Local News

Rare Pottery Raising Money For Orkney Charities

By Andrew Appleby

On the 8th August, the then, Prince Charles visited Melsetter House on Hoy. After this he went to The Longhope Community Centre to make various awards to those connected to the RNLI. Following this, and some fine live music, he viewed an exhibition from Orkney Quality Food and Drink members. Creative Orkney was also represented and I was there displaying my pottery and demonstrating that ancient craft.

Photo by Orkney Photographic.

Prince Charles loved his pottery classes at Gordonston and we swapped stories of our early studies. I reminded him that he had made a hedgehog. He asked how I knew that? I replied that I’d read it in a newspaper and that I was creating hedgehogs at the same time. I later asked him to sign a large platter I had made with a feather pen I’d also prepared. He wanted to know just what this was for, so I explained that it would be presented to The Longhope Lifeboat Museum, along with a few of the other vessels I’d created. He signed with a most enthusiastic flourish!

Not ever wishing to miss a chance, I also explained about The John Rae Society’s ambitions in restoring The Hall of Clestrain, John Rae’s family home. He showed considerable interest and asked for further information, which our King now has.

This was the 8th August. On the 8th September the pottery I made in his presence was cooling from its first firing. I was making mugs when the news came of Queen Elizabeth’s death. This was a shock to so many of us and me too, of course. I stopped throwing and had just over fifty of them and a few items I’d created whilst demonstrating my craft.

I wondered what to do with those mugs and other items? I felt they needed very special treatment and decided to make them into commemorative pieces. I engraved on them ‘Thrown the Day our Queen Died’ or words to that effect. Below this I inscribed E II R, then a crown followed by C III R, as they were both monarchs on that same day. On the base is written 96, being her age and my own initials as a signature.

Harray Potter Ltd currently supports four charities: The John Rae Society; The St. Magnus Way; the Orkney Japan Association and The Longhope Lifeboat Museum.  I offer these mugs for sale to support any of these Charities. As these pieces are so rare and will never be made again, I have decided that they should sell for £96.00 each, this being a pound a year for The Queen’s life.

It is your choice which of these charities the money goes to.

Please do call by The Pottery in Harray. Open from 09.48 to 5.51 p.m. Monday to Saturday: or telephone 01856 771 419 to order. You can also email fursbreck@btinternet.com There will be a £4.00 postage charge if sending is required.

1 reply »

  1. These are sure to become collector’s items – made on the day that Lizzie Two handed over the baton to Charlie…..and just about in his presence too!
    Did you send one to him, Andrew?