Glass Discussion & Research. NO IDENTIFICATION REQUESTS here please. > British & Irish Glass

Identify Stourbridge works and people...

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Probably recognition of the designs in the later images is feasible but getting some of the earlier ones will not be so easy. Perhaps someone will recognise a worker. I should think that at least two glassworks are covered but as the report was prepared by
Mr. G. W. Stuart (Stuart & Sons, Ltd.)
Mr. W. G. Riley (John Walsh Walsh, Ltd.)
Mr. E. M. Stuart (Stuart & Sons, Ltd.)
Mr. W. H. Aston (Stourbridge Glass Co., Ltd.)
Mr. W. Farquharson (John Walsh Walsh, Ltd.)
Mr. F. G. Gregory (Thos. Webb & Corbett, Ltd.)
Mr. S. Harvey (Harbridge Crystal Glass Co., Ltd.)
Mr. G. L. Hill (Stevens & Williams, Ltd.)
Mr. W. E. Cook (Stuart & Sons, Ltd.)
Mr. P. Guest (Thos. Webb & Corbett, Ltd.)
Dr. A. Kray (John Walsh Walsh, Ltd.)
Mr. K. Northwood (Stevens & Williams, Ltd.)
Mr. A. D. Price (Stourbridge Glass Co., Ltd.)
Mr. W. J. Wilson (James Powell & Sons (Whitefriars), Ltd.)
Lt.-Col. R. S. Williams-Thomas (Stevens & Williams, Ltd.)

It woud seem likely to have been one of those, but the report states 8 glassworks handblowing lead crystal remain in 1946, who could the others be? Webbs, Haden, Mullet & Haden, Amblecote and Brierley Hill? The reason it is only Stourbridge people was that the original instruction was to limit the report to that region. It was the team that decided it need to cover the whole country! I am of course irritated that they did not address Edinburgh Crystal directly but they did recommend "...a design research and training centre at Edinburgh." that had already been proposed by then. Which of course we all know was set up and highly successful it is too. Colin Terris for example!

Bernard C:
Frank — It depends on what the 8 meant.   If the 8 excluded WF, then, as you say, Webb and HMH look the most likely.   If it included WF, then the eighth was probably Webb.   Of course that doesn't mean that HMH wasn't producing cut glass, as, for example, at the time of the report they could have been sending the blanks out to cutting workshops, which could have excluded them from being counted into the 8.   I would imagine that backyard cutting workshops were fully employed at this time, making up for the lack of skilled staff caused by the war.

What a heavyweight and interesting set of names.   Further evidence, I believe, for the view that at senoir management level they all knew each other.   Is there any indication of Kray's position at Walsh?

Bernard C.  8)

Dr Kray sat on the production sub-committee. There were more impressive names, giving information to the committee.

The co-operation went wider than the UK as some of the committee took trips to the US and Sweden to compare the industries there with extensive reports giving a fascinating insight into different ways of working as well as attitudes.

The eight are I believe Stourbridge area, I am currently proof reading the whole book and will report back on this.

Interesting snippet

--- Quote ---Since just before the first world war 29 hand-blown factories have closed and only two new factories have opened, though to some extent this has been offset by increase in size of the remaining factories. Production on the whole, however, has diminished appreciably since 1910.
--- End quote ---

This next, just goes to show I should stop relying on my memory, it does not play fair anymore!

--- Quote ---Lead crystal glassware, domestic and fancy, is now made by eight firms in ten factories, six of which are in the Stourbridge area. The other factories are in Edinburgh, Birmingham, London and Tutbury. The firms which own the factories at Edinburgh and Tutbury each have a factory also at Stourbridge. All eight firms are incorporated as limited liability companies, two being public and the rest private companies.
--- End quote ---

However, for the photos, I think it unlikely (not impossible) that the Central Office of Information photographers would not have gone to multiple areas.

Walsh of course were Birmingham and WF London, Edinburgh was Webb as owner of E&L and Tutbury was Webbs too. So that leaves five 'firms' in Stourbridge. Or did Webb's sell one of those by 1946?
For Stourbridge six then: Stuart & Sons, Thos. Webb & Corbett, Harbridge Crystal, Webb's Crystal, Stourbridge Glass Co.,

Stevens & Williams are Brierley Hill, is that considered Stourbridge region.

Playing the numbers game Haden, Mullet & Haden are clearly out of the picture by 1946/7 see also,17776.0.html

Worker numbers

--- Quote ---...workers employed in the industry at the beginning of 1947 ... of these 617 were glasshouse workers and 507 decorators, compared with 707 and 947 in 1938.
--- End quote ---

and skipping all the details results in

--- Quote ---a deficiency of 195 glasshouse workers and 564 decorators.
--- End quote ---

The shortage of decorators later being blamed, in part, on the introduction in the 1930's of minimalist designs. It included a recommendation to increase the use of enamel for decoration - a trend that certainly happened after this point - although I consider that to have as much to do with the success of high volume enamelled ware in the US before WW2.


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