Web Page No 2348
25th February 2017
Top Picture: Goss China
Second Picture: Goss Factory
Third Picture: Donald Gill postcard
Whilst going through the tea towel drawer at home ( I live an exciting life) I noted amongst all the towels we had inherited several had the words ‘A Gift from XVZ’ on it and it made me think how different the souvenir trade is today as opposed to what we and our parents brought home as gifts.
Remember when we went away with our parents when we were children we always brought back a gift for most of the relations. What are the ones that come to mind apart from the tea towels? Coloured sand lighthouses from Alum Bay on the Isle of Wight, Cornish elves or pixies made of Plaster of Paris and painted in bright colours, thermometers attached again to Plaster of Paris items plaques, ornaments or wall plates. For ourselves we collected the plastic triangular stickers to put on father’s rear screen or cloth badges to sew or stick on your duffle bag. Maybe a small flag or guide book took your fancy or some other such inexpensive item.
Mother and father would religiously buy and/or send boxes of toffees or fudge to relatives and if you were in the West Country the thing to do was to send tins of clotted cream through the post to those at home and in those days, you could guarantee that they would get there before you got home. The same went for spring flowers and plants!
Some folks collected small pieces of china wherever they went and had quite a large collection of crested pottery around the house. Most of these pieces were made by the Goss Pottery Company, other factories, including Carlton, Shelley and Arcadian, also made souvenir ware but Goss was and still is the most collectable. The history of the company is interesting William Henry Goss (1833-1906), owner of the Falcon pottery in Stoke-on-Trent and his sons, Adolphus and Victor, are credited with the idea of making souvenir ware bearing crests and names of seaside resorts in the late 19th century. Now, many British people are familiar with the white glazed porcelain souvenirs, typically in classical shapes of Roman and Greek antiquities. They also made tiny replicas of visitor attractions like a statue of Captain Cook with the name and crest of the Captain's home town of Whitby. Small busts of famous people like Queen Victoria or George V, were also made together with of ships and cars. However examples of Goss cottages are amongst the most collectible.
By the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, Goss china was immensely popular and, it is said, at least 90% of homes had at least one piece of Goss crested China. The First World War caused a decline and in 1929 the Goss family sold their factory which continued to produce souvenir ware until the end of the 1930s. After the Second World War interest in Goss revived and continued.
Genuine Goss china usually has an inscription on the base describing the item and also a goshawk crest with the name W.H.Goss below it. The impressed Serif mark 'W.H.Goss' shows manufacture 1858–1887 while the Sans-serif mark indicates 1887–1916. Pieces made from 1930, after the factory was sold, also bear the word 'England'. In all there are over 2,500 different models ranging from tea services to pots and jugs to beautiful coloured figures and cottages and they can be found with over 10,000 different decorations. Although the production of Goss China has long finished, the remaining Falcon Pottery building is a grade two listed building part of the London Road site in Stoke on Trent and now owned by an unrelated company, Portmerion.
Whilst on holiday it was the accepted thing to send postcards and there was always a discussion as whether to send a card with a view to the relatives or one of Donald Gill’s saucy ones. The view always won in our house!
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On this Day 25th February 1960-1965
On 25/02/1960 the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was Some Like It Hot. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was USSR wins Winter Olympics.
On 25/02/1961 the number one single was Sailor - Petula Clark, Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The top-rated TV show was The Army Game (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmatians. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 The big news story of the day was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada).
On 25/02/1962 the number one single was Rock-a-Hula Baby/Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 25/02/1963 the number one single was The Wayward Wind - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top-rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 25/02/1964 the number one single was Anyone Who Had a Heart -Cilla Black and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top-rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 25/02/1965 the number one single was I'll Never Find Another You - Seekers and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top-rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.