A to Z Anthology
As the Society no longer produces newsletters, we will post occasional items of interest here.
Topics will be chosen at random.
Your contributions are welcome.
E is for End of an Era - 2
"When the music's over, turn out the lights"
With a touch of understatement, paintress Margaret Robson recalls: "It was just like any other day. We all went in and did what we had to". But this was June 28th, 1963 - closing time.
Margaret was young enough to embark on a new career outside the pottery trade. Others had mixed fortunes. Maling were doing their very best to fix workers up with other employment, but it was proving difficult.
The hardest hit were the older craftsmen like Jimmy Gilbert, who had spent 48 years with the firm. A possibility of work in the trade only existed in Staffordshire, but for many, at their advancing years, they simply could not consider this.
John Routledge aged 73, who lived a few doors away from Jimmy, had worked on the gate for some 20 years and unlike a number of others had received two offers of a similar job.
Both Jimmy and John worked their final day at the pottery and found it to be a very sad day. Despite this, neither were bitter about their firm's decision and it was Jimmy who would have the last word: "We've all had to work hard, but they've been a grand company to work for".
The advertisement shown by the Newcastle Co-operative was used the same week that the pottery closed. A final opportunity for the public to purchase Maling at an extra low cost.
For more of the pottery's ups and downs see our History articles.
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