The Potteries Willow Pattern Collection
These items are available to buy in person from the Gladstone Shop. You can also arrange to Call and Collect or mail order by them phoning us on 01782 237777.
Exclusive to Gladstone this pattern features bottle ovens, pits, pots canals, Spitfires and even a little Stanley Matthews!
The Potteries Willow Pattern Plate was first issued in 1984 to commemorate Gladstone Pottery museum’s 10th year as well as the 60th year of Stoke-on-Trent’s status as a city and it’s 75th as a federation of Six Towns.
The plate was designed for Gladstone by the artist Peter Brears, adapting the traditional Willow Pattern to Potteries scenes in a witty and elegant manner. Some features of the plate are explained below:
- The pottery works with its bottle ovens as a versions of the 200- year-old Gladstone pottery works in Longton.
- The three figures on the bridge carry a pot, a saggar, and a miner’s pick.
- On the left of the bridge is a coalmine, representing another major local industry.
- The canal boat is an acknowledgement of the part canals played in establishing North Staffordshire’s prosperity.
- The two spitfires, that replace the two birds of the original pattern, commemorate local man, Reginald Mitchell, designer of the famous World War II fighter. There were so many different marks of that plane, so the drawing here is a composite.
- The football and goalposts recall the community’s pride in the soccer achievements of Sir Stanley Matthews, a local man.
- The fence at the bottom of the original Willow design frequently zigzags in many folds. So we have represented the “many folds” by an ancient train of the Manifold Valley Railway of the nearby Moorlands!
- People have seen more in the plate than was intended by the artist. Thus the circular slabs on the path to the bottle oven have been called Staffordshire oatcakes while others, looking at the bulbous eaves of a building to the right of the ovens, have said they represent the nose of a camel on the City’s coat of arms. But the only animal officially on the plate is a minute representation of Whieldon, the museum cat. The clue for finding the animal is that it is near the artist’s initials, PB.