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Measham Pottery

Art of the Waterways: NarrowBoat, Summer 2006

Evelyn Booth

Evelyn Booth investigates the myths surrounding the curious brown pottery that has become synonymous with narrowboats - and yet many still wonder if it was ever used on boats.

It was in 1983 that I became interested in Measham Pottery. I had seen a few teapots and jugs and, having been a canal boater for a decade or so, had become aware of an intriguing link with the canal fraternity which had been denied by some sceptics. With the arrival of our first narrowboat, we found ourselves heading down the Shropshire Union Canal to Chester. It was there, in popular Watergate Street, bristling with antique shops, that I fell in love with my first Measham teapot. Like a kid in a candy store, I could not take my eyes off this brown, treacly monster, bedecked with floral sprigs, peacocks, daisies, and its exaggerated spout, with a replica of itself serving as the knob on the lid. My husband, in a desperate attempt to drag me away from the shop window, came up with an ‘out of the air’ estimate of value – £150 I seem to remember. Then, foolishly, he bet me that I couldn’t buy it for that amount. Half an hour later, as we left the shop wit…

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