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Shelley History - The People



Percy Norman Shelley (1893-1966)

Born in Longton in 1894 and christened Percy after his father and given the middle name of Norman. He was the eldest of the three sons and the second child of Percy (Snr) & Emma Jane. His sister May was born in 1892 but died in 1894. In 1908 he joined the Leys School, Trumpington Road, Cambridge as a boarder. The school was a traditional Methodist school. In 1911 his younger brother Vincent Bob joined him at the school. In 1913 he played cricket for the 1st eleven cricket team and his name is on the roll of honour board in the cricket pavilion to this day.
Later in 1913 both brothers returned home and Percy Norman joined his father working at the factory. He became known by his middle name and was referred to as Mr Norman at the factory. A cup shape was named after his middle name Norman and was introduced around 1915/16. At the start of WW1 in 1914, along with his brother Vincent Bob, he joined the 5th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment and he attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. On his demob from the army he returned to the factory, where he concentrated on the production side of the business.
In 1924 he bought approximately 13 acres of land at Chase Lane, Tittensor, Staffordshire from his father for £500.00. In 1928 & 1932 he took out a mortgage and built a grand house in the grounds at Chase Lane. He also built a property at the end of the drive where the poultry farm manager/house keeper lived. The remaining land became a poultry farm. Percy’s interests outside his work were golf, breeding dogs and the poultry farm.
In January 1929 Percy, along with his brothers, was given greater formal responsibilities when the company, Shelley Potteries was formed and along with their father they all became equal shareholders. In June 1932 Percy married Margery Louise Bailey and they moved into the house at Tittensor. After the deaths of his father Percy (Snr) and brother Kenneth Jack in the 1930s and then Vincent Bob in December 1945, he became the sole director of the company. Eric Slater (Arts Director) and Ralph Tatton (Sales Director) were later elected onto the board. In the autumn of 1946 Percy’s nephew Alan (eldest son of Vincent Bob) joined the company after serving in the navy during the 2nd WW. In mid-1948 Donald (youngest son of Vincent Bob) joined the company as Technical Director after graduating from Cambridge in Natural Sciences.
In May 1956 Shelley Potteries formed a subsidiary company, Shelley Furnaces Ltd. Percy along with Alan and Donald became directors of the company with Shelley Potteries holding 70% of the shares. On the 4th May 1966, Percy Norman Shelley died aged 72. Within a short period of time after his death, Shelley Potteries were taken over by Allied English Potteries.