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British Industrial History

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Biltons (1912)

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of London Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Telephone: Stoke-on-Trent 4238. Telegraphic Address: "Biltons, Stoke-on-Trent"

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Glazed Tile and Faience Fireplaces and Surrounds. (Stand Nos. B.813 and B.724)

1900 As Biltons Ltd.

1901 An advertisement describes the ranges produced as including jet, rockingham and samian wares as well as white earthenwares. At the time, these were products common to many other Staffordshire manufacturers.

1911 Biltons was acquired by Joseph Tellwright and became known as Biltons (1912) Ltd.

1912 As Biltons (1912) Ltd.

Pre-WWI. Specialised in manufacturing tea and coffee pots, jugs, kettles etc., and red floor tiles.

Post-WWI. After the war, the company produced a wider range of wares. As well as tablewares these included ornaments such as figures and 'grotesques', devotional wares and nursery wares for children.

1930s The manufacturing of floor tiles was replaced by glazed fireplace and wall-tile manufacture. Complete fireplaces were also produced.

1932 Tile production stopped and 100% of production was given over to domestic tableware. In addition, the number of shapes and designs being produced was rationalised to ensure economic viability.

WWII. The factory was closed down for the duration of the Second World War.

By the 1960s, earthenware goods and tiles were manufactured in equal proportions.

c.1965 New shapes, such as the stacking cup, were introduced along with new marketing and packaging methods such as carry-home display cartons and display racks for shops.

1976 Introduced the Stonehaven range of matching household co-ordinates. The range included saucepans, accessories such as bread bins, trays, storage jars and household linen.

By 1978, production was half a million pieces per week.

By 1979, 27 million pieces had been sold.

1980s The company allocated 16% of the factory's production to meet the demand for mugs. Biltons supplied mail order companies such as Littlewoods and G.U.S. as well as supermarkets and cash-and-carry businesses. The company suffered heavy losses in the early 1980s and, although profitability was restored following some redundancies, it seemed to be in the interests of the company to find a buyer.

1986 Bought by Coloroll Ceramics in June. The Biltons trade name continued in use as a distinctive marketing strength.

1990 Became part of Staffordshire Tableware following management buyout of Coloroll, in August.

1994 Put up for sale by Staffordshire Tableware in September.

1995 Management buyout from Staffordshire Tableware in July.

1998 In August it was bought by Dubelle Foundation (offshore investment trust) split into Stoke Potteries Ltd. (manufacturing); Stoke Potteries (Holdings) Ltd.; and Biltons Tableware 1998 Ltd. (sales).

1999 January, in voluntary liquidation.

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