2007: Another original Cole pot!

This page tells the story of how another original Cole pot, more than 50 years old, found its way back to the family in 2007.

Aaron Cranston handing me, Pat Cryer, an original pot from the Cole Pottery in Tottenham

Aaron Cranston handing me, Pat Cryer, an original pot from the Cole Pottery in Tottenham

The inscription 'Cole Tottenham' on the original pot found in Cambridge

The inscription 'Cole Tottenham' on the original pot found in Cambridge

The original pot from the Cole Pottery in Tottenham found in 2006 in Cambridge

The original pot from the Cole Pottery in Tottenham found in 2007 in Cambridge

Well, another pot has turned up! Someone did fail to recognise its significance and accordingly tossed it into a skip at a tip near Cambridge. Yet fortunately someone else rescued it because he liked the look of the inscription round the top. It took him a few months to realise its significance, but he nevertheless did so, through this website, and then he was generous enough to get in touch and donate the pot back to the family.

I had assumed that 2007 would be an uneventful year for finds from the Tottenham Cole Pottery. Surely no more original Cole pots could turn up? After all, the pottery had thrown its last pot in 1955 and closed its doors around 1956. So any Cole pot 'out there' would have had to survive the rigours of use for more than half a century. Much if not all of that time, the pot would probably have been outside in all weathers. Even supposing that one did still exist reasonably intact, would anyone recognise its significance or would they just crush it underfoot or turn it out with the rubbish?

That someone else was Aaron Cranston and the photo shows him handing the pot over to Cole descendants, via me, Pat Cryer, on 7 August. The other photos show close-ups of the pot itself and the lettering which is deeper than on any of the other pots in my collection and without any separators between the words. Interesting the spacing suggests that the lettering should read 'Cole Tottenham' whereas the 2006 pot with separators in the lettering suggested that it should read 'Tottenham Cole'.

All the pots are subtly different. It was said that one could recognise individual potters from their pots and I can see that that would have been the case.

Now in 2007 six original Cole pots are known to be in existence, two of which are in Bruce Castle Museum. This pot is the fourth of the four that have been returned to the family, thanks to the thoughtfulness and generosity of the individuals who came across them see 2003 (Farnham), 2005 (Broadstairs) and 2006 (Haslemere).

One of the four donated pots has already been given to my cousin Richard Cole who instigated the reproduction Cole pots and very much wanted an original of his own. The three in my keeping are proudly on display and will eventually be willed to members of the younger generation of Cole descendants. Who in particular is an open question, as there are still nowhere near enough original Cole pots to go round.

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