History

Charles Henry Parrott was born 1 May 1894 near Leek in Staffordshire and Arthur William Parrott was born 29 March 1890 at Pinner in Middlesex.

In 1911 Arthur William was working as a China and Glass Shop Assistant whilst his brother Charles was working as a Railway Clerk, both being boarders in Birmingham Sparkbrook. Both brothers served in the First World War, Charles in the Tank Corps and Arthur as a Gunner in the Royal Field Artillery. The brothers launched their earthenware business in Albert Street, Burslem, circa 1921, after Charles left the army in 1920.

The firm of Parrott & Company discontinued manufacturing wares shortly after the start of the Second World War.around 1940.possibly due to conscription of its employees.A precise date for when production finally ceased is not known so far but it seems some form of production continued into the early 1960s mainly decorating bought in blanks.

During the spring of 1939 the deteriorating international situation forced the British government under Neville Chamberlain to consider preparations for a  possible war against Nazi Germany. Plans for limited conscription applying to single men aged between 20 and 22 were given parliamentary approval in the Military Training Act in May 1939.   This required men to undertake six months’ military training, and some 240,000 registered for service. Then on the day Britain declared war on Germany, 3 September 1939, Parliament immediately passed a  more wide-reaching  measure.The National Service (Armed Forces) Act imposed conscription on all males aged between 18 and 41 who had to register for service. Those medically unfit were exempted, as were others in key industries and jobs such as baking, farming, medicine, and engineering.  

​The pottery was eventually absorbed into Burgess and Leigh around 1941 under the Wartime Concentration Scheme. [During the 20th Century, Burgess and Leigh became known as ‘Burleigh’].after the beginning of World War Two. They became a nucleus pottery at the outbreak of World War II, Parrot & Co was fairly small and so they ceased production, they made their pottery and they just run an office with basic staff to administer sales. Moulds, and patterns came to Burgess & Leighs premises and were used alongside their own shapes and patterns, with a production cost coming to  'Burgess & Leigh' after sales went out. The idea of this set up was to allow smaller companies to keep going during the war when staff shortages made full production difficult, factory workers that remained worked together. When a very different world emerged post war, few of these companies started back up on their own feet. Parrot & Co was one such example. The company did not merge it simply ceased to exist, other than in the moulds and patterns that remained with Burgess & Leigh to this day. After the war the business moved back to the Albert Street Pottery.

Parrott & Co original premises were purchased in 1950 by the Dudson Group who thereafter traded as J E Heath & Company, in the renamed Hobson Street.It appears that after the war the business of Parrott & Co. concentrated on decorating blanks made by others. Godden 'Encyclopaedia of British Pottery & Porcelain Marks' 1964 - records "The manufacture of pottery has been discontinued"

The business was known to be in operation, in some form, in 1960 - it was recorded in the 1960 Pottery Gazette Reference Book & Directory as a manufacturer of "dinner ware, tea ware, chambers, coffe ware, fruit or dessert sets, pudding basins, sandwich set, teapots (earthenware, decorated)" A. W. Parrott was recorded as the Proprietor. 

Charles retired then and moved to Ilfracombe. Arthur continued in the business.

​Little is known of the staff especially the designers. The woman who was chief of the office staff at Albert Street was called Ellen Ida Henshall - The manager of the works in the 30's was named Bently (Bentley).

As no factory records remain in so far as is known, only a few pattern names are known where printed on the items produced. Likewise nothing is known about the intended use of some items, who designed them and when they were manufactured. It is to be hoped that as a result of this web site more information will come forward. I would be grateful to hear from anyone who can assist. with any further information.

Charles Henry Parrott

Charles was born 1 May 1894 - died on 24 October 1965                     (Colourised photograph)

Arthur William Parrott

Arthur was born 29 March 1890 - died on 5 January 1959                      (Colourised photograph)

teapot makers

Photograph taken in 1920s​ - Taken from the Gladstone Pottery Museum Photographic Collection

Arthur William Parrott

Arthur was born 29 March 1890 - died on 5 January 1959                      (Colourised photograph)

Booklet Cover

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET reproduced by kind permission of Steve Birks who runs a large informative site on the Potteries (click to link)

Showroom

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Clay Making

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Mould Making

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET​ (Colourised photograph)

Casting Shop

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Plate Making​

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Dipping House

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Placing in Saggars​

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Placing inside Ovens

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET​ (Colourised photograph)

Bisque Warehouse

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Packing

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

Power House

PARROTT & CO BOOKLET (Colourised photograph)

previous research

Earlier research was undertaken by Phillip Parker, architect, as part of his degree course in 1985.

Phillip has made available his research which will appear on this site, duly accredited.

(Click on image to enlarge)

 

 

1938 factory fire

Staffordshire Sentinel 13 September 1938

 

1940 PIECE WORK SYSTEM

Evening Sentinel 7 November 1940

1940 regulations breach

Staffordshire Sentinel 23 April 1940

 

1939 register

The 1939 "war census" shows both Parrott brothers declaring themselves as an Earthenware Manufacturer..

National Registration Day was Friday September 29th 1939.

(Click on image to enlarge)