Beryl ware

I wonder how many schools, village halls, scout huts and hospitals in the seventies were stocked with pale green, blue or yellow Beryl Ware.

The store cupboard shelves were stacked with the stuff when I arrived for my new job. Pale, insipid green plates, cups, saucers, tea pots, serving dishes, sugar bowls and jugs with Beryl Ware  marked on the bottom. Mr Beryl must have made a pretty penny from the stuff. Now it’s stocked in antique shops as retro ware.

Paperchase has just released it’s AW11 collection with Wood’s Ware cake stands and clocks, made from ‘upcycled’ Beryl plates.

Here’s a poem by Caroline Heaton about Beryl ware – it’s even got  a poem!

Gossip of teapots

It had a name,  the thick stuff

We ate our bread and butter on:

Beryl  Ware – serviceable clay moulded

With concentric rings, glazed pale green;

later I found it everywhere,

Indignant that it came in different colours.

Once my father bought  three Brown Bettys

In different sizes, chocolate coloured china

Banded with beige

Ranged them in descending order

Above the Beryl Ware and melamine,

Grinned at me, ‘ A  gossip of teapots.’

I stored the phrase, honed and polished it,

Handed it down to my own daughter.

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Filed under Home Economics in 1970

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