Celebrating Forty Years of Gladstone Pottery Museum

This blog was created to recognise the remarkable achievements of  Gladstone Working Pottery Museum during the forty years since it was opened officially by The Duke of Gloucester on 24th April 1975. It is an independent and amateur site with no association with the official Gladstone Pottery Museum website.

Gladstone Logo from the 1975 Souvenir Booklet
Gladstone Logo from the 1975 Souvenir Booklet

Gladstone Pottery Museum Story - an iconic photo Kevin Millward in the cobbled yard
Gladstone Pottery Museum Story - an iconic photo
Kevin Millward in the cobbled yard
This museum is unique. It was founded by Potteries people with a vision. Through thick and thin it has grown to be a museum of international importance. At the time of its foundation it was a new concept in the way a museum should operate - a living, working museum. It was the second one of its kind, after Ironbridge Gorge Museum.

From the start volunteers have been an essential and integral part of the operation of Gladstone and that's how I got involved, fresh out of college, in the early 1970s.

It's where I met my wife, Pam Bott>, another volunteer who became one of the Museum's first Curators. She wrote the Bottle Ovens leaflet. more>
It's where my mother Millie Woolliscroft worked as a volunteer hand paintress demonstrator.
It's where my sister Kathy Niblett created the Sampy Exhibition in 1976. more>
It's where my brother-in-law, Paul Niblett, has worked tirelessly as a volunteer since 1971. more>
It's where my sister-in-law. Val Bott, now an independent museum consultant, advised on displays in the early days of the museum, especially in relation to tiles. more>
It's a potty family!

Blog Author

Terry Woolliscroft  here>
Creator of  The Potbank Dictionary  here>
Creator of  Twyfords History Blog  here>
Creator of  The Potteries Bottle Oven here>

Stoke-on-Trent born Terry Woolliscroft has enjoyed an entire career in the ceramics industry. At the age of 16, he joined Josiah Wedgwood and Sons Ltd. The company sponsored his attendance at the North Staffordshire Polytechnic where he gained an Honours Degree in Ceramic Technology.

In 1976 he was a member of the team which surveyed the remaining bottle ovens in The Potteries. In 1978 he was a member of the organising committee of The Last Bottle Oven Firing in The Potteries. It was at this event that he met Alfred Clough, the 'fireman' responsioble for the Final Firing.

Latterley he has been employed in the sanitaryware industry working for Twyfords, Roca, Lecico, Laufen, The Bathroom Manufacturers Association, The John Lewis Partnership and B&Q. The last decade or so has seen him travelling the world passing on his knowledge of the industry in special training seminars.

In his spare time he has created online sites containing specialist local information - The Potbank Dictionary, The Potteries Bottle Oven, The Last Bottle Oven Firing 1978, The Gladstone Pottery Museum Story, and the History of Twyford Bathrooms. These have been archived by The British Library.


Thanks go to these people who have contributed information, images and movies which have been uploaded to the blog:
  • Brian Colclough
  • Ray Johnson
  • David Malkin
  • Kathy Niblett
  • Paul Niblett
  • Phil Rowley
  • Pam Woolliscroft
Many images in this blog have been contributed by Phil Rowley, a volunteer at Gladstone Pottery Museum since 1982.

No personal data is stored on this site. No marketing communications are sent to anyone in the EU/UK.

Gladstone Pottery Museum, Uttoxeter Road, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST3 1PQ

Official museum website here>

The museum is on the corner of Chadwick Street and Uttoxeter Road, with brown signs from all major routes into the town of Longton.

The museum has a large free car park on Chadwick Street - to exit the car park you will need to collect a token from Reception.

There is parking for Blue Badge holders at the very front of the museum next to the main gates at the entrance. If you need any help with directions please call on 01782 237777 or email gladstone@stoke.gov.uk