A to Z Anthology

As the Society no longer produces newsletters, we will post occasional items of interest here.
Topics will be chosen at random.
Your contributions are welcome.

R is for Royalty on Rails

Maling never received a royal visit, but they did have a close encounter of the first-class kind. In the late 1950s Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother travelled to Tyneside to perform a ship launching ceremony. The royal train passed along the line which ran next to the factory.

The illustration (right) does not represent the actual occasion but gives an idea of the proximity of the tracks which, as Maling had their own massive network of sidings, alllowed pots to start their journey around the world.

Former paintress and aerographer Joyce Hayley was working on the top floor of the pottery and she and her co-workers had a bird's eye view of the event. They prised open the rickety 80-year-old windows and waved.

Joyce recollects: "The train slowed right down. The Queen Mother was standing at the door of her carriage and she waved back. It was one of the greatest moments of my life". (Joyce and friends share more memories in our video - free to view or download.)

The Queen Mother has another connection with Maling. Her portrait appears on the "souvenir casket" produced for the coronation of her husband King George VI in 1937.

A correspondent once asked if the casket was intended to hold human remains.
No, just tea or biscuits.
One day we will get around to "I is for Idiots".

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