Rye Pottery’s Royal legacy

Rye Pottery jubilee mugs
Rye Pottery jubilee mugs

RYE’S last remaining pottery marks 60 years of Royal souvenir production with tankards and mugs to mark the Diamond Jubilee.

Rye Pottery is the original and also the last remaining pottery in Rye, but it is also one of just a handful of English potteries to have consistently manufactured commemorative items for all the major Royal Events throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

This year Rye Pottery is producing a collectable small tankard, a hand-thrown and transfer printed mug, as well as small dishes and regular 10 inch hand-painted collector plates.

They have also revived some of their Coronation colour designs for a limited number of hand-painted plates, bowls and half pint Tankards.

In 1953 the Cole brothers Wally and John, who had re-opened the Pottery in 1947, produced hand-painted mugs, beakers and dishes to mark the Coronation on June 2nd.

And the trend continued with The Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969 when Rye Pottery won an award for their range of designs from The Design Council in London.

Special hand-painted plates and half pint tankards were sold for the Silver Wedding of her Majesty and Prince Philip in 1972, while the Silver Jubilee in 1977 was when the first small transfer design tankard was produced.

Rye School children were all given a Rye mug in 1977, many of which still hold a cherished position in family homes.

The spectacular wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 resulted in the pottery being almost unable to keep up with demand.

Rye Pottery was one of only three British potteries chosen to supply St Paul’s Cathedral during the the month run-up to the wedding in July and despite a twice weekly delivery to the cathedral, their shop manager was continually on the phone begging for more stock. In the end thousands of Rye Pottery pieces were sold alongside some two miles of 6 inch commemorative Rye Tiles.

To mark The Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 Rye introduced a second colour way in their small transfer tankards and having found the cobalt blue popular, they continued with it for last year’s Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in April - and again for her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee this year.

Biddy Cole, from Rye Pottery, said: “One long-established local family recently came to buy Rye Pottery’s Diamond Jubilee mugs for their grandchildren, because they had such fond memories of their own children being given Rye Pottery Silver Jubilee tankards while attending Rye’s primary school back in 1977.

“It was a wonderful symbol of support for both the Diamond Jubilee and our long-standing local manufacturing business, and particularly so in the current economic climate.

”The charm of a hand-decorated mug is still so great and so particular to Rye Pottery that yet again we are struggling to keep up with demand.”

For further information about Rye Pottery visit www.ryepottery.co.uk