Douglas K Bailey

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Douglas K Bailey

Birthplace: Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Death: 1971 (70-71)
Immediate Family:

Son of William Bailey and Ellen Annie Bailey
Husband of Gladys Bailey
Father of Private User and Howard Bailey
Brother of William J E Bailey and Arnold Bailey
Half brother of Mary L Bailey and Ernest Bailey

Managed by: Robin John Lacey Gooding
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Douglas K Bailey

about some of his work :-


1872. Simon Fielding (born 1827) was employed on the Trentham Hall estate in Staffordshire owned by the Duke of Sutherland where he was an authority on dogs and poultry. His son, Abraham (born 1855), was apprenticed as a colour maker at the Blythe Colour Works. This factory was subsequently acquired by Simon Fielding and his son Abraham was put in charge. The company now traded as S. Fielding.

1878. Simon Fielding provided finance to start three pottery men on a manufacturing career. The business was situated at the Railway Pottery at Sutherland Street, Stoke trading both as Hackney, Kirkham & Company and F.Hackney & Company (names of the principal potters). The colour pigments were supplied by the Blythe Colour Mill.

1879/83. The Railway Pottery ran into difficulties but Abraham Fielding paid off the debts and became a potter himself not only running the warehouse and office side but even firing the ovens. Needing to devote more time to this venture, the Blythe Colour Mill was eventually sold to Pigott and Scarratt. The business expanded and new warehouses, workshops and kilns were added and new machinery was installed.

1884. On February 6th, fire swept through the now larger premises destroying much stock and machinery. However, the factory was quickly reconstructed and operating within two months.

1888. In May, a second fire completely destroyed buildings and stock and the factory was inoperable until August. This provided an opportunity for Abraham to completely re-design the ground plan and place the new buildings in a more effective arrangement to promote efficiency and maximise production.

1890. Modern equipment was installed and by 1891 the factory had seven of the largest kilns in the Potteries.

1892. Permission was sought and obtained to close Sutherland Street and absorb the road and properties into the factory site.

1905. Now five times the original size, S. Fielding & Co. became a limited company. Later this year, Simon Fielding died aged 78 and was succeeded by his son Abraham.

1911. Having used the name Crown Devon for a range of decorations for several years, the name of factory was changed from Railway Pottery to Devon Pottery in response to its popularity. In September, a third fire broke out in the painting and decorating shops, offices and warehouses.

1913. In April, King George V and Queen Mary visited Stoke-on-Trent and visited a number of potteries including the Devon Pottery.

1917. A gas-fired Dressler tunnel enamelling kiln was installed which had a capacity equal to 34 intermittent kilns and the weekly capacity was increased almost threefold.

1919. The Devon Pottery participated in training and technical education under the Pottery and Glass Trades Benevolent Institution.

1926. In April, a fourth fire broke out but was confined to the flint-grinding mill which was completely destroyed.

1927. Abraham Fielding suffered a heart attack but soon returned to work.

1932. On March 23rd, Abraham Fielding died. He was succeeded by his son, Alec Ross Fielding (born 1880).

1942. As part of the war effort, the Government placed restrictions on decorative wares intended for the home market.

1947. In February, Alec Ross Fielding died. He was succeeded by his son Reginald (born 1907).

1951. On May 16th, a fifth fire destroyed 44,000 square feet of floor space with the decorating, aerographing and printing shops, glost and biscuit warehouses, showrooms and offices being completely gutted. Large stocks of earthenware including a significant quantity of musical novelties were destroyed and the factory was out of commission for five months but the re-building work was not completed until 1957.

1963. Further modernisation was undertaken with two Litherland gas-fired kilns being installed. Part of the company was sold to Douglas Kitchener Bailey and Bailey became joint Managing Director with Reginald.

1964. Crown Devon took over rival earthenware manufacturer, Shorter & Sons Ltd.

1967. Reginald Fielding retires and Douglas Bailey acquires the whole company.

1971. In March Douglas Bailey died and Mrs Bailey took over the company.

1976. Mrs Bailey sold the company to The Archibald Bathgate Group, a firm of Accountants based in Liverpool.

1982. December 17th. After losing nearly half a million pounds in the previous two years, the Devon Pottery closed its gates for the last time.

1983/87. The works, blocks and cases were bought by the Caverswall China Company who transferred part of their business to the Devon Pottery. Caverswall were themselves acquired by Thomas Goode & Company and then sold as a going concern to Bullers plc. Thousands of Crown Devon and Shorter blocks and case moulds were sold by public auction following which the works were demolished.

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Douglas K Bailey's Timeline

June 1900
Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom

Births Dec 1901

Bailey Douglas Harry Wolstanton 6b 82
Births Jun 1900

Bailey Douglas Kitchener Stoke T. 6b 301

- 1913
Age 5
Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
January 1928
Age 70