Art Deco Shelley China, Fenton, Welcomes Czechoslovakian Delegation – 1947

On the 24th of April 1947, Mr Josef David, President of the Czechoslovak National Assembly, began a fortnight’s tour of Great Britain. On May 1st, Staffordshire’s Evening Sentinel reported on the tour and how Mr David visited Stoke-on-Trent on Wednesday, April 30th, along with a party of his Czechoslovak Parliamentary colleagues. He dropped in at Shelley Potteries in Fenton, renowned for its art deco designs, before moving on to other venues, including a special reception at the civic chambers in Stoke upon Trent.

The Shelley China Factory, King Street, Fenton, Stoke-On-Trent
The Shelley China Factory, King Street, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, photo c. 1964, from the Bert Bentley collection

Referring to the visits that his party paid to Shelley’s, Mr David said they had been impressed by its most modern installations and its hygienic conditions:

“In Western Bohemia, we have old established potteries centred near the famous spa of Karlsbad, now called Karlovy Vary. This industry was very much destroyed during the war and only recently has reconstruction been completed. Your china and other pottery products are really most excellent. We admire especially the hand-painted examples. One can see that the girls responsible for this work have real artistic skill.”

Speaking through his interpreter, Mr Fišera, he went on to say,

“We have visited Stoke-on-Trent with great pleasure because this is the place where the fund “Lidice Shall Live” started in 1942 when President Beneš came here. First of all, we have come to thank all the inhabitants of your city and county for the help and friendship shown to us then… Here I am reminded of my native Ostrava, which is very similar, being the centre of big industrial plants and coal mines.”

Shelley designs of the early to mid-20th century:

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