When I was growing up my family visited Yorkshire quite often.
My parents both hailed from Yorkshire. Whilst they were growing up they moved around and lived, separately, in various parts of the county, following fathers as they migrated with various jobs.
My parents met whilst living in Evington, near Leicester. Perhaps their Yorkshireness drew them together.
Despite the fact that neither parent had much in the way of family ties to draw them back there, Yorkshire featured strongly in my childhood.
We were taken to Bridlington and Robin Hood’s Bay and to York. We rode on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and ate fish and chips in Scarborough. Much later, I learned that my parents honeymooned in Scarborough. We went on a boat on Hornsea Mere.
This is undoubtedly part of the reason why I have such a lasting fondness for Hornsea Pottery.
My parents took my sister and I to the Pottery on several occasions. I loved it: the vast acres of ceramics in various stages of manufacture. But most of all I loved the shop, where, at the end of the visit, we got to choose a gift.
Most times it was just a badge, or a pencil, or a key ring. But one memorable year each member of the family got a John Clappison-designed mug. A mug! Such a treat! We kept and used them for many years until, inevitably, they all got broken.
Hornsea Pottery is, alas, no more. Some of the designs are becoming quite collectable.
But that’s not why I like them. As well as their intrinsic beauty, they represent for me a part of my life that, like the pottery itself, is now gone forever.