Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Upchurch Pottery

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of Rainham, Kent

Although Upchurch Pottery had several owners during its life, the most important name associated with it is that of Edward Baker.

The pottery was founded in 1909 in Upchurch, between Rainham and Sittingbourne in Kent, by the Wakely brothers. They were local businessmen with various irons in the fire, who wanted to add the manufacture of bricks, tiles and drainpipes to their other interests.

One of the the brothers was a friend of Reginald Wells and this might have been the reason why, in 1913, they hired Edward Baker, who had worked with Wells in Chelsea, to start producing art pottery.

Baker quickly established the pottery, and within two years was exhibiting at major trade fairs. He experimented with glazes on shapes he designed himself, and Upchurch Pottery soon became widely known and appreciated. Queen Mary was a patron.

Edward Spencer, who is mainly known for his design work with Martin Brothers, collaborated with Baker in formulating recipes for glazes.

1922 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Artistic Salt-Glaze Pottery. The shapes made include Roman, Grecian, Korean, Chinese, and many other of various sizes, glazed with artistic blendings of colours. (Stand No. G.32)

1936 the pottery was bought by Oscar and Grace Davies, who retained the services of Baker as manager. Two years later they re-sold the pottery to Alice Buxton Winnecott, and still Edward Baker stayed in charge. Miss Winnecott introduced the Claverdon range of tableware and decorative items.

Edward Baker bought Upchurch Pottery from Mrs Winnecott in 1953, and his eldest son, William helped him run it until his death in 1955. William carried on there until 1963, when the pottery was closed.


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