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Recent Events

(Updated 31/03/22)

March 25 2022 - Lustreware

Jonathon Chiswell Jones decorating a lustreware bowl
Once again we used the Zoom platform, this time to show a video featuring Jonathan Chiswell Jones demonstrating the art of throwing and firing lustreware pottery. Jonathan graduated from Farnham Art School in 1974 and worked for Joe Finch at Appin Pottery in Scotland. He began making once fired domestic ware in a pale stoneware body, guided and inspired by Bernard Leach’s ‘A Potters Book’. He went on to work in porcelain and to decorate with a brush.
In 1999, Jonathan moved to East Sussex where he built a smaller kiln in a more spacious workshop. He began to experiment seriously with reduction fired lustre which had fascinated him ever since he attended a course given by the late Marjorie Clinton two years previously.
Similar pieces were made by Shelley under the direction of Walter Slater.

To view the video follow the link above or go to Video Presentations - Playlist

Jan - Feb 2022 - Zoom Continues
Although COVID resrictions have now eased in the UK, we have decided to continue with our monthly Zoom meetings with our sister clubs overseas, for the coming months. On 21 January Linda Ellis introduced a talk entitled 'Glitz and Glamour' illustrating some of the more luxuriously designed pieces produced by thr Shelley and Wileman factories. This was followed by David Cox on 18 February who entertained us with his topic 'Lincoln - Centre of the Universe' and featuring  the Lincoln and Boston shapes together with a selection of crested miniatures. To view either of these talks follow the links above or go to Video Presentations - Playlist.

December 17 2021 - Quiz, Show and Tell

screenshot of December 21 Show and Tell Zoom meeting

Another fun evening with our sister groups in America, Australia and New Zealand. A pictorial quiz hosted by Gerry Pearce was followed by a repeat of last year's format of a Show and Tell, this year all pieces having a connection with a letter(s) from the word 'CHRISTMAS'. As previously, some wonderful pieces were dusted down for display and even more interesting interpretations of the rules! A very sociable and enjoyable occasion.

Eastern Region - Visit to the Museum of the Home - 16 November 2021

visit to museum of the Home
Members of the Eastern Region met at the Museum of the Home in London our first 'face to face' event for many months. The museum (formerly the Geoffrye), had been closed for refurbishmennt and had only just re-opened under its new name. Like all good Shelley meetings we began with lunch in the cafe to catch up with old friends and welcome a new member. Lunch completed it was time to enjoy the exhibits and the Home Galleries on the lower ground floor provided sight of the first pieces of Shelley - a wonderful Vogue tea display in Sunray pattern. Upstairs, a further Shelley item was found in the form of a commemorative mug hiding in a cupboard at the side of the fireplace. The museum was certainly worth a visit not only for the range of exhibits but also the historical gardens.

Yet more Zoom - October and November 2021

Oct-Nov film strip

On 22 October John Barter added to our Zoom presentations with a talk about Shakespeare on Shelley and illustrated by key scenes applied to Shelley and Wileman wares.

For our final Zoom presentation on 19 November we were treated to a cookery demonstration by Bernice Porrazzo who showed how to use Shelley and Wileman jelly moulds to prepare some of her familys' favourite pâtes and ice sculptures. The video and recipes can be accessed from the following links:-
Cookery demonstration

International Zoom Day - 25 September 2021

Shelley factory background

The Shelley Group held a very successful international Zoom Day in September divided into two sessions. The morning event offered a reasonable time link for members in Australia and New Zealand to join with the UK while the evening did the same for friends in America and Canada, although some keen collectors abroad enjoyed both!
The varied and entertaining programme kicked off with a welcome from Chairman Gerry Pearce before the first talk of the day, aptly on Breakfast Cups from Olwen Dudgeon.
Gerry Pearce then outlined the Works of Ray Reynolds, who was decorating manager at the Shelley factory and much missed by members since his death in 2018.
The next talk was by Bruce Sandie from Melbourne on The Three Cloisellos. Bruce was then one of three experts answering questions sent in by members, joining with Chris Davenport and John Barter.
The morning session concluded with some amusing examples of David Whitehead’s poetry delivered by Andrew Bird.

A 60 minute slide show of Wileman and Shelley ware, compiled originally for the Shelley Exhibition at the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Stoke on Trent in 2011, was shown during the interval.

The first talk in the evening session was on University Heraldry on Shelley by David Deller before a second expert panel with Chris and John this time joined by Carolyn Keating from the USA.
Peter Porazzo then presented a lively talk What the Dickens on the factory’s production featuring Dickens characters.
That was followed by an entertaining quiz What the Dickens is It, trying to work out Shelley and Wileman items photographed from unusual angles by David Deller.
The final talk was from John Barter, entitled The Selling Machine illustrating the advertising produced by the company over the years.
After Andrew Bird concluded with more David Whitehead poems including the popular 'I Hate Shelley', members enjoyed a social chat ending an entertaining and stimulating day.

'Show & Tell' Zoom Meeting - 20 August 2021

Show and Tell montage 08-21

Over the Summer Holiday we dispensed with formal Zoom presentations and on 20 August 2021 replaced with a 'Show and Tell' Zoom meeting. Members were invited to bring along three pieces of Shelley or Wileman. The three pieces were to be: 1) The piece they first acquired, 2) Their most recent purchase and 3) A piece depicting an animal.
The meeting attracted 44 members and lively discussion. Was Peter Porazzo's dish a rose bowl, pot pouri dish or a store for hair pins? These and other questions led to a very entertaining evening. Every day is a School Day particularly when it comes to Shelley!

North East Region - Ilkley Gathering - 17 June 2021

North East members gather at Moss and Moor restaurant Ilkley

Members of the North East Region took advantage of a visit by John & Linda to Yorkshire, to gather for lunch at the newly opened restaurant at the Moss and Moor Garden Centre, on 17 June. Only six of us in all, we were within the Government Guidelines and for most of us it was the first occasion to dine indoors at a restaurant for many months. A very relaxed and enjoyable occasion.

2021 Zoom Presentations

film strip of zoom presentations

2021 has built on the success of the Zoom presentations trialled at the end of last year. With COVID restrictions limiting face to face meetings, these Zoom presentations by members have covered a variety of subjects and attracted a wide audience both in the UK and internationally:

'ABC of Flowers' by Shirley Deller on 22 January
'A Tea for Two Story' by Andrew Bird on 19 February
'Lucy Dawson and Shelley China' by Carole Lockyer on 19 March

'Dainty - The Shape's All White' by Brian Hill on 16 April
'Serving from Shelley' by Gina Bird on 21 May and
'Nursery to Nunnery' by Olwen Dudgeon on 18 June
'Harmony Artware Vase Shapes' by Linda Ellis on 16 July 2021

December - 'Show and Tell'

Show and Tell zoom meeting 12-20

Building on the success of recent Zoom presentations, the Shelley Group hosted its first 'Show and Tell' meeting for members on 11 December 2020. Over 40 members from the UK, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand attended the virtual show, displaying their items which ranged from a miniature Santa Claus to wonderful Walter Slater lustreware (not forgetting Andrew and Gina Bird's rare Vogue cup and saucer!). Where would we have been this year without technology?

October - Zoom Presentations

screenshot of Gerry Pearce presentation   screenshot of zoom conference

As the coronavirus continues to haunt us, placing more and more requirements on what we can and can't do, it has been impossible for us to hold our Annual Weekend and regional gatherings where we can all get together. In recent weeks we have experimented with Zoom conferencing software and after a somewhat steep learning curve we learned how we could use this software to keep in touch with everyone. During October, four members made virtual presentations via the Zooom platform: Gerry Pearce spoke on 'Frederick Rhead and Wileman Tube Lined Ware', David Deller spoke on the subject of 'Black to Black', Chris Davenport introduced us to more 'Shelley and Wileman Rarities', and Olwen Dudgeon spoke on 'Regent - a Style Icon'. More presentations including a 'Show and Tell' meeting are planned. See the Diary for more information and make sure we have your up-to-date email address.

Eastern Region New Year Lunch - 19 January 2020

    montage of photos of Eastern Region Lunch 2020

The East Region met on Sunday 19th January for their New Lunch at the Golden Fleece at Braughing where we yet again enjoyed an excellent lunch and cheerful service. This time we had a small private room which allowed our conversation to flow freely with everyone able to see and hear each other. Apart from catching up with more personal news, topics ranged from updating of  news about the restoration of the pattern books, the website, and the trials and tribulations of three members who are writing and publishing their own books. How impressive is that !!

Southern Region - 'At Home' - 18 December 2019

Photo montage of Andrew and Gina's At Home 18-12-19

A pre-Xmas at home with Gina & Andrew is always a treat - they are lovely hosts and always cheery! We gathered for pre-lunch cups of tea and had a good natter about a host of things, not just Shelley; it’s amazing how so much happens between meetings. Gina and Andrew provided a wonderful lunch (supporting role played by Kay’s trifle !) and the “hot” chilli went down a storm. An annual event has become the “bring a Wileman/Foley/Shelley piece with a small gift inside” which is then swapped by tombola. Chocolates always feature but this year’s wining novelty item was the Donald Trump inspired “in peach mints”. We all gathered for a group photo by the Xmas Tree and had a nosey around some of Gina and Andrews collection of tea-for-two’s and other Deco pieces. Nice to see attendance from outside of the Region - I’d recommend visiting other region’s at homes for both socialising and seeing some wonderful collections. Weather in evening was truly awful and drive home was more of a swim. Lovely day out and already looking forward to the next at home event.
Bruce Till

North East Region - Christmas Lunch - 12 December 2019

Photo montage of NE Xmas Lunch 2019

A small but select group of members of North East Region returned to the Bridge Hotel & Spa, Wetherby for our 2019 Christmas Lunch. Once again we had a private room with our own excellent waitress service, Christmas tree decorations and log fire. Being the day of the General election there was much to talk about but it wsn't long before conversation turned to more important matters i.e. Shelley. As previously, everyone had bought their own Shelley or Wileman cup for coffee and, in addition, there was a good variety of items on the display table, some of which are illustrated in the montage above. Our Area is now widespread and we hope to hold a similar lunch in the North West earlier next year for our friends on the other side of the Pennines.

Southern Region - 'At Home' - 14 September 2019

Bruce and Zoe at home photo montage

On a beautiful Saturday in September the Southern region held an at home in Reigate hosted by Bruce and Zoe Till. We welcomed two new members John and Trevor, to their first at home meeting together with twenty seasoned members (some from the Eastern region and even one from the North!). After a splendid relaxing lunch and general chit chat, not all about Shelley or Brexit , we retired to the Garden alongside a show and tell, and I am sure some illegal trading! Thank you to all who attended to make it such an enjoyable afternoon. The Southern Region are hoping to have a Pre-Christmas gathering in late December – details to follow when confirmed.

Eastern Region - 'Beside the Sea' - 29/30 June 2019

Frinton Weekend beside the sea

Linda and John hosted an amazing weekend in Frinton-on-Sea, which began on Saturday eveninig with dinner at a local bistro.All then adjourned to their home for champagne and coffee in the garden, on one of the hottest days of the year. On Sunday everyone headed for the beach hut armed with chairs, picnic, newspapaers and sun cream. Some swam in the sea which was fantastic on such a beautiful day. After lunch the buckets and spades appeared for the infamous Shelley sandcastle event. All the competitors were awarded 'highly commended' for their skill in execution although some required a little more lateral thinking to identify their Shelley connection! However we did attract some attention from some curious passers by and their dogs. Four o'clock and it was time to return to Linda and John's for tea and cake, followed later by supper. There were plenty of 'ooh's and ah's' as we enjoyed our hosts amazing collection.

Southern Region - 'At Home' - 15 June 2019

Gerry Pearce's 'At Home@ 15/June 2019

We haven't seen much of Summer this year but the weather was mostly fine on 15 June for a gathering at the home of chairman Gerry Pearce. Sixteen guests attended to view Gerry's collection of Intarsio, Faience, Lustreware, Breweriana and Miniatures and to enjoy the splendid buffet prepared by he and Sheila. On show were recent purchases - an Intarsio lidded bowl, an Urbato flask and Paddy Owens brought along two factory sample pieces - all quite rare. Judging by the smiles on faces a great day was enjoyed by all.

Visit to the Pattern Books and Potteries Museum & Art Gallery Reserve Collection - 27 April 2019

Photo montage of pattern book visit April 2019

Members who attended the Shelley Group Annual Weekend this year were once again offered the opportunity of visiting the Pattern Books held at Stoke on Trent City Archive. All the pattern books were on display including the three books which have received conservation work in the first stage of the Pattern Book Conservation Project - see Community Projects page.

Photo montage of Reserve Collection However a special treat was in store as the Group had arranged a private viewing of the Reserve Collection of Ceramics at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery next door. The Reserve Collection consists of items currently not on display but held for future exhibition and this area of the museum is not normally open to for public viewing. A rare opportunity of seeing perhaps the greatest collection of 'Staffordshire Pottery' in the UK. The image on the far right shows pieces from the collection of Jill Burridge donated to the museum by the Group.

Eastern Region - 'New Year Lunch' 26 January 2019
Collage of photos for Eastern Region New Year Lunch 2019
The Eastern Region New Year lunch was held at the 'Golden Fleece', Braughing for the third time. As usual the food and service were excellent. Conversation flowed freely thanks to the clever arrangement of the tables and provided an opportunity to discuss the Group including how to increase membership and how to facilitate more people attending regional events. Another very successful gathering.

South Region - 'At Home' 15 December 2018
South Region at home with Andrew and Gina Bird
On Saturday 15 December several members of South Region met together at the home of Andrew and Gina Bird for pre Christmas drinks and to discuss and show Shelley wares. As a Christmas idea members were asked to bring along a piece of Shelley containing a small gift which ranged from chocolate to Brussels sprouts - (Oh no they didn't - Oh yes they did!)

North East Region - Christmas Lunch - 7 December 2018

North East Region Christmas Lunch 2018

13 members (including 2 ex-members) of North East Region convened at the Bridge Hotel & Spa, Wetherby for our 2018 Annual Christmas Lunch. This was a new venue for the group and all seemed pleased with new arrangements and menu. A private room was laid on and this offered fine views together with our own Christmas tree and log fire. All very festive. As usual the company was excellent with plenty of talk about favourite recent Shelley purchases. Everyone had bought their own Shelley or Wileman cup for coffee though strangely these were put aside in favour of regular white hotel-ware. Hmm!

North East Region - Informal Lunch - 31 May 2018

North East Region - informal lunch 31 May 2018

Newly appointed North East Regional Representative, Olwen Dudgeon, organised an informal lunch at the Wheatley Arms, Ben Rhydding - on the edge of Ilkley Moor (of Baht 'At fame) for members of the Shelley Group. Eight past and present members attended on what was one of the many sunny days we have had in the region recently.

Visit to Stoke on Trent City Archives (Shelley Pattern Books) 29 April 2018

Collage of photos taken during visit to Pattern Books April 2018
Once again the Stoke on Trent City Archives, which house the collection of the Shelley Pattern Books, was opened for a private visit by members who attended the Shelley Group Annual Weekend and AGM. Some 15 members poured excitedly over these priceless designs which until last year largely remained hidden from public view. Comments such as 'Wow, I have never seen that pattern before' and ' I never realised how detailed the drawings were - how did they draw those patterns to wrap around intricate shapes and without computers? - were voiced by many.
The books are amazing and if you haven't seen them before, they are well worth a visit. Check out our page on Pattern  Books which provides a link to the Archives website where you can check opening times and other useful information to plan your visit

Southern Region New Year Lunch

Southern region New Year lunch 2018

Our annual New Years Lunch was held again at the Surrey Downs Golf Club.  This has become a favourite venue for both pleasant surroundings and generous amounts of tasty food - the carvery was excellent as I’m sure all will confirm. In total there were 24 attending.  It was nice to be joined by a number of members from other regions - we welcome you with open arms! By popular request people brought a small Shelley item to discuss at the table (I’m sure there may have been a few side deals taking place). We were all tremendously pleased to welcome Doug Burridge and family.  With the recent loss of Jill we hope we as a group can offer some support; Doug’s sisters and brother in law had travelled from Scotland / Derby. We look forward to future events in the coming year. The AGM is coming soon and hopefully a number of 'get togethers' in the South.

Eastern Region - New Year lunch

Eastern Region Christmas Lunch January 2018

A roaring log fire welcomed us into the bar of the Golden Fleece on a miserable January Saturday. Before we sat down to lunch we raised our glasses in memory of our honorary president, Ray Reynolds, who will be so sadly missed by us all. Paddy had brought along small pieces to focus our conversation on matters Shelley . I was particularly taken with a tiny posy bowl. It had been made by Royal Doulton at the time of the first Shelley exhibition which was organised to promote the publication of `Shelley Potteries `by Watkins, Harvey and Senft in 1980. There is always something new to learn! The purpose of the brainstorming session will be revealed to those attending the Annual Weekend at the end of April.    

North East Region - 'At Home'

North East Reginal Meeting - The Foleys at home

Where better to feast your eyes on wonderful Wileman Intarsio than at the Foleys? Fourteen members gathered at Les and Enid's home, sadly without Les as he was hospitalised after a recent fall. Enid was determined that the show must go on despite Les's absence and what a show it was. Aided by family members a splendid spread had been prepared topped again by one of Enid's famous cakes. The big question - 'What attracted people more - the china or the cakes?' Those who attended certainly know! We wish Les a speedy recovery and hope he will return home soon.

Perfect Day - Southern Region 'At Home'

Southern Regional Meeting 2017

What could be better than an antique fair and a regional "At Home" on the same day ? Sheila kindly hosted an 'At Home' in her new home, which coincided with the Woking Art Deco fair. So after a quick spin round the fair (and a couple of small purchases) I headed over to Sheila's. There was a great turnout and we were happy to welcome a new member (and family). A sumptuous spread was provided and heartily tucked into. There was a theme of lady's names and Elaine acted as the compaire - she gave us a marvellous display of knowledge and innocence. Sheila had a piece with name Olive - a recent purchase (day before) at a local auction for next to nothing. Eve, Daisy, and Queen Anne also featured. A big thanks to Sheila and we all wish her well in her new home.

PLEASE NOTE: Details of the Annual Weekend and AGM are now on a separate page.