Main Old Hall Club Title


By Marilyn and Bernard Bartram

Saturday July 13th dawned bright and hot (very hot!!) and 9.30am saw Nigel and a few more hardy souls arrive at Haling Dene to set up the room and get the tea urn going.  By 10.30am numerous members had arrived with their Old Hall for sale and we had started to put out some of our pre-war display items.

Lots of people were now arriving (including a couple from Canada who were on holiday in the area) and Nigel was already busy answering queries and along with Harry Gardiner giving technical advice and valuations.  Soon the day was in full swing with lots of people coming and going, the sales tables doing a brisk trade and our pre-war items attracting a lot of interest.

Together with Kathleen and David Lodmore and Nigel, we had put together a display of about 40 items, some of which had never been shown before and some were not even in any of the known Old Hall catalogues.  They of course included the world’s first stainless steel teapot, a mirror clip only 3/4” long which is probably the smallest item ever made by Old Hall and some of the very first items of tableware from the early 1930s.  Eileen Hill also brought along her unique little table bell which everyone thought was really delightful.

Carol and Ken Cowburn were due to bring some of their early items as well but due to severe delays on the M6 because of a serious accident they didn’t actually make it until around 4.00pm;  to say that they were fed up having been stuck in their car on the M6 for hours on one of the hottest days of the year is somewhat of an understatement.  Many thanks for making the effort, though, the two of you!

Bernard and Marilyn's display
Bernard and Marilyn in conversation

Kathleen took details of several new members (including some ex-Old Hall employees) and it was great to talk to some of them with their reminiscences of life in the tool room and other areas of the factory.

Thanks must go to Dianne and Val who provided everyone with such excellent refreshments (all those cakes were sublime!!!) and also to Colin who did the unenviable work of washing up.

By 4.30pm most visitors had begun to drift away and everything was being packed away for another year but talk about all things Old Hall continued as we were once again at the nearby Bridge House Hotel for the evening meal;  a record number of 40 people attended and enjoyed an excellent meal.  Afterwards Nigel gave his speech and various grandchildren of the Wiggin family also said a few words.

Soon it was time to leave and another annual get together was over but thoughts have already turned to next year;  with the success of the pre-war items display how about a similar theme but for Robert Welch designs?  Any offers???

On Sunday, we went to a local car boot sale where would you believe we found yet more interesting pre-war items - they still keep turning up!l

Here's Mo but where is Dot? Betty Williams setting up
Christine Fergusson ready for action
The Old Hall barracuda
Pam Owen's large assortment
Some of the goodies
Speechmakers Adam, Amy, Matthew, Charlotte and Cerys
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