Mug company Hudson & Middleton, one of the few remaining fine bone china manufacturers based in the Potteries, has gone into administration, along with supplier of bone ash for china manufacturing, Jesse Shirley & Son.
The latter is a subsidiary of Jesse Shirley Ltd, of which Hudson & Middleton is also a subsidiary, acquired by the company in 1982.
The administrator, KPMG, says the collapse of Wedgwood has been instrumental in the fate of the two companies, with sales subsequently down 30%.
Hudson & Middleton is one of the longest-established potteries in England, founded in 1875. It stilll operates from its original Grade II listed building. Jesse Shirley is the world’s oldest producer of bone ash, operating since 1820, and is still owned and run by the Shirley family at the original premises in Etruria, Staffordshire. The company has been involved in supplying bone ash to Wedgwood since 1837.
KPMG will trade the businesses with a view to selling them as a going concern. However, 55 people have already been made redundant, 36 at Jesse Shirley & Son and 19 at Hudson and Middleton. The remaining staff are working with the administrators to attempt to fulfil outstanding orders.
KPMG joint administrator Richard Philpott said : “The current climate is an extremely difficult time for the fine china industry as a whole; however, following the administration of Wedgwood the company has experienced a 30% decline in turnover and suffered a bad debt of approximately £120,000 across the two companies.
“This, together with the tightening of trade credit, has led to the businesses’ recent cash flow difficulties and the directors had no option but to make the decision to call in the administrators.”