Staffordshire Tileries Co.

Tile manufacturers

B/W Advertisement for Staffordshire Tileries, 'Glasgow Building Trades Exchange', 1896, p. 137

The Staffordshire Tileries Company was an alternative name for tile merchants Haddow, Forbes & Co., of Glasgow. The business was founded around 1891 by Thomas Stuart Forbes, selling ‘firebricks, enamelled slate, marble etc.' at 178 West Regent Street, Glasgow. 1 By 1893, he had been joined by his brother-in-law, Adam Haddow. 2 They were not connected with an English firm of a similar name, 'The Staffordshire Tile Company Limited', which ceased trading around this time. 3

In the late 1890s, the company moved to Bath Street, and became agents for 'Marmor tile slabs for baths, hospital lavatories, cold storage, etc.' 4 As 'contractors for marble and tile work', they supplied tiles for Kirkintilloch Town Hall (1905–6), Partick Fire Station (1907), and 10 Lowther Terrace, Kelvinside, the latter two projects designed by Glasgow architect James Miller (1860–1947). 5

Around 1901, they opened a branch in York Place, Edinburgh supplying 'all kinds of artistic fireplaces', with fashionable ceramic panel inserts, as well as producing their own tiles, ‘Forbes Patent Rubber Flooring’ and even electrical fittings. 6 By 1906, they were running a London shop, their own tile works in Cameron Court, Glasgow, and the Clyde Marble Works. 7 It seems probable that the London-based 'builder's merchants under the style of the Staffordshire Tileries Co.', which was dissolved in 1909, refers to Haddow, Forbes’s English branch. 8

In 1911, a warehouse fire destroyed their stock of ‘artistic tiles in crates’, worth £1500. 9 This may have contributed to the company ceasing business in 1913, when ‘tile layers’ marble and terrazzo workers’ machinery, plant and stock’ were auctioned off. 10

B/W Advertisement for Staffordshire Tileries, 'Building Industries and Scottish Architect', 1893,  vol. 4, no. 42, p. 17


1: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1890–1914.

2: Haddow, Adam – Forbes, Elizabeth, Statutory Marriages 1889, Blythswood, Glasgow, 644/07 0283, [accessed 8 May 2012]; Edinburgh Gazette, 27 April 1894, p. 503; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1890–1914.

3: London Gazette, 22 September 1893, p. 5391; 24 September 1895, p. 5321.

4: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1890–1914.

5: Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland, [accessed 25 May 2012]; programme, Opening of Partick Fire Station 21 May 1907, [accessed 25 May 2012]; Mervyn E. Macartney, 'Recent English Domestic Architecture', Architectural Review (Special Edition), 30, 1909, pp. 133, 137; James Miller', [accessed 8 May 2012].

6: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1890–1914.

7: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1890–1914.

8: London Gazette, 7 May 1909, p. 3509.

9: Scotsman, 20 September 1911, p. 8.

10: Edinburgh Gazette, 6 May 1913, p. 506; 6 October 1916, p. 1824; Scotsman, 16 August 1913, p. 14.