I am deeply indebted to Keith Bell for providing the following newspaper clippings. They resolve some of the question marks in R C Bell's chronology (as far as I know, Keith and R C aren't related).
As a reminder, R C Bell's (Tyneside Pottery, 1971) dates for the early North Shields partnerships are as follows:
Cornfoot, Colville & Co, 1829–c1832
Cornfoot, Patton & Co, c1832–1834
Cornfoot, Carr & Patton, 1834–1847
However, the first two newspaper clippings below suggest otherwise. According to them, the firm operated as Cornfoot, Carr & Co from 1832–1838. Assuming Bell's dates for the first partnership are correct, the pottery would have used the initials C. C. & Co from 1829–1838.
The first announcement was put in the Northumberland Advertiser on March 13th, 1832.
Published on February 24th, 1838, in the Newcastle Journal, a second announcement advises the public of the 'demise of Mr Cornfoot', and states that the firm will henceforth trade as Carr and Patton. R C Bell suggests 1847–1848 for that partnership. However, we can now adjust that to 1838–1848.
This third advert from Fordyce's Maritime Survey of the River Tyne, published in 1846, announces that Carr and Patton are now trading at the Phoenix Pottery, Ouseburn, as well as North Shields. This is a year earlier than stated in Bell's chronology. The announcement also helps us to understand why Patton continued to mark his wares 'JP Newcastle & North Shields' after pulling out of the North Shields Pottery (see my August 4th, blog post): he also had a brewery in North Shields.
So we can say now with a degree of certainty that the early North Shields partnerships were as follows:
Cornfoot, Colville & Co, 1829–1832
Cornfoot, Carr & Co, 1832–1838
Carr & Patton,1838–1848
The final article, from the Shields Daily News, Saturday March 24th, 1894, shows that pottery making ceased at North Shields in 1893, and not 1900 as often quoted.
An old North Shields industry, if not the oldest survivor of the many flourishing mercantile and manufacturing enterprises of North Shields, has been discontinued, and the final scene will be enacted when the plant will be dispersed under the hammer on the 30th instant. This will be an end to the manufacture of pottery in North Shields. But we are glad to know that the stock of pottery has been taken over by Mr King, a servant of Messrs John Carr & Sons, who will continue, in large show and warerooms, in part of the pottery premises, the sale of ware goods of all descriptions. It is a reassuring fact that Messrs Carr are continuing, and are making extensive and costly preparations for carrying on the manufacture of glazed bricks and other similar goods of a high class, and for which they have established a well deserved reputation. We wish them every success in this useful departure of manufacture, which is becoming more and more recognised and necessary to efficiently carry out really practical sanitation. This is one amongst many signs of success in the borough. It is natural to deplore the extinction of old industries, but when they are replaced by more extensive productions to keep pace with the march of progress, there is nothing to regret. It is a fact that more wages are earned in the borough than in what are designated as its “Palmy Days”, men are better employed, better paid and better housed than in the old days. The Low Lights Pottery has existed since the early years of the present century, and not only did a large business, but produced a style of manufactures which were a credit to the town and were deported to all parts of the known world. Many men who were engaged within its walls afterwards attained a great success and affluence in several walks of life and looked back to theLow Lights Pottery as the first rung in the ladder of their ascent. About forty years ago there were not less than twenty potteries on the Tyne and Wear. Now there are not more than half a dozen. The wedge like plot of ground occupied by Messrs Carr has had many viscissitudes. There existed a glass works in the misty past – there the original gas works were planted. There Messrs Tyzack and partners had their chain works and test, afterwards occupied by a shipbuilding firm. We cannot leave this interesting item in the history of old Shields without referring to the head of the firm, the late Mr John Carr, who, in addition to carrying on successfully several businesses, reared many sons who became expert businessmen and he also did the State some service in public life. Moreover he was a genial and large-hearted citizen.
Keith stumbled on the articles above while doing some family research, and they inspired him to write a page on the North Shields Pottery on Wikipedia. Imagine what a clear picture we'd have of the subject if everyone was as generous in sharing their findings. When one generation of collectors dies, they take their knowledge and experience with them, and the next generation has to start all over again. If you can add anything, please get in touch.
Stephen Smith lives in London, and is always happy to hear from other collectors. If you have an interesting collection of plaques, and are based in the UK, he will photograph them for you. Free advice given regarding selling and dispersal of a collection, or to those wishing to start one. Just get in touch...
This website is indebted to collectors, dealers and enthusiasts who have shared their knowledge or photos. In particular: Ian Holmes, Stephen Duckworth, Dick Henrywood, Norman Lowe, Keith Lovell, Donald H Ryan, Harold Crowder, Jack and Joyce Cockerill, Myrna Schkolne, Elinor Penna, Ian Sharp, Shauna Gregg at the Sunderland Museum, Keith Bell, Martyn Edgell, and Liz Denton.