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.

W is for War (and Peace)

"Keep the Home Fires Burning" was a popular, if sentimental, song of WW1. For Maling, this tune held a practical message - keep the kilns burning to support the war effort. But, when skilled workers were encouraged to enlist voluntarily or, from January 1916, face conscription, who would keep the pottery going?

Maling drew up a list of trades which were certified exempt from military service: enginemen, stoker or boiler firemen over 25 years of age, slip makers, saggar makers and mould makers over 30 years of age. For those who did find themselves in front of a recruiting tribunal, a letter of support would be sent:

"It is necessary that we retain the services of this gentleman for the carrying on of our pottery, which consists of work for the following Government Departments - Admiralty, India Office, War Office and Food Office. Every department is depending on the other and since our work force has already been substantially reduced, to take another man could result in closure. We have repeatedly applied through the Labour Exchange, Staffordshire Advertiser and other papers for this class of men and completely failed."

Maling did survive and below are two pieces from the war years. See newsletter 12 for more details.

"Don't we pity the poor civilians sitting beside the fire?" - Oh! It's A Lovely War!

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