The opening of the Flushed with Pride Gallery, March 2002

Opening speech made by Terry Woolliscroft, representing the main sponors Twyford Bathrooms, Armitage Shanks and Thomas Crapper.

Thank you, Mr Bill Austin - my Lord Mayor.  Well, what a fantastic day this is! There were times, some years ago when we were in the planning stages, when we thought today might never happen. But here we are! It is happening. Excellent!

And thank you also, Hamish Wood, the Museum Manager, for asking me to say a few words.
And what better place to say them than here on the balcony just outside the new Sanitaryware Gallery ‘Flushed with Pride.’

Gladstone Pottery Museum Story - March 2002
Terry Woolliscroft represents the Sanitaryware Industry during the opening speeches

I'm here to represent the sanitaryware industry. There are two main players in sanitaryware production in the UK - that's Twyford Bathrooms and Armitage Shanks - there is also a smaller company called the Thomas Crapper Company, and these three companies have been major sponsors in the development of the new toilet galleries.

Did you know that together they've contributed almost £100,000 in artifacts, cash and sheer hard work. And I can safely say, on behalf of the industry, we're delighted to see the results here today.
Twyford Bathrooms was one of the very first industrial sponsors of Gladstone Pottery Museum when it opened way back in April 1975. In those early days the original sanitaryware gallery consisted almost entirely of the Twyford's Collection.

25 years ago that original sanitaryware gallery was put together for about £200 - a touch less than the £21.5 million affair we see today! And rather than the army of people that has worked on today's galleries, the original was assembled and curated almost single handedly by a very big friend of mine. She laid the foundations for the galleries and for today's event. Where is she? My big friend - the wife! Pam.

Gladstone Pottery Museum Story
Original Toilet Display  1980 Curated by Pam Woolliscroft

The new galleries really are really worth every penny, though, aren't they? Excellently designed and displayed it’s great to see how the sanitaryware industry has grown. How sanitation originated from its humble beginnings.  And it wasn’t so long ago was it? Just 120 years, its nothing in the history of mankind!

And we know we can put down the development of sanitation to just a few Victorian men. Here in Staffordshire, Thomas Twyford was one of them. A local chap, Potteries born and bred! And we can be proud of him.

His factory is still a major producer and employer in the Potteries. Around 3 million pieces of pottery go from our local factory every year. You know, I really do think it’s about time we created a statue of him in the City!

So today we open the excellent new sanitaryware gallery and congratulations to the Gladstone team for putting it all together.

It remains for me to say that it really has been a delight working with the team. The industry has cooperated like never before and I must thank Sam Woodberry of Armitage Shanks and Simon Kirby of the Thomas Crapper Company. It’s been a pleasure working with them. And many thanks go to Hamish Wood, and Angela Lee and the team here at Gladstone, and to Munroe Blair the local sanitaryware historian who did the "sense" checking.

And of course we shouldn't forget our Australian friend, Kellene Paull, who did much of the ground work for the displays.

So here we are the great day did arrive and we've now got the Official Civic Opening we longed for and we really can be Flushed with Pride!   Thank you.  more photos>


1964  Gladstone and a germ of an idea 

In October 1964 Reginald G Haggar wrote to the Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review with his visionary thoughts about preserving a potbank for the benefit of future generations.

The editor of the magazine wrote  "In our news pages, Mr. Reginald Haggar, well-known author and artist, makes an impassioned plea for preservation of the historical Potteries in the form of bottle ovens (“beautiful”) and even a whole factory as a complete industrial museum. Those of us who love the area with all its character and idiosyncrasies would back his plea, and hope that something can be done to preserve the old, whilst acknowledging the benefit of modern methods in present-day production of the Six Towns.’

Here is Mr. Haggar's letter in full.  
The germ of an idea and the beginnings of Gladstone Pottery Museum.

Gladstone hosts the Fifth Longton Beer Festival

The multi-award winning Gladstone Pottery Museum, which is now recognised as among the top three visitor attractions in England, played host to the 5th Annual Longton Beer Festival

The beer festival took place in the unique setting of the yard of Gladstone Pottery Museum on the evenings of Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th July 2015. Admission to the event cost £5 and this included a souvenir beer tankard.

The following groups played:
Thursday 2nd Greg Murray and the seven wonders
Friday 3rd       Moitessier
Saturday 4th        The Maxxx
Stoke Soul Club provided DJ support on all three evenings

The event sold out on the Friday and Saturday evenings.  Another stunning success for the museum, its staff and volunteers

Gladstone Pottery Museum - Longton Beer Festival 1st Night - 2nd July 2015
photos: Phil Rowley

Gladstone Pottery Museum - Longton Beer Festival 3rd night - 4th July 2015
photos: Pam Woolliscroft
Gladstone Pottery Museum - Longton Beer Festival 3rd night - 4th July 2015
photos: Pam Woolliscroft