Fryer and Son (Ltd)
Location and period of operation:
James Fryer operating from 1920 as a decorator of whiteware blanks brought in from local factories
From 1945 as an earthenware manufacturer at Well Street, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent
1920 to 1931
James Fryer Senior (born 1899, Tunstall) originally worked in the mining/engineering business before lying about his age and enlisting in the army during World War One.
On his return he again worked as a mining engineer and married Mercy Jones the daughter of a local pottery manufacturer. After marriage he borrowed money from his family and started as a market trader of pottery he bought wholesale from local factories.
In 1920 he founded a small factory at the Adams factory on Furlong Road, Tunstall buying whiteware and decorating it.
1931 to 1939
The business at the Adams factory had flourished so larger premises were sought and found at the Oldcourt Works, Well Street, Tunstall
Again whiteware was shipped in for decorating and nothing was actually manufactured.
1939 to 1945
Production was halted during WWII whilst the factory was used for war storage
1945 to 1954
Name changed to J. Fryer and Son in 1945.
From 1945 pottery was actually produced although some whiteware was still shipped in for decorating.
It was in the early 1950's that there was a programme of streetrenaming in Stoke-on-Trent - Well Street was renamed to Roundwell Street and Cross Street was renamed to Ouldcourt Street.
1955 to 1998
Name changed to J. Fryer Ltd and the Oldcourt name came into use.
From 1955 whiteware was no longer brought in and all items were manufactured on the premises.
In 1960 the directors were listed as J. Fryer, J. Fryer Jnr., and M. Fryer. (Pottery Gazette Reference Book & Directory)
James Fryer senior died in 1970 and the business went to his sons James and John and in turn to there sons also James and John.
J. Fryer Ltd was sold in 1998.
Cortman Ltd purchased part of the business in 1998 and production continued at the Crownford Works, Tunstall.
LJB Ceramics also purchased part of J. Fryer Ltd in 1998 and production using the Oldcourt name continued accompanied by a stamp of Lorna Baileys signature.
most of the above information comes from an article in 2006 by David Walters
ware decorated by J Fryer on blanks supplied by Alfred Meakin
floral lusterware jug
Marks used on ware for identification:
J. Fryer & Son
Well St. Works
the Fryer mark is stamped over the Meakin mark
Name changed to J. Fryer and Son in 1945
From 1945 pottery was actually produced although some whiteware was still shipped in for decorating
this is an example of Fryer decorating on an Alfred Meakin whiteware blacnk
Fryer & Son
Fryer & Son
Fryer & Son
the handpainted marks were made
by the people adding
the decoration - it was a way of identifying the
painter as a form of quality control
J Fryer Ltd
marks with J. Fryer Ltd are 1955 onward
photo of the Oldcourt Works
1967 OS map showing the Oldcourt Works, Tunstall
It was in the early 1950's that there was a programme of streetrenaming in Stoke-on-Trent
- Well Street was renamed to Roundwell Street and Cross Street was renamed to Ouldcourt Street.
Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks