Wetherby Pottery.

J H Weatherby and Sons was founded in Tunstall in 1891, the company then moved to what is known as the Falcon Works in Hanley in 1892.

It first made domestic ware such as basins and ewers (posh jugs), moving into tableware and giftware. Chairman, Christopher Weatherby, the great-great grandson of company founder J H Weatherby, blamed competition in the hotel ware business for the firm's decline.

At it's height the company employed 200, but the figure was down to 50 at the turn of 2000 and stood at 10 when the company closed.

Mr Weatherby said "we've decided to close down before someone else forced us to, while we are solvent rather than insolvent"

Mr Weatherby pointed to tough competition from home and abroad for the company's current problems. There was also a planning issue in the early 1970's which 'blighted' the firm and restricted investment into the company. The company finally closed its doors in April 2000.