For over seventy years Moorcroft pottery remained a family business, controlled first by William from 1913 to 1945 and then by Walter from 1945 to 1984.
In 1984 John Moorcroft became a Managing Director and at the same time the family sold a controlling interest in the company to the Roper Brothers.
This led to the Moorcroft company becoming a very small cog in a much larger corporate machine. The elimination of many shapes and decorations in the interests of standardisation and volume growth was logical in business terms, however the hoped-for volume market did not materialise.
In September 1986 Roper’s sold their shareholding to the Dennis and Edwards families. The problems they inherited included a loyal but demoralised workforce, a decaying factory, disinterested retailers and a lack of marketing initiative.
From the moment of the Edwards and Dennis takeover, it had always been the intention that Sally Dennis (nee Tuffin) should be Moorcroft’s new Art Director.
Her wide experience of design enabled her to bring to Moorcroft a fresh approach that did not alter in any significant way, the distinctive style long associated with the pottery.
With everyone working flat out and Hugh Edwards keeping the bank at bay Moorcroft were able to produce six new designs in time for the Spring Fair. Three produced by Sally herself, and three by Philip Richardson.
Following this Design explosion, 1987 became a year of consolidation as the Moorcroft name began to re-establish its rightful place in the retail market.
Traditional methods of design, manufacture and decoration are carefully maintained as these are seen to hold the key to Moorcroft’s future.
The new ideas that bought Moorcroft back from the brink in the late 1980’s have been consolidated during the early 1990s, with the emphasis on satisfying both retail and collector market.
Source: Moorcroft 1898 – 1993
Author: Paul Atterbury
Published by Richard Dennis and Hugh Edwards