Sir Arthur Bryan (1923-2011)

Born in Stoke-on-Trent, Arthur Bryan served with the RAFVR during World War Two. He joined Wedgwood in 1947, spending time in the production and administration departments at the new Barlaston factory, before joining the Sales Department. By 1950 he became the traveller for the south of England, as well as Assistant London Manager. Three years later he succeeded Felton Wreford as the London Manager, and in 1955 was appointed General Manager of the Wedgwood Rooms.

His meteoric rise combined with him succeeding Josiah V as Chairman in 1967. Earlier in the same year the Company’s shares were introduced for the first time to the London Stock Exchange.

It was under his leadership that the Wedgwood Company embarked upon an expansion policy, acquiring various businesses including William Adams, Royal Tuscan and Susie Cooper, as well as in later years Crown Staffordshire and Mason’s Ironstone, to name but a few.

He was Knighted for services to export in 1976. In the mid 1980s the Wedgwood Group attracted a hostile bid from the London International Group, this was successfully fought off, and the merger between Wedgwood and Waterford Glass, negotiated personally by Sir Arthur, was accepted in 1986. The two companies were consolidated as Waterford Wedgwood with Sir Arthur as First President from 1987.

Images

Sir Arthur Bryan, © Wedgwood Museum

Sir Arthur Bryan
© Wedgwood Museum