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SylvaC

SylvaC was a trade name of Shaw & Copestake, a company founded by William Shaw and William Copestake in 1894 and based at the Sylvan Works in Longton, Staffordshire.

This partnership was dissolved six months into trading, in 1895, when William Copestake left the business. Richard Hull (I) then partnered with William Shaw and the business continued under their leadership.

Richard Hull (I) had a great influence on the company and their decorative wares were tremendously popular. Richard Hull (II) joined the firm in 1935 after the death of his father and by 1936 it became a limited company.

In 1938 they acquired Thomas Lawrence (Longton) Ltd of the Falcon Pottery, Longton. This purchase was assisted by the fact that Richard Hull (II) had married the great-niece of the founder of the Falcon Pottery.

The two companies operated independently of one another for nearly two decades, during which time a new factory was built opposite the old Shaw & Copestake site.

The move to new premises brought with it a gradual merger, and by 1964 Falcon Ware had ceased production.

The new factory was not only the beginning of a vast change in production techniques but also changes in the marketing of the products. Initially, the company was very successful, with products having been sent worldwide with 30% of production going abroad. Unfortunately, during the 1970s, there was a steady decline in output due to the recession and cheaper imports, and in May 1982 the company went into voluntary liquidation.

The Sylvan Works and equipment were sold to the North Midland Co-operative Society, who leased it to a group trading under the name of Longton Ceramics. This only lasted 18 months when the group was taken over by the United Co-operative Society, which ran it under the name of Crown Winsor (spelt without a ‘d’). They already owned the Windsor Pottery Works and the Crown Clarence Pottery Works, so the name is a combination of the two.

This venture was unsuccessful, and they only achieved five months of trading before going into liquidation in 1989.

The Sylvan Works was then sold to Portmeirion Potteries Ltd in 1991.

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