March 1, 1906
Extract from "The
Longton Times and Echo" September 1905
Charles Allerton & Sons,
Park Works, Longton, Staffordshire, England.
This is an old-established firm of potters, the business having been founded some seventy-four years back by the late Mr. Charles Allerton, of whom the present proprietors are grandsons.
For many years the firm commanded a fairly large trade, chiefly in the British Isles, and also, later on, in a somewhat lesser degree, in the American market; but in the "seventies" the continental markets were catered for, and at the Paris Exhibition, 1878, when honours were more sparingly distributed than they are to-day, the firm obtained a medal for the general excellence of their exhibits.
Coming to more recent times, the present proprietors were not slow in grasping the fact that to keep in the front rank of potters - and also to keep pace with their growing business - extensive alterations and additions must be made to the works. Therefore the old buildings were renovated, new buildings added, and a large amount of up-to-date machinery introduced, so that to-day the works is one of the largest and most modernised manufactories in the Staffordshire Potteries.
The necessary "ginger" was not wanting at the commercial end of the business, for in addition to maintaining their position in those centres where they already held sway, new markets were sought and well catered for, and at the present time the "Allerton" wares are to be found in most of the crockery stores of the world. The firm have been fortunate in securing the services of first-class representatives both at home and abroad. In New York their interests are extremely well looked after by Messrs. Maddock & Miller, 53, Barclay-street, with whom are associated some of the cream of American crockery representatives; and this fortunate situation is backed up by a personal visit to the Longton factory each spring by Mr. John J. Miller (the managing partner of Maddock & Miller), who takes great care in preparing samples of new goods suitable to the American taste. The firm have also done their part by a gradual improvement in their productions, and are now sending weekly shipments to America of an exceptionally fine line of semi-porcelain in numerous high-class decorations, accompanied by shipments of lustre and other specialities. Maddock & Miller have also at their New York showrooms a fine range of "Allerton" china samples - a line which is "catching the eye" of the American public, which only goes to prove that the Americans know a good thing when they see it.
In Canada the firm are well served by Mr. E. W. Klotz, Wellington-street West, Toronto, a gentleman well-known in the Canadian crockery trade. Mr. Klotz also has the co-operation of Mr. H. J. Boyd. 137, Bannatyne-avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, who finds a good space in his extensive showrooms for a collection of "Allerton" samples.
For the Australian and New Zealand markets the firm give control of their various lines to Messrs. Ernest S. Barter & Co 257, George-street, Sydney, N.S.W., and they have established three sub-agencies and showrooms in Courier-buildings, Brisbane; Apollo-chambers, 326, Flinders-lane, Melbourne; and at 9, Harris-street, Wellington, New Zealand.
Mr. Barter recently paid a visit to Park Works, and returned to Sydney well satisfied with what he heard and saw at the factory.
In Paris the firm are represented for their china line of goods only by Messrs. E. Val & Co., 218, Faubourg St. Martin - an enterprising business house who are gradually increasing the sale of "Allerton" china with the continental buyers. For their continental trade in semi-porcelain and specialities the firm preserve an open market.
For the South African market the firm have a large range of samples on show at 22, Andersonís-buildings, Long-street, Cape Town, where intending buyers will find a very fine collection of saleable china and other goods.
Coming to the home market, the firmís London showrooms are at 7, Ely-place, E.C., where buyers will find one of the largest and best selections of china tea-set samples in or out of London, and the firm are justly proud of the fact that not only have they been frequently complimented by some of the largest buyers in London, but have also had compliments extended to them by some of their competitors on their remarkably fine show of samples in the London rooms. The representative for London and the South Coast is Mr. Arthur W. Tinsley, who is well known for the energy he displays in pushing the sale of "Allerton" wares, and this, combined with an amiable disposition, has enabled Mr. Tinsley to build up a sound and increasing connection for the firm on the ground under his control.
For the large provincial centres and country generally, the firm have an excellent representative in Mr. Josiah Lowe, who is usually accompanied by his "family" of seven or eight large casks of samples.
The firm enjoy a very high standing in the home market; a fair share of the credit for this is due to the gentlemanly manner in which Mr. Lowe conducts the firmís business in the country, and the balance of the credit is due to the firm for sticking at no obstacle to oblige their customers in every possible way, and incidentally also for their very numerous productions which of late years have reached a high standard of perfection.
Of recent years the firm have obtained a good foothold in the antique shops of the world; the success of this being brought about by the firm making a good many shapes in useful and ornamental articles which have been made by them from 1831 onwards.
It is an interesting fact that the firm have several employees who have been in their service for fifty years, and they have a manager of one of the departments who came to the works in May, 1844 - a matter of 61 years ago - and who is still in active service.
The firm believe in being on good terms with their employees, who are the chief cause of success or otherwise of a manufacturing business; and very few disputes take place but what are settled to the satisfaction of both parties after a fair hearing of both sides of the question, which is as it should be.