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The Glory Years (1960s)

"The Wedding Present of the 60s" sums up the heights to which Old Hall rose during this period. 

Two more Robert Welch designs won "Design of the Year" awards.  These were for a comprehensive range of 22 matching dishes in 1962 and for the Alveston range of cutlery in 1965.  Many of the products continued to be designed in house but it was the influence of Robert Welch with his training at the Royal College of Art, where he specialized exclusively in stainless steel production design, which gave Old Hall products their distinctive flair.  His cutlery designs in stainless steel have been sold and used more widely than any other part of his creative output and Old Hall’s products dominated their section of the Council of Industrial Design.

Award winning Campden dishes

In 1964, J & J Wiggin celebrated their Diamond Jubilee (60 years) and other milestones were reached the following year when sales topped 1m for the first time and the one millionth teapot was produced.  In the mid-1960s, the company had more than 500 employees.

The Cheltenham Tool Company Limited, who manufactured precision tools and components for the aircraft and allied industries and also the "Lifespan" range of stainless steel tableware, was acquired in 1967;  the latter was absorbed into the Old Hall range and production gradually transferred to Bloxwich.

Bridge crystal

The acquisition also introduced an entirely new product to Old Hall, as Cheltenham Tool were the sole selling agents for the range of high quality full lead crystal cut glassware manufactured by The Bridge Crystal Glass Company of Cradley, Worcestershire;  this was an excellent additional line for the Old Hall sales organisation to handle as generally speaking it could be sold through the existing retail stockists.  Robert Welch was immediately commissioned to create new designs to supplement the more traditional patterns that had hitherto formed the bulk of the output.

Alveston tea set

An interesting example of the high esteem attained by Old Hall products occurred in September 1967 when Mr John Stonehouse MP, then Minister of State for Technology, personally selected an "Alveston" tea set and an "Alveston" canteen of cutlery to take with him to Moscow as gifts to the Russian government representing some of the finest examples of modern British craftsmanship.

Robert Welch cast iron tableware

In 1969, Old Hall acquired the sole selling rights for a range of modern cast iron tableware designed by Robert Welch and this addition to the Old Hall products was very well received by all the stockists.

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