Walter Cole

Walter Vivian Cole with mid century Rye Pottery samples

Walter Vivian Cole with Mid-Century pieces in hand!

We are celebrating our own little anniversary here, as one of the founders of the current Rye Pottery – Wally Cole – would have been 100 today  January 21st 2013.

Whilst we reminisce, here are links to a couple of his obituaries so you can see how the national press remembered him in 1999.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/1999/jan/29/guardianobituaries

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/obituary-walter-cole-1076687.html

And a picture that even some of us have never seen.

 

 

 

 

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November and no Downton Abbey to watch!

So the third Downton Abbey series has finished, what are we all to do I wonder, on dark winter Sunday evenings?  At Rye Pottery we are busy planning all the changes involved in the next Cole generation of Joshua and Tabitha taking over from Tarquin and me.

There will be lots of changes with all their new ideas and energy, but I am very pleased that they still want to go on making the lovely Neal French Country House figures, which fit so well with the Downton Abbey lifestyle.

Elegant and stylish the Rye Golfers, Gardeners and Cook all blend into the Downton story, perhaps in the next series they will even employ a Male Chef rather like our Escoffier Chef!  I was pleased to realise that we already have 2 Rye Cricketers for the anuual Downton versus the village match, though our Batsman and Bowler are from a rather earlier cricketing period they make quite a good match for Mr Carson in his whites I felt!

The Rye Bowler: James Lillywhite  played for Sussex and England, and also had a few games for Rye, before retiring and helping his family found the famous Lillywhites sportswear shop in Piccadilly.

Biddy Cole

Presents for Downton Abbey fans

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The end of a lifetime!

Eileen-Cole-Small-150x200On October 9th Eileen Cole widow of Wally, died in her hundredth year. Tiny – barely 5 foot tall – blonde and very feisty, Eileen was Wally’s strength and support over 30 years at Rye Pottery.  They first met in 1930 as students at Woolwich Art School and never looked back.  During WW2 Eileen, plus small son Tarquin, found digs wherever Wally was posted in England, ending up finally in Farnham while he was with Army Camouflage based at Farnham Castle working on deceptions for the D Day landings.

In 1947 Wally was teaching part time at The Central School &  they moved into a small cottage in Winchelsea (by now with new baby daughter as well as teenage son), this allowed Wally with brother Jack to re-open Rye Pottery. Eileen soon found herself having to make pottery trugs, small vases and silk lampshades as well as manning the “Seconds shop”. After Jack’s retirement in the early 1960’s. they moved in to live over the Pottery and Eileen she took over most of the everlasting paper work as well.  In 1978 although officially retired, Eileen stayed on to man the shop on Saturdays so that Tarquin and Biddy could have week ends with their young family.

Once retired Eileen was able to give more time to her other great love – gardening.  She created a wonderful oasis of cool and calm behind the untidy Pottery development which had grown like Topsy over the years in Ferry Road. Active in Inner Wheel until well into her 90’s,  Eileen always loved a visit from old  friends & customers happy to have a cup of tea and discuss the good old days of Purchase tax and 3 day weeks!   We wish her peace and rest.

Our local paper ran an obituary, which you can read here.

Biddy Cole

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September and at last some real sunshine.

I know that here in the South East, we have been luckier than  a great many areas this summer , at least  since the beginning of August.  We were fortunate to be close to London and obviously benefited from the Olympic sunshine and feel good factor;   Napoleon always asked his prospective generals if they were lucky before he promoted them. We certainly were lucky  to share in Lord Coe’s luck with the weather!

Now we we are all back at work painting pots, firing kilns and making changes and decisions about the future. Keep an eye on this space ~ when we know ourselves we will let you all know too!

Biddy Cole

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