel and crested ware. Unfortunately, entering into the hotel market turned out to be J.H. Weatherby & Sons downfall. After over 109 years of trading, the Falcon Works subsequently became one of the last remaining family-owned pottery firms to close in 2000. The chairman, Christopher Weatherby, the great grandson of the company’s founder (John Henry Weatherby) attributed its closure to ‘cut-throat’ competition against larger commercial businesses, especially those overseas. They simply could not keep up with the mass demand for pottery and the rate of production of big pottery factories. At its height, the company employed over 200 full time staff, however, months before closure this number had fallen to a mere 10 employees. After the closure of the pottery works, Jonathan Weatherby, working alongside a small staff from the original works, took over producing for JONROTH. For a time they operated under the name of Jonathan Weatherby At Falcon Pottery. Our Version of Events After our little expedition through Butterley Tunnel, and a quick sleep in a random football field somewhere, we left the countryside and made for Stoke on Trent. We have no real idea why we went that way, we just followed the road and went where it took us. Once we got there, we decided to take a quick pit-stop, to give the drivers a break, and it just so happened the Falcon Works were nearby. Like many others have said in various different reports, this place looks like it was once spectacular, with plenty of leftovers to see. Now, however, the place is best described as ‘fucked’. A lot of the leftover pottery and machinery has been smashed, the bottle kiln has collapsed in on itself and most of the roof has disintegrated. There is still a bit to see though, and we found a few nooks and crannies with interesting decaying remains of the Falcon Works pottery past. Despite the fact that there is virtually no roof and some of the walls have crumbled away, most of the floors are surprisingly intact, so navigating our way around the building wasn’t too difficult. After an hour or so inside we decided to wrap things up because we were burning daylight. On that note, we left Stoke and continued on our epic journey to nowhere in particular. Explored with Ford Mayhem, Meek-Kune-Do, Rizla Rider and Husky. 1: J. H. Weatherby & Sons External Shot 2: The General Condition of the Building 3: Upstairs in an Old Workshop 4: Another Workshop 5: A Pottery Rack 6: Plaster Storage 7: A Little Sample of the Pottery 8: Pottery Storage Room 9: The Large Machine/Oven Room 10: The Inner Courtyard 11: Inside the Bottle Kiln 12: The Rest of the Courtyard 13: Down in the Basement: Sacks of Bisilicate 14: Upstairs in the Pottery Rooms 15: Plates and Dishes 16: Ruined Storage Room 17: More Pottery 18: Chaos 19: Empty and Quiet 20: Metal Basin 21: Pot Ovens 22: Machines Upstairs 23: Allen West & Co. 24: Old Workshop 25: The Usual Shoe You Find in These Places 26: Broken Lift 27: The Roofless Workshop 28: A Summery of J. H. Weatherby & Sons 29: The 'Hand Warmer' on the Oven
  2. ]Went for a local mooch around stoke on trent, Plenty of failed industries, bad news for the city not for us! This place was surrounded by diggers and workmen, i have a feeling the site they were working on used to be an old hospital/asylum, now a disposable toilet store, Info in this place is pretty limited but i did find a news paper article... http://www.stokesentinel.co.uk/Hunt-arsonists-factory-blaze/story-12511464-detail/story.html Dont think this will be here much longer.... First ever go at editing properly, I shit myself in this room, every step your foot sank, holes in the floor and nothing you would want to lean on for support, Wont be doing anything like that again... There were 2 pottery places, a bathroom place, chicken factory and such a contrast of building all in the one place, took us 5 hours and we just about managed it all. I can only take credit for the hat ... Silly santa urbex selfies for homemade christmas cards ... No I didnt do the entire urbex dressed like that! it was under my camo....... Merry Urbex
  3. What a giggle! Through a quick chat with BangoEX; myself and another explorer went to what I thought was Falcon Pottery works, It wasnt until I got back having photographed it and had a really confusing conversation we figured out I'd gone somewhere different. Ive managed to figure out what it is now... So heres a little bit of background.... William Henry Goss (1833-1906), owner of the Falcon pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, and his sons, Adolphus and Victor, are credited with the idea of making souvenir ware bearing crests and names of seaside resorts in the late 19th century. Now, many British people are familiar with the white glazed porcelain souvenirs, typically in classical shapes of Roman and Greek antiquities. They also made tiny replicas of visitor attractions like a statue of Captain Cook with the name and crest of the Captain's home town of Whitby. Small busts of famous people like Queen Victoria or George V, were also made together with of ships and cars. Goss cottages are amongst the most collectible. By the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Goss china was immensely popular and, it is said, at least 90% of homes had at least one piece of Goss Crested China. Although the production of Goss China has long finished, the remaining Falcon Pottery building is a grade two listed building part of the London Road site owned by an unrelated company, Portmeirion. From what I can tell it became listed in 1979 and it has remains of pot bank, 1902-1905. Brick with plain tiled roofs. Surviving buildings comprise the kiln block and 2 workshop and warehouse ranges on opposite sides of a yard. Single storeyed kiln range of 9 bays with 2 downdraught glost ovens with circular hovels to the east of the site, and to the west, a 3-storeyed workshop range of 18 bays with doorways in the end bays, and fixed light windows with double ring cambered heads. Stone plaque of falcon in gable apex. Further workshop block to south of 3 storeys and 12 bays with similar detailing, built at about the same time. The works were built by Goss as an extension to London Road works established in 1858. Clearly a falcon, you can see why i never twigged.... You know where this is going..... This chair thinks it isn't over.. these confused me at the time.. Need to go back with proper back pack and tripod and do the place more justice!
  4. CRE industries, i know nothing about this place nor can i remember where it is other then in a tiny village in the middle of absolute nowhere! Visited with Maniac and Craig. Sorry about image quality, i think i was still on the sony at this point! WAY back in the day!! From what i remember this was one of my first and only ever attempts at HDR.....LOL ^^ I had to take this, just because it was funny..... Again apologies for image quality........cheers for looking, Frosty.
  5. More stuff from my archive of demolished/converted stuff A very pretty Victorian primary school that was located in the north of the city (hence the name). At some point after closure renovation work was started but then stopped, as far as I am aware this renovation is now totally complete as it restarted not long after this visit. Makes a change from demolition at least! Beneath the grime were some great original features to be seen. Photos not so great as they were taken with my old kit lens which isn't a wide enough angle for me More here http://www.flickr.com/photos/mookie427/sets/72157627859024960/
  6. Another of Little Mikes discoveries under Stoke I visited this a couple of years ago and was told about the light switch and decided that I'd head back at some point. Well today I had a job in Stoke and decided that I'd head down to flick the switch and see what happens I remembered the drain being bigger than this, anyone above hobbit height will be stooping Stoke turds
  7. "Weatherby moved to the Falcon works from a smaller works in Tunstall in 1892. The factory was in the Weatherby family until closure in 2000. The works made everything from fancy goods to domestic ware, but their main lines were in Hotel and crested ware. One of the last remaining family-owned pottery firms is to close after more than a century. J H Weatherby and Sons in Hanley is currently being run down and is will soon cease trading after 109 years. Its chairman, Christopher Weatherby, the great-great grandson of company founder John Henry Weatherby, today blamed cut-throat competition in the hotelware business for the firm's decline. At its height the company employed 200, but the figure was down to 50 at the turn of the year and now stands at 10. Mr Weatherby said: ‘‘We have decided to cease trading and are in the process of finishing off stock and things like that. ‘‘Basically we've decided to close down before someone else forced us to – while we are solvent rather than insolvent. ‘‘It's really upsetting. One of the main reasons is for the employees who work here. ‘‘We have had two or three generations of people working here and one of the things I've found warming is their reaction to this. ‘‘They have been very sympathetic and understanding. Everyone who works here has been very happy here.'' The company was founded in Tunstall in 1891 and moved to Hanley the following year. It first made domestic ware such as basins and ewers, later moving into tableware and giftware. The firm also entered the market for hotelware – leading ultimately to its downfall. Mr Weatherby pointed to tough competition from home and abroad for the company's current problems. These included pressure on prices owing to ‘‘block production'' and the concentration of the business in relatively few hands. The 59-year-old added: ‘‘The hotel part of it was more fragmented. That has been changing and it's relying on more standard patterns.'' Mr Weatherby admitted the firm had even considered importing cheaper products from abroad, but was deterred because of the high volumes needed to make the operation profitable. This route was controversially followed by another failed family firm, James Sadler and Sons. Although the Burslem-based family firm went under earlier this year with the loss of 140 jobs, James Sadler Imports Limited continues to trade. Mr Weatherby also partly blamed a planning issue dating back to the early 1970s, which ‘‘blighted'' the family firm and restricted investment in it." Surprisingly good this one and explored with some top humans. My pictures: Thanks