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Between 1800 and 1914, Greet Pottery or Becketts Pottery (as it was known then), produced a range of farmhouse ware for the surrounding area. After the end of the war the pottery did not reopen and was sold to a local farmer (Alfred Butler) in 1923.
In 1926 Michael Cardew (who had been training under Bernard Leach the last three years) rented the pottery buildings (including the bottle kiln) and with the help of two locals, Elijah Comfort (aged 63 and the chief thrower from before the closure) and Sydney Tustin (nearly 14 and and fit and willing) set about restarting the pottery.
Cardew’s ambition was to make pottery for everyday use and at a price that ordinary people could afford (in the seventeenth century English slipware tradition) and after a couple of years hard work and expermentation production had begun alongside Comfort’s farmhouse ware. Using the clay on site and firing the pots in the bottle kiln the range and skills quickly developed and in 1935 Charlie Tustin joined the team followed in 1936 by Ray Finch.
Three years later Cardew left to set up Wenford Bridge leaving Finch to run Winchcombe Pottery and then there was the war. In 1946 Ray buys the business off Michael and with the help of Syd (who retired in 1978) and then Charlie (until 1954) got production going again. From then on many people joined the team keeping the number to five or six at a time for varying lengths of time* to help and learn the craft, a lot of them going on to become well known potters in their own right. *Ones that stayed longer than five years are: Don Jones 1950-71, Joe Finch 1964- 68 & 1970-73, Nina Davis 1969-71 & 1975-78, Toff Milway 1974 & 1978-83, Neil Alcock 1985-93, Fergus Wessell & Ed Turfrey 1995-2000, Eddie Hopkins 1971-2007, Mike Finch 1968 to present, and Dave Wilson 1999 to present.
In 1952 first experiments with stoneware and in 1954 the last bottle kiln firing, slipware production continuing using electric kilns until 1964. In 1974 the wood fired kiln was built to replace the oil fired kiln for stoneware production and has been used ever since.
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The Winchcombe Pottery stamp Winchcombe Pottery
Broadway Rd
Winchcombe
Gloucestershire
GL54 5NU

01242 602462