VINTAGE OBESSION #7: Woods Ware

Interiors JourIACF VIntage Shopping Bloggernalist (and Vintage Shopping Addict), Ellie Tennant

Like many people of their generation, my grandparents had the full set of Woods Ware china, in ‘Beryl’ peppermint green. It popped up elsewhere in my childhood, too – in the village hall kitchen, in the canteen at Primary School, beside the tea urn in our local hospital– but it’s the nostalgic memories of tea time in Bromley, at 6pm on the dot, that make this my favourite kind of china. I only have to glance at it and I can hear the shipping forecast playing in the background, taste the slices of soda bread and picture the gingham table cloth.001 Woods Ware cups

Manufactured by Stoke-On-Trent pottery Wood & Sons from 1940 onwards, it comes in three pretty pastel colours: ‘Iris’ blue, ‘Jasmine’ yellow and ‘Beryl’ green – the most common colour and the type I collect.

It’s not keep-it-in-the-cabinet precious china – it’s the built-to-last-so-use-it type, so we whack it out every day and simply replace anything that gets broken; Inexpensive pieces are always available at IACF fairs, car boot sales and charity shops. The lidded soup tureens are infinitely useful, the teacups so comfortable to hold, the egg cups so pleasing and perfectly formed – and the generous teapot pours better than any other I’ve used.

I recently interviewed a homeowner and antiques fanatic in London for Homes & Antiques magazine who had amassed an amazing collection of Woods Ware and displayed it in reclaimed pharmacy shop cabinets in his kitchen. Struck by the contrast of the pastel china against the dark wood, I’ve attempted (unsuccessfully) to recreate this effect at home in my 1950s larder cabinet. I think I need a bit more Beryl to ‘get the look’ properly. Husband says: we’ve got plenty. But we will see…

002 Woods Ware Beryl stackImages courtesy of Create Vintage

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One thought on “VINTAGE OBESSION #7: Woods Ware

  1. .How nice to see someone else respects this China as much as I do. Although I am Dutch, I always felt born in the wrong country, that should have been somewhere in The UK. Several times I tried to relocate to the UK, but things always stood in the way of making serious plans.
    Some 35 years ago I saw this Woods Ware Beryl China. I do not know if I ‘liked’ it particularly, but for me one could not get a more Britisch type of China than this Beryl.
    It is used by all classes of the British society, as well as in hospitals etc. You can still get a glimpse of it while watching tv, such as Casualty, but it was also displayed in the tent of The great British Bake off. So, I desided to collect it and I must say, I do have all the plates you can imagine times 24 (it’s discontinued, so, must have some in stock). For the rest I am collecting the more rare items and I am very successful in that.
    I wish I could enclose/illustrate my little display I have in the kitchen with the rare items and I do agree, just use it. For me it is gives me the ‘English’ feel in my home in The Hague, Netherlands.
    Another advantage is that nobody has this China in The Netherlands.
    I would love to receive addresses where they have stock.

    Kindest regards,
    Stephanie Hazelhoff Heeres
    The Netherlands

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