27 Feb


Isn’t it interesting the things which hold memories for each of us? For me this old kitchen dresser which I’ve had for about 27 years holds a lot of items…each with their own little scene in my mind’s eye. The cups hanging from the hooks are Arklow pottery.  Arklow pottery features high in my childhood memories. We had several sets of it as I grew up in Tipperary. I particularly remember 2 sets… one with a pheasant design and another set which had a green background with a tree of life design in black. Sadly none of it is left now.  These floral cups are my real favourites now. I always watch out for them at car boot fairs and in charity shops but they are fairly hard to come by these days.

Arklow Pottery was set up in Arklow, Co. Wicklow in 1935. It was taken over by the Japanese firm Noritake in the nineties but sadly production ceased in 1999.

There was murmurings of  an Arklow Pottery Museum being set up but that alas never came about.


Every old Irish house used to have one of the Willow Pattern platters. Traditionally used to present the turkey at Christmas. The 2 blue bottles we dug up in the garden of the first house we had here in Roscommon. The white mug Andy bought at a school fete 37 years ago. The Thelwell transfers on it were bought at the same fete. A lovely combination and a lovely memory.

The big mug with the blue and red flowers belonged to my paternal Grandmother…she died in 1980. I always think of her when this mug catches my eye.


This little pottery doggie was a gift from a small child. She is now a fashionable teenager.


The pottery with the butterflies is Aynsley which I collected in the 80s. These pieces were presents from my brother Tommy. The little jug with the crocuses is by English potter Clarice Cliff. Picked up at a car boot for £3.


I really love this little set with it’s nursery rhymes…See saw Margery Daw and Little Jack Horner sat in the corner. The full set would be lovely but I only have these three pieces which were picked up at an auction.

The tall blue coffee pot was bought on my one and only visit to London’s Portobello Road market sometime in the 80s. That was the occasion of my first visit to the big city of London.I ‘m afraid I didn’t fall in love with it like many people do. Thoroughly enjoyed the city holiday but it’s the country life for me.

I look forward to Summer coming when I once again will peruse the car boot fairs searching for more treasures to add to my collection.


27 Responses to “Memories…”

  1. Kathy Wilder (@swimeddieswim) February 27, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    I am fascinated by the term “car boot fairs.” I’m from the USA, and I think possibly it’s like our garage sales? Do people sell things out of the trunks of their cars? I love auctions, garage sales and flea markets here. Your collection is lovely – even if it held no memories, but memories are much better! Nice post! Thanks for sharing pictures of your treasures!

    • bridget February 27, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

      Car boot fairs are so called because people bring their stuff in the car boot to a central place where the fair is held. Usually outdoors. Bit like a garage sale I suppose but with lots of sellers.

  2. gardendaze February 27, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. So lovely to have the memories of things, isn’t it? I too have some Aynsley that I collected. Not too many pieces but nice memories of when I visited England.


    • bridget February 27, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

      Anysley is gone a bit out of fashion here but I still like it. I’ll always keep mine as it holds lovely family memories.

  3. melissa February 27, 2014 at 9:48 pm #

    Oh wow… one day i hope to have a dresser like that in The Glen House!!

    • bridget February 27, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

      Go for it! I love mine. Always room to fit more finds.

  4. cathsveggies1 February 27, 2014 at 10:19 pm #

    Wow ! So many memories brought to mind. I and Himself have so many pieces belonging to both our parents. I have some pieces of a set that traveled over from UK in 1963. You’ve got me going now, and it would have been my Mother’s 91st Birthday today. Thanks for the lovely Memories 😉

    • bridget February 27, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Nice that my post brought your Mother to mind. Treasure the memories. x

      • cathsveggies1 February 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm #

        Thanks Bridget, I do and I remember her and our memories with fondness and laughter, not sadness. She was a great lover of “divilment” 😉

  5. Mizz Winkens February 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm #

    We had exactly the same Arklow Pottery dark green Tree of Life set when I was growing up- must’ve been all the rage! And same as you, not a shred of it left. Shame…. Love all the other pieces you have- esp. those spotty mugs and the CC jug. K

    • bridget February 27, 2014 at 11:44 pm #

      Yes the CC jug is one of my treasures. Spotty mugs bought at a car boot in Manorhamilton.

  6. KerryCan February 27, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    The fact that each piece evokes memories makes me smile. I do the same thing all the time, linger over a cup or plate and think about where it came from. Glad to know you’re the same type!

    • bridget February 27, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

      Get the same feelings looking at old abandoned houses…once someones pride and joy.

  7. PlantPostings February 28, 2014 at 1:35 am #

    Lovely collection, Bridget! I have a small collection of tea cups–most from my husband’s and my grandmothers. I hope to add to it as the years go on. Tea cups are works of art. Thanks for sharing your collection and its stories.

    • bridget February 28, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      Yes, I agree they are little works of art…each and every one. It’s nice to pass on these little treasures through our families.

  8. wellywoman February 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    A lovely post, Bridget. I have just started a collection of vintage china. They don’t have any family connections but I like to buy from flea markets and charity shops. In their own way the places I have come across them are a story in themselves. One was a set picked up in Hampshire whilst on a bit of a road trip last summer, the other from a shop in Barnard Castle.

    • bridget February 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm #

      That’s where some of my memories come from too…the joy of collecting the ones that are’nt family bits.

  9. GFwinecountryliving February 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Loved reading about the memories surrounding these teacups! My mom collected teacups and teapots, too…with sentimental stories surrounding each. It was lovely to see that other families share that tradition.

    I share your feelings about the city being a great place to visit, but the country is a wonderful place to carry on daily life.


  10. Caro March 1, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Gorgeous post, Bridget – it seems we all love a bit of vintage pottery! (Did anyone else have childhood Bunnykins pottery?) I collect cake plates and drink coffee out of a tiny Carltonware cup with feet that my niece bought for me when she was young. On another note, I still call my biscuit tin “The Biscuit Barrel” as that’s what my grandad had when I was a child. I saw one at the (now defunct) Bermondsey Antique Fair several years ago but didn’t buy it as I was on my way to a meeting. Huge regrets there.

    • bridget March 2, 2014 at 12:02 am #

      Don’t have any Bunnykins…sounds cute though. Like the Carlton ware too.

  11. june March 2, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Memories…pressed between the pages of my mind…
    Memories…sweetened through the ages just like wine….

    Memories help when the darkness and sadness threaten to engulf and swallow you whole…thank you, Bridget.

  12. Willowarchway March 2, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    What lovely pottery you have. I love the Clarice Cliff Mug, always one of my faves. E

    • bridget March 2, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      I was lucky to pick that one cheaply at a car boot. Love it!

  13. SmallHouseBigGarden March 3, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    I absolutely LOVE kitchen and glassware. I collect depression glass and for awhile I had a kitchen and glass ebay shop (back when ebay was in its infancy.) My biggest sale was an enormous blue willow (same exact pattern/make you have in your pic) soup tureen I happened to find at a second hand (Goodwill Charities) store for….are you ready??? 3.00! They obviously had NO clue what they were selling! I turned that thing around on ebay for 275.00 and was happy as a clam!
    i also collected Aynsley in the 80s…same pattern you show in your pics, too! We have much in common, you and I!

    • bridget March 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

      Not that’s what I call a good profit…well done you. Could’nt bear to sell any of my special pieces though.

  14. KL March 3, 2014 at 11:54 pm #

    Oh! I thoroughly enjoyed this post by you. Such a nostalgic post. Such pieces so valuable to you will become useless to others — such is the human life. I hope there will be someone to value them later on. I am also wondering what will the future archaelogists think….

  15. Donna@GardensEyeView March 16, 2014 at 3:27 am #

    I love your collection….holds such special memories.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: