02 April 2012

Spode and RMS Titanic

Spode saucer (detail) with OSNC 'badge'
April 15th 2012 sees the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the steamship RMS Titanic.

The perhaps unexpected connection between this most famous of steamships and the Spode company is given in my blog Titanic Spode.

This earlier blog was written on May 31st 2011 - the hundredth anniversary of the launch of this magnificent ship from Belfast. In Titanic Spode you can discover some of what Spode made for the Oceanic Steamship Navigation Company (OSNC) known as White Star Line who were owners of a fleet which included RMS Titanic.

Spode of course produced specially commissioned wares for many other steamship companies and their fleets as well as for railways, hotels, clubs, schools, private families from royalty downwards and many, many more including badged pots for bears' grease, miracle hair restorer and a famous mustard!

Not only are there Spode connections to RMS Titanic but the ship's Captain, Edward Smith, was born in Hanley just a few miles from the adjacent town Stoke-upon-Trent - the home of the Spode company. Stoke-on-Trent is now a city made up of 6 towns one of which, confusingly, is Stoke-upon-Trent - usually simply known as Stoke - and another is Hanley. The whole area is known as The Potteries. This complicated and endearing history can be explored in local archives and museums as well as through an excellent website dedicated to the history of The Potteries.

One of the logos for a beer from Titanic Brewery
A quirky contemporary link between RMS Titanic, Captain Smith and Stoke-on-Trent can be found in the flourishing, local business called theTitanic Brewery founded in 1985 in Burslem - another of the 6 towns of the city. Their local pubs are themed with Titanic memorabilia and their ales have names such as Captain Smith, Steerage, Lifeboat and White Star.

You can also click Spode and RMS Titanic for a bit more about the Spode connections.