No sooner than I decided to start collecting Willow Pattern crockery, sparked by Sarah and Jim’s kind boatwarming gift, I started seeing it everywhere!
My first find was in the Salvation Army shop in Cambridge – a proper charity shop, where part of its purpose it to provide cheap essentials for people who can’t afford to buy new. They had a stack of plates and bowls, so I got four dessert bowls, four side plates, but only three dinner plates (annoying!). I couldn’t complain though – this haul set me back all of £5.40 for the lot, as each item was betwen 40p and 70p!
Then, whilst in Emmaus, we spotted a little milk jug and a sole dinner plate to add to my three. It’s not a perfect match – there are so many variations on a theme with Willow Pattern – but it makes a set of four.
Finally, whilst I was in Exeter, my mum gave me a lovely Willow pattern teapot, which used to belong to my dad’s grandparents. I remember it being on the breakfast table when we went to stay with them. It’s lovely to have this piece of my family’s history to use for serving tea. Sadly they died before I even went to university so they never knew of my boating endeavours, but I’m sure they would have loved to come boating with us. They lived in Wantage, Oxfordshire, and the Wantage Arm of the now derelict Wilts and Berks canal passed the lane at the end of their street. We often went walking along the parts which were still in water.
I also collect enamelware (mostly blue and white), which goes well with Willow pattern. Last week we had a clear out of all the crockery which wasn’t either Willow or enamel – there’s not a lot of room to keep everything and it feels sort of grown-up to have everything matching!