The Potter’s Holiday - an English Pottery Makers Tradition

Pottery worker holding a teacup and saucer made by Burleigh Pottery

Throughout the years workplaces have built up their own traditions of celebrating events, from summer BBQ's to Christmas jumper days there is always something firmly ingrained in the heart of the company.

For those in Stoke-on-Trent the tradition of Potter’s Holidays is a long standing tradition that many pottery factories have historically honoured. 

Historic image of Burleigh pottery workers in the Decorating and Banding section of the factory, taken in 1930

Potter’s holidays started over 300 years ago, when factories needed areas to be clear of staff to make repairs or improvements. This tradition is nearly as old as the pottery industry itself. It was always at a time outside of the school holidays, making trips away cheaper. This saw streets in Stoke-on-Trent empty out as families went to beachside favourites, such as Blackpool and Rhyl. 

1930s image of Burleigh Pottery workers sorting the ware

Many factories spoke out that giving their employees the chance to have this time off made them a happier workforce and that working with a force of 90% for 49 weeks of the year proved more productive than a force of 70% for 52 weeks of the year. 

A Pink Asiatic Pheasants Rice Bowl being placed on a shelf ready for firing

This is a tradition at the heart of Burleigh Pottery’s history and one we continue to honour.  Our work force work hard every day and come Christmas they deserve a well-earned break. This year is no different and on the 17th of December tools will be downed, Merry Christmas wishes will be exchanged and the factory will become still for once more. All ready to start again come the New Year. 

So from all of us at Burleigh Pottery very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

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