THE POTBANK DICTIONARY  -  A POTTERY GLOSSARY - the terms used in the pottery industry of North Staffordshire can be utterly confusing! This Potbank Dictionary helps explain them.  It also lists some Potteries dialect words. Enjoy the entire dictionary but for a quick look at some of the most befuddling words try here> first.  Or have fun with the Potbank Wordsearch Game here>
There is a small piece of Stoke-on-Trent in every home of the UK.  "Familiar things like the vessels comprised by dinner, breakfast and tea services would be there but so too would many unfamiliar objects: the bell pulls, doorplates, key escutcheons and door knobs made by specialists in door furniture, the trinket sets that formerly adorned the dressing table and the toilet services for the obsolescent wash-tables, galley pots, whose name take us back to foreign trade in medieval times, creel steps and shuttle eyes made for Manchester cotton spinners, marbles and taws for children and parlour bowls for Victorian grown ups, nest eggs for poultry farmers, porcelain teeth, ceramic buttons, and a thousand other things." REGINALD HAGGAR 1964   More here>

The Potbank Dictionary - the glossary of The Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent created in 1976

Here are those wonderful words, such as blunger,  saggar,  jomukand lobby that were very common in The Potteries. These words have been collected during a lifetime in potbanks. Some are specific to a particular factory, others are more general. Some vary from potbank to potbank and from Tunstall in the north to Longton in the south. Some are technical, and some feature the very special dialect of The Potteries. Some words are being lost as potbanks close or manufacturing methods change. But all are fascinating! This is not an academic work. In fact, in places, its rather quirky. But it is as true and as accurate as I can make it.

BBC Interlude 1950 - Potters Wheel


The Potteries Bottle Oven : a huge and imposing, towering and daunting brick-built, bottle-shaped structure, up to 70 feet high, essential in the making of pottery. The red-hot heart of The Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent.

In 1939 there were about 2000 bottle ovens, or, strictly speaking, bottle-shaped structures of various types used for firing pottery ware or its components. They dominated the landscape of The Potteries of Stoke-on-Trent. In 2018 there are less than 50 but none will be fired ever again. The Clean Air Act of 1956, and their delicate condition have put paid to that.

At the multi-award-winning Gladstone Pottery Museum, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, there are 5 bottle ovens. There are also two bottle ovens, next door, at the Roslyn Works. This is the most important and precious group of buildings in The Potteries.

Take a look at The Potteries Bottle Oven website here>