Moira Pottery Staffordshire
Moira pottery was originally founded in 1922, and is still well known for its domestic or utilitarian earthenware which started with jam jars, and progressed to its well known “Hillstonia” range which was made from 1934-1972 . It also produced salt glazed stoneware, beer steins, and stamped/branded domestic ware of many types.
The pottery was located near Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire and mined its own clay on site. Moira is often (and seemingly incorrectly) documented as having closed in 1972 by a National Coal Board compulsory acquisition. (It sat on a valuable coal seam, which is often next to a clay seam)
From snippets of information I have come across it seems the original Moira location was closed, but Moira then either re-openend or operated at a nearby location until the mid 1980s when it closed and the site possibly became a textile factory.
Update from Susan in Sept. 2017 – see more in the comments below: “In 1989 AF Budge took over the factory and constructed a new factory close to the original buildings. It started to produce kitchenware, gardening and storage items but the business was dissolved in 2007. I took this information from a Burton Mail article reporting on the re-opening event in 1990”
The Victoria & Albert Museum also has 2 pieces of Moira salt glazed stoneware pottery in its collection, made in 1981. You can see one of them on the V&A site HERE.
The beautiful clay used by Moira pottery was very plastic in nature and beautiful for throwing as well as enhancing glaze colour and surface, and was also used by other potteries such as that at Albrighton.
The beautifully plastic characteristics of the Moira clay differentiates it from lesser quality creamware – in the jug I have pictured below you can still see the concentric rings from its throwing because it held shape so well.
Update Mar 17th 2020: There is also now a Facebook group for Moira Pottery HERE where there is some great information being gathered, including more about its history, lots of great photographs and contributions from people who worked there.