How it Used to be Done

We have been in contact with one of the descendants of the South Family who owned and ran one of the prominent potteries in Tottenham until it closed in 1960.  Ken Barker has been extremely generous and shared his memories and research with us along with some fantastic images of the White Hart Lane Pottery during it’s heyday for us to use during our workshops and exhibition


The South Family Potteries, also known as White Hart Lane Potteries, were originally founded in Edmonton by Ken’s great great grandfather, Joseph South in 1868.  In 1888, Joseph’s son Samuel South relocated the pottery to much larger premises in White Hart Lane where it then passed to his son, Ken’s grandfather, Samuel in 1919.

The clay pits at the back of the site were located in the area now known as Devonshire Hill

This newsreel from the Pathe News Archives shows the process and speed at which the pots were turned by those who had perfected the art of ‘throwing’ – a mere 1,200-1,400 pots per day per potter – suffice to say we are using a different method of production called ‘slip casting’ as we do not have the facilities for throwing, nor the speed necessary!

In 1957, Walter South, who was the brother of Ken’s grandfather and also worked at the pottery, recalled that when Spurs moved to the High Road ground in 1899, the South pottery supplied broken “crocks” (pots) to be laid as a drainage foundation under the pitch. Ken’s grandfather, Samuel was a lifelong supporter of Spurs and purchased his first share in 1903. Samuel was also a life long friend of Bobby Buckle, a founder member of Spurs and the first amateur captain.

The link between the Souths and Tottenham Hotspur FC is of great interest to us, particularly as we are taking clay from the new stadium to produce new pots whereas they were placing their broken pots into the ground of the old one!

You will be able to find an abundance of information on Ken’s extremely informative website, along with details of his book called ‘South from Barley’ charting the Souths journey to the area and beyond.  There are also plenty more fantastic images similar to these that Ken very kindly sent through to us.


Proudly sponsored by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club & Middlesex University

THS Logo.1    Mdx Logo.2


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: