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Cinque Ports Pottery (Ltd)

From the mid-19th century until its closure at the outbreak of the Second World War, The Bellevue Pottery was the dominant force in Rye. In 1947, this factory was reopened as the ‘Rye Pottery’ by the brothers John and Walter Cole.

David Sharp joined the company in 1947 as their first apprentice and left in 1956 to form ‘Rye Art Pottery’ with George Gray. After a dispute with Rye Pottery, who believed that there was a conflict due to the names being so similar, they changed the name to ‘Cinque Port Pottery’.

By the early 1960s, the business was thriving and so they incorporated it and changed the name to ‘Cinque Ports Pottery Ltd’.

In 1964, the partnership ended, and George Gray retained the Cinque Ports name. He set up new premises at The Monastery and incorporated this into his backstamp. He was able to produce commercial domestic wares in large quantities, which was something he hadn’t been able to do with David Sharp.

The pottery was taken over by Jim Elliot in the 1980s, who had been a partner in Iden Pottery. The business continued under a couple of different names until closing in 2007.

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