Volunteers & Staff

The volunteers and staff of Gladstone Pottery Museum who made the last firing happen

Key people in the event

  • David Sekers - Gladstone Pottery Museum Director, and member of the organising committee
  • Alfred Clough - Fireman in charge of the firing and member of the organising committee. The museum presented Mr. Clough with No.1 saggar and a commemorative tyg from the firing.
  • Paul Niblett - Oddman and member of the organising committee
  • Kathy Niblett - Volunteer and member of the organising committee
  • Terry Woolliscroft - Volunteer, recorder, and member of the organising committee
  • Pam Bott - Gladstone Pottery Museum Curator and member of the organising committee
  • Fred Greasley - Oddman and member of the organising committee
  • George Fairweather  - the owner of Hudson and Middleton, Longton Ltd., Sutherland Works where the bottle oven firing took place, worked closely with the team for a long time and without his cooperation and generosity the firing could not have taken place. 

Full list of Volunteers

These are the 72 volunteers listed as doing some work during the Last Bottle Oven Firing 1978. We believe that it is complete but sincerely apologise if we have missed anyone. Although not listed here we must not forget the museum staff and regular volunteers who kept the museum open to visitors during the event.
  1. Mr Dave Allen (David Wedgwood)
  2. Mr Arrowsmith
  3. Mr Stephen Astley
  4. Mrs Baker
  5. Ms Valerie Banks
  6. Mr Paul Bartram
  7. Mr Mark Batten
  8. Mrs Melanie Batten
  9. Mr Raymond Blackburn
  10. Mr Martin Brennan
  11. Mr Colin Burgess
  12. Dr Francis Celoria
  13. Mr Alfred Clough
  14. Mr Brian Colclough
  15. Mrs Maureen Colclough
  16. Mr John Copeland
  17. Mr Robert Copeland
  18. Mr Les Dennis
  19. Mrs Beverley Downing
  20. Mr Roy Downing
  21. Mr Everard
  22. Mr Field
  23. Miss Fisher
  24. Mr Alan Freestone
  25. Mrs Godden
  26. Mr Bill Goodall
  27. Mr Fred Greasley
  28. Mrs Pat Halfpenny
  29. Mr Chris Hampson
  30. Mr Eileen Hampson
  31. Mr Rodney Hampson
  32. Mr Fred Harrington
  33. Mr F Harrison
  34. Mr John Hemmer
  35. Mr John (Jack) Hill
  36. Mr R Hill
  37. Ms Rosemary Hill
  38. Mr Jack Hudson
  39. Mr Hulse
  40. Mr Elwyn James
  41. Mr Ted Lockett
  42. Miss McGreavy
  43. Mrs Ann Marsden
  44. Mr Marsden
  45. Mr G W Massey
  46. Mr Arthur Maxfield
  47. Mr Fred Miles
  48. Mrs Kathy Niblett
  49. Mr Paul Niblett
  50. Mr Roy Nicholson
  51. Mr David Oakden
  52. K Pardoe
  53. Mr Phil Parkes
  54. Mr Parkin
  55. Miss Carol Parry-Thomas
  56. Mrs Quinney
  57. Mr J Shaw
  58. Mrs E Shenton
  59. Mr John Side
  60. Mr J Simpson
  61. Mr Dave Smith
  62. Mr Steele
  63. Mr J Syne
  64. Mr T Tittensor
  65. Mr Arthur Turner
  66. Mr Frank Underwood
  67. Mr J Wade
  68. Mr Watts
  69. Mr Geoffrey Webb-Bowen
  70. Mr Mike Willmott
  71. Ms Gwen Wiseman
  72. Mr Terry Woolliscroft

Organising Committee

  • David Sekers - Museum Director
  • Alfred Clough - Fireman
  • Pam Bott - Museum Curator
  • Paul Niblett - Volunteer
  • Fred Greasley - Volunteer
  • Kathy Niblett - Volunteer
  • Terry Woolliscroft - Volunteer

Placers, Drawers and Ovenmen/Oddmen

    Placers were required for the first three days, 26, 27 and 28 August 1978.
    • Mr Arrowsmith
    • Mr Les Dennis
    • Mr Field 
    • Mr Fred Harrington
    • Mr Ted Lockett (cod placer)
    • Mr Fred Miles
    • Mr Phil Parkes
    • Mr J Shaw
    • Mr J Simpson
    • Mr J Syne 
    • Mr T Tittensor
    • Mr Arthur Turner
    • Mr J Wade

    Drawers were required on Saturday 2 September 1978.
    • Mr Ted Lockett
    • Mr Arthur Turner
    • Mr Fred Harrington
    • Mr Les Dennis
    • Mr Phil Parkes
    • Mr Fred Miles

    Ovenmen and oddmen were required from Tuesday lunch 29 August, through the night to Wednesday evening 30 August at 22:00. Jack Hill took the firing during the night shift but he could not do any baiting himself. 
    • Mr Fred Greasley
    • Mr Rodney Hampson (wadman)
    • Mr John (Jack) Hill (night fireman)
    • Mr Elwyn James
    • Mr Arthur Maxfield
    • Mr Paul Niblett
    • Mr John Side
    • Mr Frank Underwood
    • Mr Watts
    • Mr Terry Woolliscroft

    Last Bottle Oven Firing - 1978
    Alfred Clough (fireman) and David Sekers (museum director)
    inspecting the oven before it was brought back to life.
    Photo: Courtesy of The Evening Sentinel

    Gladstone Pottery Museum Staff

    From the Gladstone Pottery Museum Annual Report 1976/77
    1. Mrs Edna Bailes
    2. Miss Pam Bott
    3. Ms Gillian Cooke
    4. Mrs Pauline Cooke
    5. Mr Rob Ebrey
    6. Mrs J Emery
    7. Mr Charles Finney
    8. Ms Muffi Fox
    9. Mrs Doris Kidney
    10. Mr John Gould
    11. Ann McGraw
    12. Mrs Marilyn Guy
    13. Mr Geoff Parry-Thomas
    14. Mr Stephen Parry-Thomas
    15. Mrs Alma Scarratt
    16. Mr David Sekers
    17. Mrs Kate Shorten
    18. Mrs Audrey Taylor
    19. Mr Rocky Stoke


    The Fireman responsible for the Last Bottle Oven Firing was Alfred Clough, a local master potter and a retired pottery manufacturer. more here>

    ALFRED CLOUGH  Master potter. 27 May 1905 - 1984. Pottery owner from Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, who mass-produced printed earthenware, dinner and tea ware, for sales outlets such as Woolworths. By 1960 he also owned W H Grindley, Cartright and Edwards, Barker Bros, and Royal Art Pottery. He operated, at one time, from the Garfield Works in Longton. In his hey day he owned over 30 local factories and employed over 2000 people. A major force in the industry.

    Here is his photo and an image of his 1939 oven at Garfield Works being demolished in May 1975, with young kids playing in the rubble. He had this oven built to his own specification. He was also the fireman responsible for The Last Bottle Oven Firing in 1978 more>

    Clipping courtesy -  Evening Sentinel