I first visited the derelict Spode factory in Stoke-on-Trent in 2011, three years after it went into administration, following continuous unbroken production since 1751. I have been a regular visitor ever since, like an addict I always have to return for one last visit. 

There are several large buildings on the site that house the plaster moulds. They are a treasure trove of Spode's history; the oldest moulds are  works of art in their own right, inscribed with a title and date by the hand of the maker; and bound with a rusted metal brace. Here are some photos taken on my visit last week. The underground vaults (seen in the last two photos) with discarded moulds piled high bring to mind catacombs. 

Hilary Mayo