“ A SLICE OF LIFE”

I have always scribbled and owning a word processor gave me an opportunity to extend my scope.. letters, poetry, short stories for my grandchildren and all kinds of anecdotes about my life experiences including the Bread Plates and how I found some of them

When I returned to Lincolnshire some five years ago I decided to return to learning.  When I left school all those years ago university wasn't really an option.. Girls generally went into “nice” jobs like shop assistants, secretaries, nurses and clerks… they found “nice” young men, got married, and then gave up work and kept a “nice” house and raised “nice” children.

I had done all that.. I had renovated old houses into lovely homes.. watched my incredible children grow into competant intelligent women.. kept a constant stream of eccentric tabby cats.. but now I was independant so now was my chance to go to university.  I chose to study Herbal Medicine and had a very enjoyable year.  The whole process was a steep learning curve and at the end of the first year I produced what was ostensibly a little book about 10 British herbs for the end of year exam.  I liked the alternative medicine.. but I LOVED the writing...

During that year I also started to do some research (having learned how) to find out more about my Bread Plates and the potters who had made them.  I could find little or nothing written about them anywhere.  The only two examples I could find in print were

Minton's plate designed by Pugin

and a plate by F & R Pratt called

“Christ in the corn field”

made especially for the 1851 Great Exhibition

(Both these plates are on display at the Victoria and Albert museum)

Further research on a visit to the V & A helped me discover that bread plates and bread-boards were beginning to be made around the middle of the nineteenth century. An unpatented bread platter designed by George Wallis (Keeper of the Art Collection at the V&A from1863 to 1891) provided the definitive heavy rimmed design for bread plates.

I decided to visit the home of English pottery and took myself off to the Pottery Museum and Art Gallery, in Hanley, Stoke on Trent. I took some plates with me and was completely unprepared for the interest they created.

As well as providing me with much information the visit resulted in an invitation to display some of my vast collection of plates in an Exhibition at the museum itself.

It was at this point I thought that if I didn’t write something about Bread Plates then probably would no one would and they would slip quietly into oblivion.  A slice of social history gone forever. 

So I started to write a book.. and it took over a slice of my life...

The book was finished in 2006

Printed by Ruddocks, Great Northern Terrace, Lincoln

www.ruddocks.co.uk/

Price £9.99

Available from:

The Jews Court Bookshop, Steep Hill, Lincoln  LN2 1LS                               Tel : 01522 532280

The Collection, Danes Terrace, Lincoln LN2 1LP                                             Tel : 01522 550990                                                 www.thecollection.lincoln.museum    

The HUB                                                                                                                                 Navigation Wharf, Carre Street, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, NG34 7TW www.thehubcentre.org

English Country Living                                                                                 High House, Rectory Lane, Leadenham, LINCOLNSHIRE  LN5 0PP                Tel: 01400 273498

The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery,                                               Bethesda St, Hanley, Stoke on Trent.                                          Tel : 01782 232323                                                                      Fax : 01782 232500                                                                     E-mail : museums@stoke.gov.uk  

..and direct from the author...