From The Neolithic To The Sea: A Journey From The Past To The Present
Falcon Works
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Staffordshire
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Poor
1891
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Falcon Works is located in Hanley, Stoke on Trent in Staffordshire. It was owned by J. H. Weatherby & Sons Ltd which was a family-run company founded in Tunstall in 1891 and moved to Hanley the following year.

Weatherby & Son used the Works as a manufacturing base for earthenware they then diversified into pottery making such items as toilet sets, vases, teapots, tableware, jugs, chamber pots and much more.

A bottle kiln was added to the works in 1906 which help modernise the works at the time and is now a listed building.

After World War I, Weatherby diversified again by supplying advertising ware to hotels and caterers at first, then to hospitals. The 1920's and 1930's saw experimentation with new matt glazes, with the introduction of art deco styles in their vases and tableware. 1934 saw the introduction of Weatherbys famous Woodpecker and Harvest Time tableware which is now sought after.

After World War II Weatherbys diversified again to produce collectibles. Although these did well competition was fierce, with rival companies producing fine figurines of animals and figures. Weatherby went in a different direction with a series of comical animals called Zookies. An advertising leaflet from 1957 read, `People who buy one, buy another and another and buy them for their friends too!' Later Weatherbys produced Toby Jugs, Gonks and even Daleks.

In the 1970's planning restrictions hindered the firms expansion and restricted investment into the company.

The end came in the year 2000 due to the high cost of pottery production in England. Its chairman, Christopher Weatherby, the great-great grandson of company founder John Henry Weatherby, blamed cut-throat competition in the hotel ware business for the firms decline. At its height the company employed 200, but the figure was down to 50 at the turn of the 2000 and stood at 10 when the company closed.

Mr Weatherby said: ‘‘We have decided to cease trading and are in the process of finishing off stock and things like that. Basically we've decided to close down before someone else forced us to – while we are solvent rather than insolvent.”

The Building was used by a Contemporary Art Gallery called Air Space in 2006. This arts organisation was to utilise some of the many derelict buildings in order to create a contemporary arts venue for professional artists as well as developing artists. The Art Gallery moved to a new venue in May 2007.

Early in 2012 the bottle kiln collapsed.