During the 1960s, Hornsea Pottery had become the biggest employer in the town, which was incredible considering the Rawsons’ lack of experience. However, without a background in the field of pottery, they were not blinkered by tradition either.
They, and the body of employees they gathered around them, had to be lateral thinkers, solving their problems by inventiveness. Indeed, many of their machines were not only designed by Hornsea Pottery employees, but also made by them too.
John Clappison, along with modellers like Marion Campbell and Alan Luckham, were responsible for a vast range of novelty and classic designs; which provided the capital for the later production of the Heirloom tableware shapes including Saffron and Brontë, and later, Sara Vardy’s Fleur, Tapestry and Cornrose.
These were sold worldwide for over 20 years and all tableware ranges were accepted for inclusion on the Design Centre Index before entering production. Production of the Heirloom tableware soon could not keep up with the demand and department stores had to be limited by a quota basis. Eventually, Hornsea ceased production of the Fauna Royal line to ease the problem and sold the blocks and moulds to Eastgate Pottery in Withernsea.
Many former employees of Hornsea Pottery were interviewed as part of our 'Time on My Hands' project, and you can see their stories in the museum, or buy a DVD to take home.