Factories

At its peak, in the third quarter of the Twentieth Century, the Twyfords company operated in FOUR continents. It had established factories across the UK, in South Africa, in India, and in Australia. 

Thomas Twyford established his first factory in Bath Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.


 BATH STREET WORKS - Hanley 1849   

Operated by Thomas Twyford (1927-1872) father of Thomas William and brother of Christopher who were also sanitaryware potters.

Twyfords Bath Street (now Garth Street) Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent  1849



 BUCKNALL WORKS - Bucknall 1849   






 NEW STREET WORKS - Hanley 1860s   

Christopher Twyford (1825-1869), brother of Thomas (1827-1872) who was father of Thomas William, also manufactured Sanitaryware. He operated from New Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.  New Street is now called Goodson Street after a major street renaming in The Potteries in the 1950s. Goodson Street is dominated by a Marks and Spencer store. The street is less than half a mile from Thomas Twyford's Bath Street factory.



 CLIFFE VALE WORKS - Cliffe Vale 1887   



Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery and Fireclay Factory
Source: Britain from Above 1928
http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw023584


Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
From the air. Date: 1950s

Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
Source: from the E J D Warrilow Collection  Date: 1951

Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
Source: Aerofilms  Date: Early 1950s


Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
from the Trent and mersey Canal
Photo: Unknown source Date: unknown but probably 1940s


Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery belching oven early 1950s
Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
Belching oven early Date: 1950s



Twyfords Cliffe Pottery
View from canal probably by Horace Astill, Designer
Date: early 1940s



Twyfords Cliffe Vale 1960 Packing and loading in straw
Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
Packing and loading in straw.  Date: 1960


Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
Factory frontage on Shelton New Road Date: 1991



Twyfords Cliffe Vale Pottery
Main gate with Caradon Twyfords new signage  Date: 1991

Notice the sign in the apex of the building. Cast in stone.  The sign remains today (2016) even though the factory was converted into apartments in the mid 2000s.  This sign is now known as a 'Ghost Sign' - more details here> at the Potteries Ghost Signs website


Twyfords Cliffe Vale Warehouse - early 1900s
Note the valve closet basins hanging from the beam. The sliding valve closet was patented
in 1778 by Joseph Bramah. The are still in use in Royal Palaces.


A descriptive account of The Potteries 1893 advertising and trade journal.
More here> about Twyfords Cliffe Vale




Twyfords Cliffe Vale
Photo: Source unknown  Date: 1920s



Twyfords, Ratingen, Germany 1901    

To circumvent the high German import duties on finished goods, Thomas William Twyford Twyford built a factory in Ratingen, Dusseldorf, Germany But at the start of the First World War in 1914 Twyford stopped manufacturing and vacated the factory. It was not reoccupied by Twyford but in 1918 the name of the company was changed to  KERAMAG Ceramic Werke Aktiengesellschaft. This company still produces sanitaryware at the factory to this day. (Note that Alfred Johnson si,ilar;y built a factory in in Wesel and his cousins, the brothers Johnson, in Florsheim Feuertonfabriken.) Interesting both Twyford and Keramag are no part of the Geberit Group.

Kreuzerkamp 11, 40878 Ratingen, Germany






""The company was founded in 03.09.1917 as Ceramic Works AG takeover of the present in compulsory liquidation English Feuertonfabrik of Thomas William Twyford (Ratingen), the English Steingutfabrik Alfred Johnson (Wesel) and the diamond Steingutfabrik GmbH Flörsheim (Main). On 06.19.1918 the company name was changed to "Keramag" Ceramic Works AG. In the meantime there was the headquarters of the company in Meiningen. It sanitary earthenware, fireclay and other ceramic products were produced.""










 ETRURIA WORKS - Garner Street 1912   

The land for the construction of Twyford's Etruria Works was purchased by Thomas William Twyford in 1912. At one time the original buildings on the site were used as the winter headquarters for the old Barnum and Bailey Circus. In 1939 the Etruria Works had 16 bottle ovens in operation.

Twyfords Etruria Works - new bottle ovens being built - probably 1920s



Twyfords Etruria Works - new bottle ovens being built - probably 1920s



Twyfords Garner St, Hanley. Ovens 1921

Twyfords Etruria Works 1929


Twyfords Etruria Pottery
Probably by Horace Astill, Designer
Date: early 1940s

Twyfords Etruria Works  Image: from booklet New Designs Date: early 1940s
Twyfords Etruria Works
Image: from booklet New Designs Date: early 1940s



Twyfords Etruria Works, Garner Street, Etruria. 1928
http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw023568 



Twyfords Etruria Works, Garner Street, Etruria. 1929
http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw026971


Twyfords works at Etruria.
www.britainfromabove.org.uk 1929


Twyfords Reconstruction of Etruria Pottery - Aug 1947



Twyfords Garner Street  1950



Twyfords Garner Street Bottle Ovens  1950



Twyfords Garner Street, Etruria Works - Just prior to closure  2004
(The white Cavalier car belonged to the author of this blog)



 FIRECLAY FACTORY - Cliffe Vale 1911   

Affectionately known as 'Klondyke'.

The factory was run down and eventually closed on 22 August 2002 when all production was moved to Allia (another Sanitec Factory) in Limoges, France.  At the same time products were converted from the traditional (Adamant) fireclay body to the more modern 'fine fireclay' recipe. More about recipes here>


Twyfords Fireclay bath manufacture
Hand-built pottery baths  Date: around 1930


Twyfords Fireclay Warehouse, Cliffe Vale  1930


Twyfords Fireclay works - making shop, bomb damage - second world war.
No loss of life. 1940

Twyfords Fireclay works - bomb damage from the outside 1940

Twyfords Fireclay Works 1953



 CARDIFF FACTORY - Edward Curran Engineering - Bath Plant - 1910   

In 1910, Edward and John Curran, stonemasons by trade, began to build coal-fired furnaces for shipyards, patenting a system of heating which adapted to a wide range of metal industries.

By 1916, the riverside works at Hurman Street diversified into the additional field of armaments manufacture. 1918 and the post-war period introduced, briefly, the manufacture of motor car parts, before the cartridge case factory became the stamping department of an enamelled steel hollow-ware plant - “Edward Curran & Co." was established.

The mid—twenties saw the introduction of oil-fired furnaces and the overcoming of metal "pickling" problems with a new, safer, enclosed plant. During the 1930s, the enamelled ware business grew, supplying both the UK and export markets. Meanwhile the Cardiff foundry was a model of innovation, a leader in the field.

In June I937, the rearmament scheme meant the recommencement of cartridge case manufacture. The foundry produced power presses, machine tools and all the castings needed for the many wartime contracts handled in the works. During the war, the Cardiff factory was host to three royal visits.

Edward Prince of Wales
During a Visit to the Curran Munitions Works in Cardiff

World War 2 photo of Edward Curran Engineering
The company employed 10000 people making Ammunition Shell Cases

Also in 1937 Curran was listed as an Exhibitor at the British Industries Fair. Silver Swallow, Chef, and Lilywhite Enamelled Ware, "In a wide variety of pleasing modern colours, in addition to the ever-popular white - designed by housewives for housewives."

By 1947, other branches of the Curran empire had extended to other parts of Cardiff, Ireland and as far as Canada. The Cardiff foundry was sold, but “Edward Curran Engineering Ltd." retained the hollow-ware division. Press lines for steel stamping produced everything from buckets & jugs to washbasins & baths, with tool making, laboratories and vitreous enamel production on site.
And so, to recent history.

In 1961 Edward Curran invested in a massive 1600 ton press to produce high quality steel baths and in 1972 began to manufacture vacuum formed acrylic baths.

In 1973, Currans, by then the leading manufacturer of steel baths, joined Reed Building Products Division, adding both steel and acrylic baths to the Twyfords range of sanitaryware, with washing machine drums an important sideline. 1985 saw its purchase by Caradon, with the absorption, in 1990, of Doulton acrylic baths from Cirencester.

In the Spring of 1997 the Hurman Street Works of Edward Curran was closed. The land was sold and used for housing.




 SOUTH AFRICA WORKS - Port Elizabeth, near Johannesburg 1962   

A new company, Twyfords (South Africa) (Pty.)Ltd., was formed for the purpose of manufacturing in South Africa, as a wholly owned subsidiary. In 1961, Alec Miller and Gordon Clarke went out to arrange the land purchase and building, which began later that year. In January 1962, Derek Yates flew out with an experienced production team consisting of Messrs Groom, Raftery, Bowdidge and Lockett.

Twyfords South Africa 1962




 INDIAN WORKS -  Bahadurgarh, near Delhi 1960   

After extensive survey of sites throughout 1960, land was bought at Bahadurgarh, near Delhi - where the climate was reasonable, and raw materials within easy reach in nearby Rajasthan. The foundations were cut for the Twyfords-designed factory in June 1961.

With a mission to revolutionise the sanitaryware market in India, Mr. Rajendra K. Somany, in collaboration with Twyfords Ltd. of UK, established Hindustan Twyfords.

Backed by innovative products, Hindustan Twyfords was the first company to introduce vitreous china ceramics in India. Keeping in mind the need to change the sanitation conditions in the country, his vision and goal found perfect harmony with his desire to do something for the social welfare of the nation as well. With this thought, enormous encouragement given by his family and with technical support provided by Twyfords, Mr. Somany founded the Bahadurgarh plant which commenced its production in 1962. (NEAR BUS STAND, DIST JHAJJAR, Bahadurgarh - 124507, Haryana, India)

Twyfords History Blog
Hindustan Twyfords, India,  1960

The company thrives today (Nov 2015) as Hindware Homes, part of HSIL Ltd, "The Company is the most respected sanitaryware manufacturer in India today. Our first manufacturing plant was established in the year 1962 with a technical collaboration with Twyford of UK. As of now we produce 12,000 pieces of premium sanitaryware ware and have a worth of $200 Million. The foundation pillars of brand 'Hindware' are Customer Satisfaction, Product Innovation and Quality Control, making us a a leader (prominent name) in the industry."
http://www.hindwarehomes.com/
http://www.hindwarehomes.com/manufacturing-facility.aspx
http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2012-05-18/news/31765860_1_hsil-container-glass-division-bahadurgarh

Bahadurgarh, known as the "Gateway of Haryana, Subdistrict/Tehsil, a city and a municipal council located in Jhajjar, a district in the state of Haryana, India. Bahadurgarh is approximately 2 km from Delhi (Tikri Border). It is also one of the major cities of National Capital Region.











 AUSTRALIAN WORKS - Broadmeadows, Melbourne, Victoria 1969   

In 1968, Harry Barclay found a 61 acre site at Broadmeadows, Melbourne - and three months after, Gordon Clarke (now the Company’s Chief Engineer) under took a preliminary survey and confirmed the deal on the land. Twyfords (Australia) Pty. was formed in the autumn, and building started the following April.  Australia proved to be somewhat over-produced and a difficult market to crack, but the Company was nevertheless aiming for profitability in three years. In fact, it was in the black in a little over two, and with the help of a second kiln installed in 1972, went on to become what was probably the most profitable sanitaryware factory on the Continent.


Twyfords Factory in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, Australia. Early 1970s
Twyfords Factory in Broadmeadows, Melbourne, Australia. Early 1970s
photo: Company PR shot





Photo : courtesy - Copyright National Archives of Australia
http://photos.naa.gov.au/photo/Default.aspx?id=5949314 

Broadmeadows is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 16 km north from Melbourne's central business district. Its local government area is the City of Hume. At the 2011 Census, Broadmeadows had a population of 10,578. The City hosted the road cycling event at the 1956 Summer Olympics. 


Broadmeadows is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia



 ALSAGER WORKS, Alsager, construction started in 1956   

The land was levelled, the roadways cut and the storm water and sewerage systems dug. This was all done by August 1956. By November, the building contractors, G. Percy Trentham (the same firm that had worked on the reconstruction) were able to set to on the factory proper, beginning with the sliphouse. The stack for the first kiln, Number Seven, was completed in June 1957, and the first of the buildings and making shops made ready. The sliphouse was operational by February 1958, and in that same month the kiln was lit. The second kiln, Number Eight, was firing just four months later, and at the end of June ‘58, the factory came into large scale production.  (from James Denley's History of Twyford)


Twyfords Alsager Ceramant Factory 1956



The 'Alsager Times' reported on 23rd August 1957

Good progress had been made with the new Vitreous China factory at Alsager. "We notice that Twyfords' new factory at Alsager is rapidly taking shape and that roofs are now on some of the buildings. It certainly looks a very handsome factory and far from detracting from the appearance of the district, we might say that it provides quite a smart new approach to the village from the North Staffordshire end. "

Twyfords Alsager - "Ready to Light Kiln" - Evening Sentinel 1957

Twyfords Alsager Factory 1957



Twyfords Alsager Factory 1960

Twyfords Alsager factory from the air - 1967
photo: courtesy Donald Parry


Twyfords Alsager Factory 


In the photo above, Munroe Blair (left) is standing in a field next to Twyfords 1956 factory. The picture was taken for the Manchester Guardian.  Munroe has the plans for a 66,000 square foot extension which was started in the early nineteen sixties and finished in August 1964. The gentleman with Munroe is Mr E A Bachelor Director of the CBCSM (Council of British Ceramic Sanitaryware Manufacturers - now the Bathroom Manufacturers Association). Mr. Bachelor was known as “Bach” throughout the industry.


Twyfords Alsager factory 1986
The year when Caradon bought the company

Twyfords Alsager factory from the air  1994

Twyford Bathrooms Training Centre  2000

Twyfords Alsager Factory from the air 2000



Twyfords Alsager Works demolition completed September 2016




2017 January  The Twyford Alsager factory from the air. Note the massive concrete floor plan with deep holes for storage arks, bottom middle. The NDC (National Distribution Centre is the large light grey cladded building on the left. The sales office and showroom building was the red brick building near the top just off to the left. The dark grey slab in front of this was the staff car park.

Twyford Alsager factory from the air
Photo source: Many thanks to www.alsagercomputers.co.uk  Date: January 2017