Trentham Pottery Owner Profiles

James Ewart Wright

bullet James Ewart Wright was born in 1894 to George and Frances Wright, a Hanley family then living in Leeds, where George was employed as a ceramic artist/engraver /lithographer

bullet They returned to Stoke-on-Trent and lived in Cauldon Road, Shelton


bullet George was a strong supporter of Bethesda Methodist Church, Hanley

Bethesda Methodist Church

bullet They had three children

bullet John Gilbert (Bert) 1892-1962 Accountant Shell Petroleum London

bullet James Ewart Wright 1894-1963 A G Hackney & Co Ltd

bullet Norman William 1896-1956 Midland Bank, Manchester

bullet James was educated at Hanley High School and N Staffs. Technical College

Family

Seated LtoR - Norman, Bert and James. Standing LtoR - Ellie (Bert's wife), Joy (Norman's wife), Wyn (James' wife) and Thomas (son of Bert and Ellie)

bullet Prior to WW1 he worked at Bullers Ltd Hanley (all types of Ceramic Insulator made) as a junior manager whilst studying ceramics 'at the Tech' at night under the renowned pioneer ceramic scientist, Dr Mellor

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bullet All three brothers served in WW1 and were commissioned as junior officers and survived - a rare blessing for families at that time

bullet Bert - Royal West Kent Regt/Gordon Highlanders

bullet James - Royal Garrison Artillery 1916-1919 - commissioned in 1918 - served in France. Wounded in action

bullet Norman - Royal Garrison Artillery


bullet In 1919, shortly after James' return from war service he purchased A G Hackney, a small general pottery in Robson Street, Shelton which he switched to making low voltage porcelain/refractory electrical insulators, based on his experience at Bullers

Pottery

bullet He spent the rest of his working life operating and developing this business - "I had to succeed my parents backed me with all the little they had…"

Photo of James

bullet During the 1920s and 30s he was very active in the (Royal) British Legion becoming N Staffs County Chairman in 1932 and later a regional Chairman of the RBL Carpark company established to provide employment for disabled ex-servicemen after WW2


bullet In 1935 he married Elizabeth Mary Winifred Frankland (Wyn)

bullet Wyn was a nursing theatre sister at the NSRI and hailed (in 1932) from Lingdale a small iron ore mining village in Cleveland (Teesside) North Yorkshire

James and Wyn

bullet James built the house, named Lingdale, on Parkway, Dairyfields, in 1935 at a cost of £1000 and lived there until his death in 1963

bullet In 1936 their son Norman Lewis Wright was born

bullet The company was incorporated in 1937

bullet During WW2, besides being very actively engaged in the business producing technical components of national importance, James was a Vice-Commandant Special Constable based at Trentham/Stone

bullet In his younger days he played club cricket at Burslem CC and was for a few years a member of Newcastle Golf Club

bullet Between 1926 and 1963 he was an active and enthusiastic Freemason

Family at Dairyfields

Remembrance Sunday 1942. James with Wyn (far right), Muriel (Wyn's sister) visiting from London while on leave and a shy, young Norman

bullet He developed and expanded the business as a major manufacturer of-

bullet - Electrical and Industrial Ceramic Components industries including refractories for electric fires and cookers, fuse boxes, insulators, sockets & lampholders

bullet - Formers for the Latex Dipping Industry for the production of latex gloves, beach balls, balloons and baby bottle teats

bullet - James used to say of their products:- "People never saw our product; it was always on the inside…Companies such as Rolls Royce would contact us and say "can you make us one of these?"

Ceramic Components

bullet The business employed 250 at its peak

bullet In 1947 it was acquired by Walsall Conduits Ltd (a major customer)


bullet James and Wyn in the garden of Lingdale in 1961

Garden of Lingdale

bullet 1962 Norman Wright married Paddy Mills

Norman's wedding

bullet James remained in active control of the business, following its acquisition by Walsall Conduits until his death in 1963

bullet 1967 the company became part of GEC plc when it acquired Walsall Conduits Ltd


bullet 1967 the company relocated to and redeveloped a site on Westport Rd, Burslem

Factory

bullet A G Hackney & Co Ltd traded successfully as a subsidiary of these public companies until 1995. It was managed by James Wright until 1963 and his son, Norman Wright until 1995


bullet In 1995 GEC sold the company to Beauford plc (then owners of Wade Potteries) and it was eventually absorbed into Allied Insulators Holdings

Insulator

bullet The businesses were slowly run down and assets dispersed The A G Hackney site along with Wade Manchester Pottery and the James Sadler Pottery sites is now a well-established residential development in Burslem comprising houses and apartments off Westport Road


bullet The original A G Hackney site was Robson Street Hanley off the bottom of Broad St Hanley Demolished long ago, the site is part of the massive ongoing redevelopment off Clough Street, Hanley