Thomas W Twyford died 1921

23 September 1849 - 21 March 1921

Thomas William Twyford was born in Hanover Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent at two minutes before four in the afternoon of Sunday 23rd September 1849. He was the eldest son of Thomas Twyford and Sarah (nee Jones). He came from a family of potters who had started making commercial pottery in 1680.

In 1887 Thomas William Twyford opened his “model” factory in Cliffe Vale near Hanley. The factory was described as “model” because it was considered by government inspectors, at the time, as a pattern for all Staffordshire factories. Each workman had his own window and fresh air.

Up to 1886 Thomas William was Liberal in his politics. He then split with the party over the issue of Home Rule for Ireland and later became the chairman of the North Staffs Unionist Party. He contributed to the foundation of the Unionist Newspaper, The Staffs Evening Post, whose first issue appeared on 29th March 1892. Rivalry between The Post and the other local paper, The Sentinel, lasted for about four years when the two papers eventually merged. Thomas William Twyford became the Chairman of the Evening Sentinel in 1896.

Thomas W Twyford
1849 - 1921
In March 1888 Thomas was appointed to the magistrates bench. He served as Deputy Lieutenant of Staffordshire and in 1906 became High Sheriff of the county. The Grand Duke Michael of Russia, who leased the nearby Keele Hall, in the first years of the 20th Century, conferred on him the Order of St. Ann.

In the South African war he helped to found the Soldier and Sailors Family Association and in the First World War provided premises in his Bath Street works for the Hanley Infants Welfare Centre. He became a Colonel of the local volunteer force and was a member of the North Staffordshire Tribunal.

He was twice President of the Staffordshire Agricultural society, a supporter of the allotment movement and a patron of the Hanley Flower Show. He served as President of the North Staffs Choral Society and was an authority of on early Staffordshire pottery. His own collection is now with The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Hanley.

He helped provide premises for the Newcastle-under-Lyme Cripples Guild and gave the cripples an annual treat at his home at Whitmore Hal, near Newcastle-under-Lyme.

He married Susannah, daughter of Edward Whittingham, in 1872 and had two children;  Harold who served in the South African war and the First World war, and Dora who helped establish the Scout and Guides movement.

The family lived successively at Shelton, Endon, Moor House Biddulph and finally at Whitmore Hall, where Thomas became a breeder of Labrador Retrievers and became a member of the North Staffs Hunt.

He died at Chine Hotel, Boscombe, Bournementh on 21st March 1921 and was buried in Whitmore churchyard in sight of his home, Whitmore Hall. There is a memorial to him in Shelton Church, near Hanley.