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2024 Annual Weekend and AGM
Uploaded 10/06/24)

2024 Annual Weekend image montage

finished diplay setrting up

There’s something exciting about the unpacking of boxes for the display at the start of another Shelley weekend. It may look chaotic for an hour or two, but the end result is always a delight and the latest for the gathering at the Holiday Inn, Telford was no exception, full of style and colour.

QuizOlwen dudgeon
After registration and dinner, the first social event was the quiz evening organised by Northern representative Olwen Dudgeon. Members were split into six teams for a series of questions on cup shapes, cartoon dogs, general knowledge on a red theme and a picture round. The early scores were close but the eventual winners of the box of chocolates were Anemone.

Saturday morning began with a welcome from Chairman Gerry Pearce, particularly to those attending from the USA, including that group’s current President Leigh Clark and Carol Goldberg with her five granddaughters.

Wileman Intarsio Clock Chris Davenport The first speaker was Chris Davenport with Ideas and Designs in the new Wileman Pattern Book which covers Second Series Intarsio. The Book was bought at auction last year with a generous donation from Linda and John and has now been restored. He showed a number of the illustrations alongside the vases or items on which they appeared, including the pattern we know as Pastello, but which is referred to as Smoke pattern in the book. The last design for a clock, pattern no 3707, had Percy Shelley’s initials and is for a shape Chris has not seen before. He does not know if the last three pattern numbers in the book for a Sir John Jellicoe coffee pot and teapots for Lord Kitchener and Sir JohnFrench were ever produced. They have never been seen unless you know different.

John Barter Next was John Barter describing Shelley trial plates, pieces that were produced for the company’s own use and not intended for selling outside the factory. These were sometimes intended as instruction pieces to ensure colours were correctly used; as trial or testing items or colours; as experiments by senior decorators and sometimes to show the expertise of the workforce at exhibitions.
Images shown included a bread and butter plate with the Slater ladies transfers, another plate with 12 transfers of floral scenes to be used on sweets and butters, an old Wileman plate with subjects relating to Bermuda, and coupe plates with anemones and field flowers. A hand-painted colour wheel with six lithos in the centre was probably the brightest, but for sheer variety the choice was a meat platter covered in lithos from the early 1930s both front and back, including patterns used on Queen Anne, Vogue, Mode and Regent.

Linda Ellis Linda Ellis marked the 200th anniversary of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute with reference to crested china models produced by Shelley including a lifeboat with gold anchor which she said appeared to be of a “self-righter” type and models of lifeboatmen. It is estimated that 144,000 lives have been saved over the years by the RNLI volunteers.
The Southport Lifeboat memorial, St Anne’s was erected to commemorate the worst disaster in the history of the RNLI when three lifeboats were launched to rescue a German barque driven on to a sandbank. Two of the lifeboats capsized and 13 crew on one were lost and only two of the 16 crew on the other survived. Models of lifebelts had more cheerful pictures including Yachting Scenes and Hilda Cowham.

Olwen - A bit of a do Serving dishes After lunch and voting on the pot show entries, the afternoon session had Olwen Dudgeon, with duster and apron, showing what type of dishes were needed out of the cupboards for “A Bit of a Do” being planned at the big house in Yorkshire.
Covering cucumber and sandwich trays, trefoil dishes, cakestands and comports, her talk showed the wide variety of patterns that could be bought from both Shelley and Wileman to match prized sets and how designs changed over the years. She finished the talk with a reward of a “French fancy cake” for the tea break.

AGM At the AGM, the chairman reported the website continued to be popular and that Zoom meetings had settled into a regular pattern with the UK/USA/Australia clubs each making a presentation once every three months. It is a puzzle that there are more usually on screen from abroad on our talks, than home members. The group continued to make awards to ceramic students and a highlight of the year was the purchase of a hitherto unknown pattern book. He thanked the Committee for their hard work and said Chris Davenport was now settled in his post of Magazine Editor. The accounts were adopted, and it was agreed not to raise the annual subscription for another year. The committee were all were elected en bloc with the addition of Ruth Jenkins, who had helped with the weekend bookings this year and was willing to join.

Whilst the room for the Gala Dinner was being set up, guests adjourned to the adjacent room for the Silent Auction which had an impressive variety of items on offer ranging from trios to vases, from Dainty to Imari, with a number of bids placed.

The Gala Dinner
gala dinner montage

After the gala dinner prizes were presented for the pot show, a jubilant Steve Palmer taking first with The Court Jester and third with I am Sailing by Rod Stewart, with chairman Gerry Pearce in second with You Shuffle, Ideal. Two raffle prizes painted by Ray Reynolds raised money for the group, with US visitors Marcus Shelley and grandson Benjamin El Benni taking a plaque and Howard Ward a framed picture of the factory.

prizes montage


The letter for the Snake this year was I and it provided an assortment of items for John Barter to describe some cleverer than others. Patterns included Imari, Idalium, Indian peony and Iris but there was also an innkeeper’s jug, Isle of Wight and other islands crested wares and maps, a tile with ivy on it, and a majestic Imperial teapot.

Bruce Till Bruce Till’s Thoughts on the Eve shape started with patterns which were not specifically made for that shape and moved on to examples that were registered on Eve in the patterns book. In the first category he said many of the patterns originated on Vogue/Mode and were then used on Eve possibly as a result of the handle issue. These included Sunray, Chevron and the rare Martian. Catalogues of the period show a mixture of Vogue, Mode and Eve shapes marketed all at the same time. Patterns specifically designed on Eve were also often found on Regent, including floral, swirls and bands, as well as a number of Seconds patterns such as Tulips and Gate and path. There were also some specials produced, pattern 298 for example with its matching spoon formed part of a boxed set of six coffee cups and saucers.

In an alteration to the timetable from previous years the bring-and-buy was held before lunch, having been set up earlier in the morning.  There were still plenty of purchases made and the change enabled the dismount of the displays to be done quicker in the afternoon allowing departure before traffic had built up.

Another successful gathering.

2023 Annual Weekend & AGM