A Potted History

WJ Potts Ad

In 1875, William John Potts established W J Potts & Son and began trading from the Atlas Printing and Publishing Works in North Shields. By the early 1900’s the company had become a reputable printer, publisher and stationer.

WJ Potts Staff

Because of the location of the company, many of the books printed were about marine engineering and seamanship, as well as guides to the local area.

Books Published by WJ Potts

Bergen's Engineering Guide Book

John Dryden Potts began to run the company in 1910, renaming it John D Potts and moving to Little Bedford Street, North Shields. His son George joined the company in 1930.

JD Potts

John D Potts continued to publish books as well as print guides and stationery, and one of the more interesting titles still in existence is a collection of poetry by T Campbell, entitled Tyneside Recitations.

Tyneside Recitations

The Eight Hour Day

The business was incorporated as Potts Printers Limited in 1954, with George Potts as Managing Director. Stuart Couch, future Chairman, joined as an apprentice compositor around the same time, eventually becoming General Manager in 1965 and Works Director in 1970. In the mid 1970’s, Stuart Couch was appointed Managing Director and the company relocated to Waterville Road, North Shields.

Waterville Road

The current Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Sandford-Couch, son of Stuart, joined the company in 1985 and took control in 1995. The company invested in pre-press, new presses and automatic finishing equipment, and grew to 75 employees over the following five years.

Potts Letterheads

In 2006 the company moved to a new 100,000 sq ft HQ and print facility named Atlas House, in Nelson Park, Cramlington. This was officially opened by the Duchess of Northumberland.

Duchess of Northumberland

Atlas House

In November 2010 Potts Printers Limited was rebranded Potts Print (UK). By 2012 the company had grown to around 160 employees, with Shaun Johnson as Managing Director, and became the first Carbon Balanced Printing Company in the north of England.

Potts GreenPrint

Currently, there are three Heidelberg and three manroland litho presses at Atlas House, plus a full range of finishing equipment. This is complimented by an expanding digital printing facility, in-house direct mail service and an on-site storage and distribution centre. Here’s what the place looks like in 2013…


Potts 1

Potts 2

Potts 3

Potts 4

Potts 5

And that’s the story so far. You can follow the progress of Potts Print (UK) this year and beyond by subscribing to the Stop Press! blog. Just go to https://pottsprintuk.wordpress.com and click follow at the bottom of the page.

Laurie Cansfield
Corporate Communications Manager
Potts Print (UK)

The first Carbon Balanced Printing Company in the North of England
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