David W. Smith, OBE, is a writer on collecting pottery or ceramics and Stoke-on-Trent. He has Potter genes. His Great Grand Mother was Mary Elsie Bevington.
Mary Elsie was born in Barlaston, Staffordshire, in 1870 and married W. Edgar Stephens. Mary Elsie met Edgar when he was appointed Chief Assistant to the Town Clerk of Newcastle-under-Lyme between 1893 and 1898.
Edgar started work as a Junior Clerk in the Town Clerks Office of Cardiff and worked his way up to be Town Clerk in Great Yarmouth from 1904 to 1936. He was awarded an OBE in 1920.
David has been researching his family history for 35 years, starting with the Stephens family and moving to Victorian Potters and the Bevington branch in 2008, when he first visited Stoke-on-Trent.
A Fleming Scholar at Rugby School, he graduated in Business Economics from the University of Hull. After graduating, he joined Thompson McLintock & Co. in 1983 in London, where he trained as a Chartered Accountant. On qualifying, he worked as a Management Accountant for Associated Newspapers, Safeway, and Booker Cash and Carry where he was Deputy Finance Director.
In 1996, after a company reorganisation forced a change in sector, he set up his own recruitment business in the young, fast-growing, computer games industry, where his prior commercial and life experience proved to be an asset.
In 2012, he wrote a Best Practice Guide on Recruitment and Selection for game developers, which was published by the sector’s trade association.
In 2015, the Institute of Recruitment Professionals awarded him an Honorary Fellowship, one of only 20 recipients in an industry of over 10000 in the UK.
Surprised by the lack of women joining and succeeding in the sector, he founded a not-for-profit organisation, Women in Games in 2009, which included an Ambassador Programme which has grown worldwide to be represented in 52 different countries.
In 2023, David was awarded an OBE in the King’s Birthday Honours List for “Services to the Video Games Industry and to Diversity”.
Now retired from the computer games industry, this is his first commercial publication, and he welcomes feedback
"David’s extensive research and scholarship forms a welcome addition to the study of ceramics and opens the door for the Bevington family to take their place, alongside their many contemporaries, within the pantheon of North Staffordshire potters."
Ben Miller, Ceramics Curator and Programme Manger, The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.
" I have just purchased the book based on the cover but also knowing what you were capable of during my tenure in the games industry David! "
Norma Mooney, Human Resources Business Partner - People Delivery Lead, Anglian Water.