From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present

Crown Works

  • History
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Crown Works is located in Longton, Stoke on Trent. It used to be a pottery belonging to the Tams Group but now sits empty and disused.

John Tams was born in 1837 in Longton, Stoke on Trent. He was apprenticed into the pottery trade and eventually went into partnership with William Lowe in 1865. The company was set up as Tams & Lowe and worked out of St. Gregory's Pottery in the High Street of Longton. It was short lived as in 1873 they dissolved the partnership and when their separate ways. John bought Crown Works in Longton and specialised in manufacturing imperial measuring ware including mugs and other items for use in hotels and public houses. Glass was becoming more popular in pubs and strict government regulations meant he had to change produce, developing more ornamental items as well as plain earthenware.

John Tams had a successful business and he ran it until he retired in 1918 and died a year later.

The company prospered, at one time it was valued at £33 million. The company was expanding, going from one factory to two. Gerald Tams became production director in the 1960's and then chairman and director in 1984 when he led a buy out of the company. He helped the company expand to five factories in this time. In 1988, it was floated on the Unlisted Securities Market and then the Stock Exchange in 1995. Gerald Tams died in 1999 of stomach cancer and the company was taken over by his wife Angela Tams. The firm continued in business until early 2000 when Lloyds Bank demanded repayment of a loan. This forced the company to close with 730 jobs lost.

The pottery was saved by a management buy-out, and became Tams Group Limited. They bought rights to Tams and Royal Grafton and kept Crowns Works as well as the other four factories. Sadly this was not last and they finally closed, calling in the receivers in 2006.