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W.R. Midwinter Ltd was established at Bournes Bank in Burslem, Staffordshire in about 1910. After a period of expansion, the company moved to the Albion and Hadderidge Potteries on Navigation Road in Burslem.

In the late 1940s, after returning from five years in the Royal Air Force as a pilot, Roy Midwinter, son of the founder, began working for the firm. He started at the bottom and worked in various departments to gain a variety of experience. He even studied at the local technical college to gain a manager’s certificate.

In 1950, Roy Midwinter was made the Sales and Design Director, and in August of 1952, he went on a tour of the North American market. The wares he took were not considered suitable for export and he was met with a cold response from Colonel Keene, the buyer for Eaton’s stores in Canada. Keene advised him to visit the West Coast of America and study the work of contemporary American ceramic designers such as Eva Zeisel, Raymond Loewy, and Russell Wright.

The original Midwinter range, Stylecraft, was launched in 1953 and was decorated with many hand-painted and lithograph-printed designs. Jessie Tait, who joined the company in August of 1947, created many patterns adorning this range.

Subsequently, Midwinter developed other famous ranges, including the ‘Fashion’ shape, which was launched at the British Industries Fair in 1955.

These ranges, as well as patterns such as ‘Spanish Garden’, ‘Country Garden’ and ‘Sienna’, helped the company to grow at such a rate that in 1964 they acquired A. J. Wilkinson Ltd to assist with their expansion. However, after becoming over-stretched by production demands, and poor uptake of the MQ2 and Portobello ranges, they were taken over by J & G Meakin in 1968.

Within two years of Midwinter merging with J & G Meakin, both companies were taken over by The Wedgwood Group.

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