Historical Photos & Videos

Between May and September 2022, the Arklow Pottery Heritage Project team put a call out to the community for historical photos and videos relating to Arklow Pottery.

The team would like to thank all those who generously shared their collections with us, and to Arklow Photo & Framing for working to digitize and enhanced old photos.

We hope you enjoy looking through them and if you can put a name to any of the faces, please drop us a line.  In the next stage of the project we aim to assign names to all photos.

Historical Videos

RTE Nationwide – Season 2 programme 4

A look back on some of the milestones in the history of Arklow Town, featuring Kynocks Munitions Factory, the rich boat-building history of Tyrrell’s Shipyard, and Arklow Pottery.  Some lovely film from 1966 has been integrated into the footage for this programme, which gives a great insight into the speed and skill needed to make and decorate the ware.  See how the popular Willow pattern of the time was transferred and how clay was formed to make bowls and plates.  An interview with John Ryan, General Manager of the time features, as well as a reflection from Thady O’Brien on his time in Arklow Pottery.

Skip forward to 15 minutes 45 seconds for the segment on Arklow Pottery.

Video Credit: RTE Archives

Mildred Capron visits Arklow Pottery in 1964

Mildred Stead Capron (1899-1978) was an avid traveller, author, photographer, and filmmaker.  She visited Ireland in 1964 and recorded fascinating scenes of the time on film. Skip forward on this clip to 21 minutes 13 seconds to view her recordings of a visit to the Arklow Pottery factory floor.

Capron recorded many of her travels to places such as South Africa, Portugal, Ireland and various destinations in the United States on 16 mm film. Her films were mostly silent so that Capron could provide “illuminating narration” in the form of accompanying lectures, which she delivered in person.

Film Title: IRELAND A LIVING TAPESTRY I – SILENT – Irish landscapes; glass blowing; Arklow Pottery; Dublin Horse Show.

Citation: Mildred Stead Capron papers, Collection No. 3470, Box 16, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming

Resource Identifier: ahcav_03470_039

Digital link: https://digitalcollections.uwyo.edu/ahcpublic/WomenPhotographers/Capron/ahcav_03470_039.mp4

British Pathe clip of exports to USA

Irish Minister for Justice James Everett inspects Arklow Pottery ware bound for the USA.

There are various shots of Arklow Heraldic tea sets being swung aboard for loading onto the SS “American Veteran”.

Various shots of Irish Minister of Justice James Everett viewing heraldic coffee sets on display in glass cabinets.

Estimated Date 04/08/1954.

Digital link

https://www.britishpathe.com/video/dollar-exports-from-ireland/query/Arklow+pottery

Arklow Factory Walk through

If you are wondering how the factory floor was around the time Nortiake took over in 1977, take a look at this walkthrough. We believe it was filmed by one of the Japanese team between in the late 1970’s.

It’s a long video – over two hours.

With thanks to Eileen O’Brien for sharing this video with the project. RIP Frances O’Brien.

Video Capturing the Last Day of Arklow Pottery, 1998

After 63 years, Arklow Pottery closes its doors in April 1998, with 140 redundancies.  The announcement by owners Noritake came following losses of £7.5 million, over a 20-year period – they cited an increase in competition from overseas and declining demand for pottery ware as factors in the decision.

Many workers are left saddened – some had been employed in the pottery for over 50 years.  At the peak of operations in the 1980’s Arklow Pottery had employed a workforce of almost 1,000 people.

This video is filmed by one of the Pottery workers and shows activity during the last day of operations at the factory.

Disclaimer:

These videos have been shared with the Arklow Pottery Heritage Project for sole use as part of the project and should not be copied or reproduced without permission.

Photos from Arklow Pottery & Noritake