1800 is a landmark date in Staffordshire's ceramic history. It was the year Richard Dudson opened his first factory on Hope Street in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. In the beginning, Richard's company produced a wide variety of attractive domestic ware, including Staffordshire figures, Relief Moulded Stoneware, Jasper Ware, Ebony and Mosaic (rouletted) ware. In 1882, Richard's great-grandson, James Thomas Dudson, became the owner of the Hope Street factory. After traveling extensively for the firm for many years, it was James Thomas who master-minded significant production changes and identified a potential new market for the company.
With the railways well established and shipping lines flourishing, an increasing number of hotels were being built to accommodate a population that was now ‘on the move’ for the first time. James Thomas had the foresight to see the huge potential in providing tableware for the embryonic ‘leisure and tourism’ industry. The exceptionally strong, vitreous clay body perfected by his father was also ideally suited to the production of quality catering ware. By 1891, the business had turned its' full attention on this new growth area and a new era in Dudson history had begun.
Today, Dudson is one of the world’s leading tableware manufacturers for the hospitality industry. Nine generations on from their founder, the company remains a privately owned family business. With the world of travel and hospitality still expanding, Dudson continues to set the standard for ceramic design, production and innovation.
The Dudson Centre is now located on the site of Richard Dudson's pioneering factory and provides attractive, modern office and meeting facilities for the voluntary and community sector.
Interested in seeing where the Dudson story all began? Why not visit the Dudson Museum in the heart of the Dudson Centre.