James Sadler & Sons Ltd


Location and period of operation:

Sadler & Co




James Sadler & Sons



March 2000


Earthenware manufacturer at the Wellington and Central Potteries, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, England
  • James Sadler started business in 1882 as Sadler & Co at Reginald Street, Burslem.

  • Around 1899 the business moved to the Wellington Pottery in Newport Street, Burslem. At the same time his sons Edward, John and E. J. Sadler joined the business which was renamed to James Sadler & Sons Ltd. Output was predominantly teapots. 

  • In 1912 Edward Sadler purchased the small "dilapidated" and "antiquated" Fremington Art Pottery in Barnstable, Devon (Pottery Gazette January 1913) he continued this until 1915 when it was sold to C. H. Brannam Ltd of Barnstable.    

  • In 1920 the business was moved to the Central Pottery at Market Place, Burslem where John Sadler already had a separate business also producing teapots. The two family businesses were merged together and the works renamed to the Wellington & Central Potteries so as to retain both the factory names. 

  • James Sadler & Sons remained open during the Second World War, under the Wartime Concentration Scheme. In 1947 the company management was listed as - Managing Director: Edward Sadler, Works Manager: John Sadler, Sales Manager: E. J. Sadler. 

  • Edward Sadler died in 1955 and the business was continued by his brothers John Sadler (Works Director) and E. J. Sadler (Sales Director).

  • Later the business was continued by Edward Sadler's sons Peter and Neil Sadler.

  • Falling sales and increasing costs resulted in a major restructure launched in 1999 - as well as redesigning and re-branding, product lines were reduced from 850 to 340. This restructuring couldn't save the business and it was placed in receivership in March 2000. 

  • The Sadler business and name (but not the works), along with designs and archives were purchased by Churchill China who continued the Sadler name on teapots and ware for the collector's market. It appears that Churchill continued to produce collector's ware until around 2021. 


jump to:    1999 re-branding        2000 take over by Churchill




Sadler's Wellington and Central Potteries

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Teapots in Decorated and Plain..
Jet, Rockingham, Samian, Walnut, and Ivory Bodies.
the best house for above
Wellington Works: Newport St., Burslem

Advert - Pottery Gazette, February 1906


James Sadler & Sons, Ltd., Wellington Works, Newport street, Burslem, are manufacturers of teapots, they have a wide reputation for the variety and quality of their productions. 

The question of convenient utility has practically settled the form of the domestic teapot. The relative positions, and even the shapes of the handles and spouts, are almost uniform in all grades, from the most artistically decorated china ware down to the cheapest stoneware.

Still, manufacturers who make teapots their specialty, as Messrs. Sadler & Sons do are able to impart variety in the form of the body of the pot. That the company do this successfully may be seen from an inspection of their samples, which are on show at the rooms of their London representative, Mr. W. Asprey, 5 Hatton-garden E.C. 

They make a varied assortment of shapes in teapots in jet, Rockingham, Samian, Walnut, mottled, and Ivory bodies. One of their new shapes - the "Wellington" — is supplied in all these bodies, and in several sizes The "Regent" shape in Samian decorated and gilt, is a handsome pot. The Rockingham pots, in a number of shapes specially suitable to that ware, are good selling lines, as also are the black Rockingham pots. 

The company claim a specially hard body for these goods Teapots in ivory bodies, floral decorations and gilt, are good lines of a better class. 

The samples now on show fully maintain the reputation of the company for medium and cheap teapots of good quality.

The Pottery Gazette, 1st January 1907




Central Pottery, Market Place, Burslem
Manufacturer of Jet and Rockingham Teapots for all Markets
also white decorated teapots

Advert - Pottery Gazette, September 1908

John Sadler (one of the sons) had a separate business producing teapots at the Central Pottery, Market Place, Burslem. In 1920 the two family businesses were merged together at the Central Pottery which was renamed to the Wellington & Central Potteries. 




Constant in Ware, Progressive in Peace
Sadlers' teapots 

"In the war days, there were some things that never became second-best. Sadler's Teapots maintained their high quality, and the only thing to be regretted was that there weren't enough for all. Nut in the days to come, when there will be teapots for every-one, those who always want the best will say 'Sadler's' and insist on it"

Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review - August 1945

Sadlers' teapots for all markets

Pottery Gazette Reference Book - 1947

(the same advert appeared in the April 1944 Pottery Gazette and Glass Trade Review)

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during and just after the Second World War only utilitarian ware was 
allowed to be produced, under the Wartime Concentration Scheme.



Typical ware produced by James Sadler & Sons Ltd: 

"Sadler was primarily a specialist manufacturer of plan and fancy teapots, but the company also produced art pottery, kitchenware (under the 'Kleen' brand), vases, giftware and novelties. It also manufactured for the catering and hotel trade.   

Marks include the name or initials, and from c.1947 the same 'Sadler' on a banner below a crown."

A handbook of British Pottery Manufacturers - Michael Perry

An advert from 1939 states "In addition to the novelty teapots we specialize in... Samian & Mottled Teapots, Cafe & Hotel Ware, Coloured Glaze and Fancy Decorated Teapots"

By 1999 they had 750 product lines. 




James Sadler & Sons, Ltd., Burslem 

Pottery Gazette, April 1910


In 1909 Sadler introduced their "Latest specialty - the B.A. Tea Pots (patented) The B.A. TEAPOT comprises the best and simplest arrangement for brewing perfect tea ; no screws to adjust, no rubber or metal to spoil the flavour of the tea, and all the tea leaves are retained in the teapot."

They also had a patented Lock-Lid Teapot which allowed the teapot to be poured past the vertical without the lid falling off. 



this style is the 'Louis' shape but is generally known as the Cube-Shape - it was introduced around 1956  





Sadler produced teapots in 100s and 100s of designs and patterns  




ginger jars 

mint jar 

KLEEN Kitchen Ware jug 

teapots were by far the overwhelming share of the output of the Sadler factory,
however they did produce accompanying storage jars, novelty ware and their 1950s KLEEN kitchen ware range 





designs of the 1960s and 70s
the teapot on the left has the mark shown, the teapot on the right just has the cast-in SADLER ENGLAND  




Initials and marks used on ware for identification:

Godden (Encyclopaedia of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks) only records three marks for James Sadler:

J. S. S. B

1899 - c. 1937





c. 1937+


There were variations on these marks, especially for special and commemorative editions - these are self evident.

Many items have the Sadler name cast-in, this cut down on costs as the marking was produced when the ware was cast.  


J. S. S. B.

 Godden records this printed or impressed mark as 1899-c. 1937

the initials JSSB stand for James Sadler & Sons, Burslem






1937 +







includes the printed mark c.1947+

many items have the Sadler name cast-in, with and without other printed marks




Made in England

c. 1947+

Fine Bone China
Made in England

'Wellington' is likely to be the pattern/style name

this mark likely to be after the take-over by Churchill China in 2000 as Sadler were an earthenware manufacturer




James Sadler & Sons Ltd
Centenary Teapot
to commemorate 100 years 
of manufacturing fine 
English teapots


style of mark likely introduced in the centenary year 1892

1982 +



Sadler - 1999 re-branding: 

Falling sales and increasing costs resulted in a major restructure launched in 1999 - as well as redesigning and re-branding, product lines were reduced from 850 to 340. 

A new corporate logo, brand identity and internet presence was launched.

Sadler made a range of ware for sale at the 2000 Millennium Dome Experience at Greenwich, London.

The workforce had dwindled over the years from 500 to 140 and under the restructure was trimmed by half to 70 and "In order to try to remain competitive,  some production [was] outsourced overseas".



style of mark introduced in 1999 as part of the Sadler's re-branding exercise 

James Sadler
Historic Royal Palaces
Kensington Palace

Made in India

"In order to try to remain competitive, 
some production had been outsourced overseas"



Sadler made a range of ware for sale at the 2000 Millennium Dome Experience 
at Greenwich, London


Specially made for the Millennium Dome
by James Sadler




From the 1999 Sadler's web site, as part of the brand re-launch: 

James Sadler was founded in 1882, and is one of the leading manufacturers of teapots in the UK. It all began with James Sadler, who built a factory in Burslem at the heart of the ceramic industry in Stoke-on-Trent, and made a name for himself by making fine earthenware teapots. He soon became famous, and a James Sadler teapot became synonymous with quality and good taste.

The first teapots were made using a red clay with a dark brown glazed surface. The Rockingham Brown, or 'Brown Betty' as it is affectionately known, is still in production today using a more elegant, less utilitarian, white clay. From these beginnings, the company has flourished and grown to the size it is today.

It is an encouraging thought that the original James Sadler, whose great-grandson is the current chairman, would have approved of the diversity and design of the range today. His vision and commitment to understanding what the customer really wanted is the foundation on which the company was built, and is our philosophy today.

The rapid growth of the ceramic industry in the nineteenth century brought prosperity to Staffordshire, and the world passion for English pottery in the middle of this century, meant that James Sadler products very quickly became world famous. You can find our ranges on sale in over 100 countries around the world, from the USA to Australia, and from Russia to Brazil!

We are proud of our history and our commitment to the future. Remember, if it doesn't have the James Sadler mark, it isn't a James Sadler teapot!




Sentinel Newspaper article, 17th February 1999, Andy Stanistreet

Big makeover for next millennium

A Stoke-on-Trent pottery firm has been given a makeover to spearhead a new production and sales drive into the next century.

For the first time in 117 years, the family-owned firm of James Sadler has been given a new corporate logo and brand identity.

It has also slashed its product total, introduced new ranges over and above its traditional ceramic teapot production and re-targeted its customer base.
The moves come after the company suffered an estimated 15 per cent drop in sales last year. They are aimed at rebuilding the Burslem company for the 21st century, with consumer awareness and lifestyle solutions being the key to success.

Up until last October, James Sadler produced around 850 different designs, mostly teapots. Under its new tighter regime, it now produces a total of 340 items, including plates, cups and saucers. 160 of the items are either new designs or refreshed older ones which use contemporary colours or new surface treatments.

Design and marketing director Richard Eagleton said: 

‘"It was the classic problem, if a design sold even a few a year we were afraid to take anything out."

‘"We had a massive range, some were stars, but others were feeling their age and so we rationalised, we launched new designs, accessories and limited editions to give a breadth of product that the firm and its customers never had before.''

The new James Sadler brand is also being highlighted to consumers through a dedicated marketing campaign. The company's traditional crown has been updated and kept, but it is now placed on a square copper background with contemporary lettering in white.

Mr Eagleton added: 

"‘We are becoming a consumer brand, everything we have done since October has been customer focused. The brand will be clearly displayed on all our wares unlike in the past to boost consumer awareness and brand loyalty. We have been suffering like everybody else, but we are now aggressively attacking the market for the millennium.''

The family name of the firm is also expected to add its weight in marketing the new ranges. Store events, product signings and collectors' evenings are set to be hosted throughout the world by current managing director Mr. Neil Sadler, the great-grandson of the founder of the business.

The new brand and products were launched at the Spring Fair in Birmingham last week and are currently on display at the Frankfurt Trade Fair.

James Sadler currently exports around half its wares abroad, with its key markets being North America and Europe.

PICTURED: Sadler's design and marketing director Richard Eagleton with some of the new ware.




Sentinel Newspaper article, 16th March 1999

Ambassador for China

Business profile: Neil Sadler by Andy Stanistreet

One of the pottery industry's leading lights has taken on a new role 
which will see him jetting across the globe

 Quiet, reserved and traditional — the exclusive Potters' Club in Stoke was an ideal place to meet Neil Sadler.
The man has an aura of genteel confidence about him, a languid air which exudes charm and friendliness.
Yet his laid-back attitude hides a sharp brain, a forward-looking business attitude and a practical approach to company policy.
What better person to be the new roving ambassador for a century-old family-owned firm now changing its style for the millennium?


Neil was born into the ceramics industry. His father Eddie ran Burslem-based teapot manufacturers James Sadler and Son with his uncle, John Sadler. As soon as he was able to walk he was taken on tours of the factory on Saturday mornings, was introduced to high-powered sales representatives and directors from both the UK and abroad and was ‘adopted' by workers only too keen to let him try his budding skills at painting pots and making clay models.

But his early introduction into the world of trade and commerce did not end when the factory closed its doors.

He occupied a privileged place at the family dinner table. Because of the difficulty of long distance travel in the late 1940s and early 1950s, buyers from North America and Australia frequently stayed in the UK for weeks on end. They were invited to the family home in Acton near Newcastle for evening meals and business discussions as a matter of course.

"‘I cannot really recall ever taking much part in the discussions yet they were always part of my life. I remember I was always in trouble for fidgeting during the meals."

"Even so, meeting senior businessmen as a matter of course right from an early age to me was nothing special, yet it helped me from boyhood to build up a wider picture of the business world almost unconsciously.''

Aged eight Neil was sent to Mostyn House prep school on the Wirral. Aged 12 he was sent to Stowe public school in Buckinghamshire, where he continued his passion for games and took a particular interest in geography and languages.

In his spare time he watched motor races at nearby Silverstone, often begging paddock tickets to watch Stirling Moss and Mike Hawthorn speed round the circuit.

It was also at Stowe that he finally accepted he would one day become a prime mover in the future of James Sadler.
His father was frequently away from home for weeks on end, travelling to North America by liner to sell company products.

"I remember going to Southampton docks to see him return from a journey on the Queen Mary. I went on board the ship and the size of it left me awestruck.

"It was enormous and very grand. I went around my father's cabin and saw the luxury and thought then I would love to do the same as him. I wanted to travel.

"I did not see any downsides to being away from home for weeks, it all seemed like an adventure.''

He left Stowe aged 18 and immediately started a course at Stoke Technical College for a diploma in ceramic technology.

"By this time it was just assumed by my family and myself that like by elder brother Peter, who is now chairman, I would be going into the family business.''

For the next three years he learned the industry from the ground up — and, unsurprisingly, found himself doing his work experience at James Sadler.

"I particularly remember the sliphouse. I was covered in slip from head to toe from 8am until late at night and it was incredibly hard work heaving clay about. I had also been ordered by my mother never to return home wearing my filthy work clothes so I always had to wash and change before I even got home."

Outside work, Neil, the proud owner of a Mini bought for him by his father, spent his evenings at a jazz club in Cobridge and frequented the George Hotel in Burslem with friends, both from work and college. He also renewed a childhood friendship with Judi Day, who later became his wife.

After college he returned to James Sadler and became a management trainee, learning the ropes anew. 

"In a way I was a gofer, but I came up with new ideas and new designs and gradually worked my way in.

"I also started to become more sales-orientated and went around with sales reps throughout Britain to shows. I felt like a million dollars when somebody placed an order for my own designs on display.''

In 1968 he made his first field sales trip to New York and Canada. It was everything he had hoped for and longed for.

"Everything was fascinating and on such a large scale in America. There was more choice, bigger cars, huge distances to be covered. When I got back to Stoke it seemed like a backwater.''

Every year since then Neil, who was soon afterwards made sales director, has travelled abroad.
He's been on sales trips to China, the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan and many more nations selling Sadler's goods.

"I get a buzz out of selling things and love travelling, even though it's always nice to come home. You do have to think on your feet to get the best out of them, but that is all part of the challenge.''

But earlier this year it was decided his role with the company would change. James Sadler, suffering from the effects of the strong pound, ageing products and a lack of public knowledge about its ranges, decided to launch itself big style into the millennium.

It scrapped hundreds of products, developed or revamped 160 new designs, altered its branding and launched a full-scale attack to get high profile consumer awareness of its collectability, tradition and quality on top of its already strong trade following.

And Neil Sadler — the fourth generation of the founder of the firm — is to become the ambassador of the company, spearheading the initiative throughout the world. Although he's already travelled hundreds of thousands of miles around the globe, very few of his sales trips have been to actually meet the buying public.

Now he will be responsible for organising a packed diary of engagements including store events and signings, TV and radio interviews, and jetting across to the far East and Australia to meet collectors and new customers. It is a challenge he relishes.

"It will be quite an exciting role. Like it or not, I am part of the company's history and can give depth and tradition to our products because of my heritage. 

"I enjoy meeting people and find most collectors delightful and fully expect to be in demand as ‘the man who makes the teapots' in the future.''

He lives with his wife and their two daughters near Newcastle.




Sentinel Newspaper article, 17th September 1999, Michael Howard

Millennium tonic for pottery companies

Millennium ware is helping provide pottery companies with a welcome boost in orders as collectors rush to mark the event.

Limited-edition designs and complete ranges are being sold quicker than expected and teapot producer James Sadler has followed Wedgwood in announcing a place in London's Millennium Dome.
The Burslem company has been chosen by Typhoo to produce a new pot for the company's new "millennium blend'' tea.

The pot was produced together with design guru Robin Levien and uses a nylon filter to hold the leaves which can then be lifted out to stop the drink stewing.

It will be in use in Typhoo's cafe in the dome and on sale in the dome shop, but a much larger number of orders is likely to come when it goes on sale in all 130 branches of Whittard's tea and coffee shops as a millennium teapot.

Managing director Richard Eagleton said: 

"Typhoo scoured the world for the ultimate tea-making machine and we are very pleased they eventually settled on us.

"It will be very heavily promoted by them and we expect it to form a significant part of our production next year.''



Ty·phoo t·fresh Teapot

"James Sadler, British manufacturer of contemporary homewares, in partnership with Typhoo has created the teapot for the 3rd Millennium. 

The t·fresh teapot is designed by Robin Levien, Royal Designer for Industry. Using the Chatsford® filter, which has been chosen as the ultimate tea brewing system, with its unique mesh infuser allowing the tea to circulate freely and its ability to be removed to prevent stewing."




Sadler - 2000 collapse and take over by Churchill: 

The 1999 re-branding was not sufficient to turn the things around and the company experienced a difficult trading period during which the they lost significant sales from Eastern Europe.

  • This restructuring couldn't save the business and it was placed in receivership in March 2000. 

  • In April 2000 Sadler business and name (but not the works), along with designs and archives were purchased by Churchill China who continued the Sadler name on teapots and ware for the collector's market. 

  • Churchill kept the James Sadler brand as a separate entity, although manufacturing was transferred to the Churchill factory at the group's Alexander site in Cobridge.

  • Out of the remaining 70 people finally employed as Sadler's in Burslem only around 15 were retained by Churchill to maintain some knowledge and continuity with the Sadler brand.  

  • It appears that Churchill continued to produce collector's ware under the Sadler brand-name until around 2021. 




Sentinel Newspaper article, 2nd March 2000, Business Editor Michael Litchfield

Trouble brews for Sadler’s teapots

The head of the world's most famous teapot pottery firm, based in Burslem for more than 100 years, was today refusing to deny rumours that his family-run empire was on the brink of receivership.
The 140 workers of James Sadler and Sons, who are aware of the company's problems, face an uncertain future.

Chairman Peter Sadler said today: ‘‘James Sadler and Sons is still trading, full-stop. If there is any change in the future, a statement will be made.''
When asked to categorically deny the rumours running through the industry, he said: ‘‘I do not comment on rumour.''

If Sadler does go into receivership, it will be the second great family-run Stoke-on-Trent pottery company to crash within a fortnight, following quickly on the heels of Longton-based John Tams Group.

Sadler has been suffering from the strong pound, ageing products and a lack of public knowledge about its ranges. In a desperate fight for survival, it scrapped hundreds of products, developed or revamped 160 new designs, altered its branding and launched a full-scale counter-offensive to try to achieve high-profile consumer awareness.

Neil Sadler, aged 56, was last year made a globetrotting ambassador, with the brief to put the company firmly back on the world industrial map. The fourth generation family member arranged store events, TV and radio interviews. In between, he jetted around the world, meeting collectors and potential new customers.

At the time he said: ‘‘Like it or not, I am part of the company's history and can give depth and tradition to our products because of my heritage.''

Two weeks ago former chairman Edward Sadler died at the age of 89. That same day he had dictated letters at the factory.

In recent years, Sadler has exported ware to dozens of countries, with an overall turnover of more than £4 million.

Peter Sadler, aged 58, who had been running the company with brother Neil, said the firm had been forced to change direction ‘‘dramatically'' since their father's era at the helm

In order to try to remain competitive, some production had been outsourced overseas. The workforce had dwindled over the years from 500 to 140.

In recent times, the company had been producing 10,000 teapots a week in Burslem.

Mr Sadler's son, Matthew, aged 25, who has been in charge of imports, was hoping to become chairman one day and keep the family tradition alive.

By early this week the industry was awash with rumours of Sadler going into receivership. Two Sadler suppliers called The Sentinel to say they had "blacklisted'' the company because "the word in the industry'' was that Sadler's would be in receivership by Thursday.




Sentinel Newspaper article, 6th March 2000, Business Editor Michael Litchfield

Jobs threat as pottery goes into receivership

A total of 140 workers at specialist teapot manufacturer James Sadler and Sons Ltd face an uncertain future after it went into administrative receivership today.

Joseph Atkinson, corporate recovery partner of Deloitte and Touche in Birmingham, said: 

"There are parties that have expressed interest in the business and even at this early stage, we are hopeful that a going concern sale might be achieved.''

The company's freehold factory is based in the centre of Burslem. Founded in 1882, it has been exporting to all parts of the world.

Only last Thursday, The Sentinel reported that Sadler's was on the brink of becoming the second great family-run Stoke-on-Trent pottery company to crash into receivership within a fortnight, following hot on the heels of Longton-based John Tams Group.

The receivers' statement continued today: 

"The appointment follows a difficult trading period during which the company lost significant sales from Eastern Europe.''

It is understood that today's action was prompted by Sadler's bank.

Helping Mr Atkinson with the administration will be his partner Andrew Peters. They will be working closely with the current Sadler management team to keep the company trading. No jobs are likely to be lost until the whole financial position has been reviewed.

The company has been suffering from a strong pound, ageing products and a lack of public knowledge about its ranges.

In a desperate fight for survival, it scrapped hundreds of products, developed or revamped 160 new designs, and altered its branding. The company's annual turnover in recent years has been in excess of £4 million.

Peter Sadler, aged 58, who has been running the company with brother Neil, said the firm had been forced to change direction ‘‘dramatically'' since their father's era at the helm.

In order to try to remain competitive, some production had been outsourced overseas.




Sentinel Newspaper article, 5th April 2000, Business Reporter Stephen Houghton 

Churchill's show of confidence by buying Sadler


Churchill China has signalled confidence in its future by buying the name of failed Potteries rival James Sadler and Sons.

Churchill announced today it has purchased the right to use the historic teapot company's brand-name, designs and archives, along with some product lines and stock.

The move, which comes after James Sadler and Sons controversially went into receivership, is expected to lead to Churchill employing up to 15 of the firm's 70 remaining staff.

Industry experts today pointed to the purchase as a sign of confidence by Churchill after rival Steelite International bought a 7.1 per cent stake in the company.

Churchill Dining-In sales and marketing director Simon Bell believes the move could lead to a massive boost in turnover and help secure the future of its 1,300 workers. He said: 

"We believe that with the expertise our team has got in sales and marketing we can bring the brand up considerably from what it has been. 

"The customer base of James Sadler has been massively supportive to the receiver and when they found out about Churchill taking over, they were very pleased. We anticipate it will add at least £1million in sales to our business, and we are hoping for considerably more as we invest in the brand.''

Mr Bell confirmed the company was keen to compete in the collectors' market, which made Sadler's archives particularly valuable. He also stressed Churchill intends to operate the James Sadler brand as a separate entity, although its activities will be 'absorbed' at the group's Alexander site in Cobridge.

The factory, one of four owned by Churchill in the Potteries, has a purpose-built casting facility.
Churchill managing director Andrew Roper said: 

‘"Basically we're purchasing the intellectual property rights to make James Sadler products ourselves.

"If there are companies around we can snap up, it would be daft not to, particularly as we've got the production facilities to do so.''

Mr Roper pointed out the company had made "one or two'" purchases in the past, including its Marlborough works from the receiver of Alfred Meakin in 1979.

This week's sale, for an undisclosed sum, does not include the James Sadler and Sons building in Burslem.

However, telephone calls to the factory were today being fielded by a representative from Churchill China. Mr Bell explained this was to make the current situation clear to callers.

James Sadler and Sons, which has been trading since 1882, has been run by administrative receivers Deloitte and Touche for the past month.

Chairman Peter Sadler sparked a storm of controversy by blaming his firm's failure on cheap foreign imports, while at the same time running a business importing products from the Far East. Mr Sadler, who is chairman of James Sadler Imports Limited and recently admitted plans to set up an import facility in Newcastle, was today unavailable for comment.

Deloitte and Touche confirmed James Sadler and Sons' Burslem-based workforce has already been trimmed by half to 70, meaning Churchill's move will leave a further 55 facing the dole.

Corporate recovery partner Joseph Atkinson confirmed his firm would ensure existing orders were met, but said: "The workforce has been reduced from 140 to 70 and further redundancies are likely.''

The Sentinel reported this week that Steelite International had bought a 7.1 per cent stake in Churchill China, which is worth around £12.5million.
The purchase sparked fears that Steelite could be poised for a takeover - a move strenuously denied by Churchill and its workers.

Richard Platt, of Hanley-based stockbroker Pope and Sons, today claimed the purchase of James Sadler and Sons' name was unlikely to effect the situation.

Mr Platt explained a takeover did not appear imminent, and that companies were not valued purely on their assets but on their profitability. He said: 

"I would have thought that to anyone analysing the business today, it wouldn't make a substantial difference to the valuation.

"At the end of the day, it is whether a company can use its assets to produce more profit.''

Kevin Farrell, chief executive of the British Ceramics Confederation, agreed Churchill's purchase of the brand-name was a sign of confidence. He said: 

"I'm very pleased that the name and some of the products will be perpetuated.

‘‘Looking at the industry over the long run, there has been a trend towards consolidation.

"Also, where companies have ceased trading and have a particular product, it is not unusual for someone to recognise that. 

"Churchill China's track record once they have bought assets or taken over companies has been extremely good.''


PICTURED: Churchill's Alexander Pottery, Cobridge, where the Sadler products will be made



commemorative ware produced by Churchill with the James Sadler brand name


Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks