31 August 2021

Royal Worcester

Our next trip was to the Museum of Royal Worcester, the world’s largest collection of porcelain documenting 250 years of the skilled workers and artists who made the pieces, and the celebrity customers who enjoyed them. Porcelain was made commercially in Worcester between 1751 and 2009. 

This piece was taken to the Chicago World fair of 1893 with high hopes of a sale.
Unfortunately it didn't appeal to anyone and returned home unsold.
I admire the work that went into it, but it didn't appeal to me either.

The river Severn was an essential part of Worcester porcelain's early success because
road travel was hazardous for the valuable and fragile cargo.

Death in the Factory
Early industrial factories were dangerous places to work. It took decades after the Worcester factories opened for workers, including children, to gain legal rights and protection. From poisoning from the paint to brain damage caused by mercury gilding vapours, many factory workers would suffer undiagnosed chronic illnesses. By the end of the 19th century scientific knowledge had increased and Royal Worcester was working on recipes for safer alternatives.

About 20 years after the factory was founded, Worester targeted French porcelain from the
city of Sévres whose designs were sought after by the most fashionable in English society.

 I like these pieces decorated with birds and fruit.

James Giles was a decorator of Worcester, Derby, Bow and Chelsea peocelain and glass.
He created gilt and enamelled objects such as decanters, drinking glasses,
perfume bottles and rosewater sprinklers for a rococo and neoclassical market. 

Many V.I.P.'s visited the factory. During their visit King George III and Queen Charlotte ordered a breakfast service in the Blue Lily pattern. The pattern was re-named Royal Lily in honour of the Queen.
John Flight was a partner during the Flight and Barr period. He kept handwritten journals from about 1785 until his untimely death in 1791 aged just 25. Of the royal visit he wrote "In the afternoon the Sovereign and his family honoured our shop with a visit, totally unexpected and came in without any form as a Common person would. They behaved exceedingly familiar and affable, and ordered a good deal of china" 5th August 1788. The King gave messrs Flight the liberty of styling themselves 'China manufacturers to their Majesties'.

When Lord Viscount Nelson, accompanied by Sir William and Lady Hamilton visited,
a triumphal arch of laurel was thrown over the door. Nelson commissioned a service decorated
with his crests, but the order was never completed after his death at Trafalgar.

As the middle classes grew so too did their desire to travel. Hotels and clubs commissioned Worcester porcelain for their dining and tea tables to give patrons a luxurious experience. By the 20th century
Royal Worcester was supplying china to the most famous establishments across the world.

Costly and miniature tea sets were made for girls from wealthy families
to help them learn about the etiquette of tea drinking!

Porcelain and tea drinking arrived in England at around the same time in the 17th century. Teapots were originally made in London and Staffordshire from red unglazed stoneware, but Worcester's became the most desirable as experiments in the clay mix meant they withstood the heat of boiling water.

Thomas Bott arrived in Worcester in his early 20's. He became a member of the team of star artist-craftsmen responsible for the company's improving fortunes in the 1850's and 60's. Bott specialised in figure painting and layered enamel colours in the fashionable Limoges style.

Doris Lindner was one of a new generation of freelance modellers who revitalised
 Royal Worcester's products in the 1930's. She excelled in her portrayal of animals. 

How gorgeous are these.

Dorothy Doughty was introduced to Royal Worcester by her sister. She had never worked in clay. As a keen ornithologist she wanted to create birds which were true to life. New techniques were developed in mould-making, casting and decorating to reproduce her vision. 

Charles Dyson Perrins, grandson of the inventor of Worcestershire sauce, was an astutue businessman. As well as overseeing the sauce factory he became a director of Royal Worcester in 1891 and saw the company through some challenging times.

Mishaps happen, porcelain breaks. The high value of Worcester porcelain means repairs over
the centuries have been attempted using everything from silver to plaster of paris.

Royal Worcester displayed their most impressive wares at great exhibitions worldwide. Although costly to fund the exhibitions secured their place at the forefront of British trade and were vital in developing and retaining their reputation.

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x

27 August 2021

Sudeley Castle

Set in 28 acres of beautiful Warwickshire countryside, Sudeley Castle, a grade II listed building, is Warner Leisure's 14th property and their newest landmark hotel.

In 1834 Francis Lyttleton Holyoake, high sheriff of Warwickshire, had a vision and a shed load of money - £120,000 to be precise, an eye-watering £14.5m in today's money. He commissioned the building of Sudeley Castle, enlisting Samuel Beazley, a renowned theatre architect, to design it in a Gothic Revival style. For the next 60 years the Castle served as an extraordinary family home with no expense spared. Ultimately, though, the decadent living used up the family fortune and Francis was declared bankrupt.

In 1903, Lady Warwick purchased the building and transformed it into the Sudeley Agricultural College for Women to provide horticultural training to daughters of the gentry. It was later requisitioned by the government and became a training camp for the Women’s Land Army during the First and Second World Wars, and remained a women’s-only college for the next 60 or so years.

In 1969, the building gained its Grade II* listing, and after a time as offices and a conference centre, in 2006 it was converted into a country house hotel. When the hotel closed in March 2016 Warners snapped it up and began an ambitious £50m renovation and development programme to restore it to its original grandeur.

Friends M, J and I have recently enjoyed a 4 night break. 

After spending a couple of hours in Stratford-upon-Avon we arrived at this beautiful hotel.
Our rooms were lovely, as is the whole hotel, with excellent facilities

A beautiful tranquil spa

Lots of lovely quiet areas to relax, curl up in a chair or sofa to read

Bars and lounges

There's lots to do, walks in the area, archery, boules, clay pigeon shooting, quizes, board games

And two restaurants serving heaps of delicious food.
Some of it is buffet service but due to covid most is table service now.

We go with Crusader Holidays, they pick us up close to home and deliver us to the doorstep. They always include two trips and one optional trip. Our first excursion was to the lovely town of Malvern. The weather was warm but overcast. True to form we spent a fair amount of time in charity shops!

Great Malvern Priory
I wonder if the people who did this were drunk at the time!

Park View apartments look very nice, I think I would like to stay there.

This theatre is very nice inside with a lovely cafe patio overlooking a park at the back.
It has a great programme of plays.
I have loads of photos from our next two excursions, so I will do a seperate post for them.

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x

23 August 2021


In her old age my mother spent a lot of time playing patience, also known as  solitaire.  Her favourite was the tradional klondike, she also liked clockwork solitaire but it's more difficult to complete. I think she also played one where two rows of four cards were placed face down, I can't remember much about that one. Whenever I visited we played Rummy.
My mother in law was a serious card/game player, bridge, rummy, poker, cribbage, mahjong, she knew dozens of games. I always said she taught my girls to count by playing cards with them!
Imagine what my mother and MIL would have thought if computers had been around in their day, and the array of different online games readily available at the click of a button.
I play a few online games

Spider solitaire




and Mahjong, my favourite
I waste spend more time than  I should playing these games, they're very addictive.

∼ Be safe and well ∼ 
Polly x
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