The retirees go Abroad – Living ordinary lives in the UK – Royal Crown Derby Porcelain

We have been coming to the UK now for over 6 years and each time we have agreed that we must visit the Royal Crown Derby Porcelain factory. Sounds a bit boring so we managed to skip it time and time again. At this time of the year when very little is open and the weather is cold, we could not escape so on a grey day we tripped over to Derby and the Royal Crown Derby Museum and factory for the tour. The factory is in the inner suburbs of Derby.

“The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is an oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain manufacturer, based in Derby, England (disputed by Royal Worcester 1751 year of establishment). The company, particularly known for its high-quality bone china, has produced tableware and ornamental items since approximately 1750. It was known as ‘Derby Porcelain’ until 1773, when it became ‘Crown Derby’, the ‘Royal’ being added in 1890. The factory closed down in the past under Royal Doulton ownership, but production was revived under the renewed ownership of Hugh Gibson and Pearson family.” (Wikipedia)

Upon arriving at a plain looking factory we entered into a reception/ Museum. Whilst waiting for the tour to begin we looked around the Museum and as I did not see the sign prohibiting photography I took these shots, so you are very lucky to see this lovely display of porcelain. First thing I spotted was the Zepplin marked service which is the contents of the furnace when the factory was hit by a bomb dropped by a Zepplin in WW1 (there are very few of the pieces still remaining and if you see a piece marked with the Zepplin then it is very rare) Then there is the settings for the SS Olympic and SS Titanic. RCD made the settings and of course had to replace the settings for the Titanic. There are also copies of specific orders for the Royal family, middle-eastern potentates and American millionaires.

In the centre of the museum is a very special piece which was the last photo I snapped before I was informed about the prohibition. We toured the factory and saw everything from the throwing of the clay to the hand painting of special pieces. We even learnt how to distinguish seconds from first pieces. Certainly interesting and worth doing. We then visited the visited the general museum with pieces from 1750 through to the present. It included a special exhibition from a private collector which basically filled a room 15m x 7m. Then as we left there was a special exhibition of vases. So I took some special photos of these very precious vases.

As usual we ended up in the gift shop and noticed that there was a special on certain firsts but just as we started selecting our pieces this other chap started taking the pieces off the table by the armful. It turned out that he is a retailer who grabs all these things for his shop. We got away with our few pieces before he swooped.


Retirees Go Abroad – Ordinary Lives living in the UK – Erewash Canal


Well it is now three weeks since we returned from our Xmas New year tour with the Bishops and apart from hosting a short visit by Svien Koningen, we have been conserving our resources. In this period we have walked our canal, visited Crown Derby Porcelain Factory, toured the peak District to see it in snow, a day tour commencing with a walking tour of Long Eaton, followed by visiting Attenborough Wildlife Reserve, University of Nottingham St Lawrence Centre, Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, Southwell Minster and Thoresby Hall. Then we tripped down to Thornton Reservoir, and Boswell Field Battle Visitors centre.

Walking the Erewash Canal

One of the only things flowering at this time is in the garden of our flats. Apparently it is a Himalayan bush hence the cold weather makes it flower. On this day I took a series of photos of our canal (Erewash Canal). Trent Lock (the canal junction with the River Trent) has two pubs, the Steamboat and Trent Lock. I have included some photos of places things and inhabitants of the canal.  I have been playing with the settings on the camera so you will see some different effects.

We have previously always walked toward Trent Locke in the east, but on a particularly nice day we walked in the opposite direction toward Langley Mill in the west. I did not take the camera because we were just going for a walk. Next time I will get some shots.

What started out as a bright cloudless day turned a bit sour when the wind lifted and with the ambient temperature hovering around 1*C the wind had a real bite.

Despite the cold, we walked for about an hour arriving in Sandiacre yet another nearby village. Kerry spotted the Red Lion Pub and wanted to warm up so we crossed the road to find it was permanently closed. There are a lot of abandoned hotels throughout these villages and this one presented an interesting building which appeared to have the old stables still in the back of the hotel. She spotted the White Lion Pub 100m up the road but I was not interested and so we turned around and walked home. There are two further locks in this section. In all the canal has 14 locks and is approximately 11 miles in length.