Old Hall

 

I grew up with Old Hall in daily use - but not a lot of it. My parents have an Old Hall Connaught Teapot & Coffee / Hot Water jug which my Grandma bought for them before I was born, because she was worried that mum had had a couple of pot teapots whose handles had cracked: Grandma felt that one day the handle might break off a teapot whilst it was full of boiling tea, causing a serious injury to someone, and so she bought the Old Hall items. Oddly Grandma bought herself a Bramah stainless steel teapot around the same time - and I have to say the Bramah one is in superb condition and I still use that too, but I have no idea why she chose the Bramah for herself and the Old Hall for my parents. I can be fairly sure that she bought the items from either Cockaynes, Paulden’s or Walshes’ in Sheffield, the first and last of those three being the most likely bets. (Those were the days when we had quality shops in Sheffield!!)


I must admit that I never gave our Old Hall any thought at all either when I lived with my parents, or until only half a dozen or so years ago in fact. When I worked at Myers Grove I was aware that the head’s P.A. had an Old Hall teapot the same as mum’s in her office which she used to make the head’s tea in; I didn’t even know that the design was called Connaught at that time. Also whilst I worked at Myers my colleague and friend Steve invited me to see his new home which he’d just bought, and I noted a very well designed set of three storage pots in the kitchen, which I could see were not newly bought as they were very obviously much higher quality and better design than anything you get now. Something about the finish made me think they were probably the same maker as mum’s teapot, but they were certainly not the same design. I discovered from the owner of these vessels that they had been given to him, along with an Alveston Tea Set, by his parents. All concerned thought that the storage jars must be Alveston too, because the design was such a perfect match for the tea service, and also because they were known to have been bought from the same shop at the same time. When I got into conversation with Nigel Wiggin of the Old Hall Collectors Club this caused somewhat of a stir as, to the best of Nigel’s knowledge, Old Hall had never made Alveston storage containers. Much e-mailing ensued and my friend dug through his loft to locate the jars, now in storage themselves, thinking that this could be a fantastic discovery. Sadly, when they were inspected closely, the only stamp on them is to show that they are Stainless Steel - no makers’ mark is visible. I’m very intrigued as to who did make these jars, which date to about 1966 and must, surely, have been made with the deliberate intention of complimenting the Old Hall Alveston range. If anyone thinks they may know more about this mystery both I and Nigel would love to hear!


I’ve also seen a Connaught teapot in daily use in the house of  another friend, but I can’t off hand be certain which friend it is, though I think it’s probably my fellow food and garden enthusiast and his family in Chesterfield.


Somehow something made me do a bit of Web research into Old Hall about 6 or 7 years ago, and I quickly found the company history, that Connaught was the best selling range ever. Of course, with the research also swiftly came the knowledge that Robert Welch was a leading designer for Old Hall from the 1950’s onwards and I already knew his name from knowing about David Mellor: suddenly some similarities in design between a few Welch designs and some Mellor ones - most especially between Mellor’s “Embassy” and Welch’s “Alveston” - made sense as they had both trained at the Royal College at approximately the same time and were both reaching the zenith of their design careers a decade or so later.


And that was it, I was hooked! I joined the Old Hall Collectors’ Club shortly afterwards and have been checking the sales lists, a well known on-line auction site, and any charity and second hand shops I happen to pass ever since. I missed out on an Alveston teapot in an online auction recently, but managed to get one from a parallel auction a few days later - great New Year present for myself! The one I got was much more affordable than the one I missed, but so it should be as it has had quite a hard life and really wants some TLC on the spout. The seller claimed to be listing the coffee, milk and sugar to go with it “a day or two” after the teapot ... but that never materialised.


Below you can see thumbnails of my Old Hall collection to date - as and when I get any more I will add to the gallery. Click each thumbnail (or the caption beneath it) to go to the full size image and the details of the item. I’ve included two items which are not Old Hall because they do have links to the collection.


I’m not particularly on the look out for any specific items of Old Hall in the near future (I’ve no where to put much!) but if a Gothic cake stand comes up I’ll certainly be interested, as it will get used with my other  (china)  cake stands when I do Garden Openings and when (if!) we have nice summer weather to entertain folk to afternoon tea in the garden.


Click on the images below to see details of each item in my collection.

Lead Crystal BellOld_Hall__Charles_%26_Diana_Glass_Bell.html
Wine GobletsOld_Hall__Wine_Goblets.html
THIS IS NOT OLD HALL!
Bramah Tea Pot (Grandma’s)Old_Hall__NOT_Old_Hall_-_Bramah_Tea_Pot.html
Alveston CruetOld_Hall__Alveston_Cruet.html
Alveston Tea PotOld_Hall__Alveston_Tea_Pot.html
Connaught Tea ServiceOld_Hall__Connaught_Tea_Service.html
Connaught CruetOld_Hall__Connaught_Cruet.html
‘Dumpy’ Sugar DredgerOld_Hall__Sugar_Dredger.html
Butter Dish with Smoked Glass LinerOld_Hall__Butter_Dish.html
THIS IS NOT OLD HALL!
Swan (Bulpitt & Sons) Kettle
(Great Auntie Dorothy’s)Old_Hall__NOT_Old_Hall_-_Swan_Kettle.html
Napkin RingsOld_Hall__Napkin_Rings.html
Jubilee GobletOld_Hall__Jubilee_Goblet.html
Gothic Cake StandOld_Hall__Gothic_Cake_Stand.html
Alveston Sugar TongsOld_Hall__Sugar_Tongs.html
Charles & Di Tea TrayOld_Hall__Gothic_Cake_Stand.html
Charles & Di Scatter DishOld_Hall__Gothic_Cake_Stand.html
Cake StandOld_Hall__Cake_Stand.html
Cake BasketOld_Hall__Cake_Basket.html
Cake StandOld_Hall__Bodium_Three_Tier_Cake_Stand.html
“LifeSpan” tea light holders Old_Hall__LifeSpan_Candle_Holders.html
Campden CutleryOld_Hall__Campden_Cutlery.html
Warwick Hot Water JugOld_Hall__Warwick_Hot_Water_Jug.html
Campden Pyrex Tumblers and HoldersOld_Hall__Campden_Holders_and_Tumblers.html
Lifespan Egg HoldersOld_Hall__Lifespan_Egg_Holders.html
Mabel Lucie Attwell MugOld_Hall__Mabel_Lucie_Atwell_mug.html
Alveston Hot Water JugOld_Hall__Alveston_Hot_Water_Jug.html
Silver Plated Cream JugOld_Hall__Silver_Plated_Cream_Jug.html
Alveston Sugar BowlOld_Hall__Alveston_Sugar_Basin.html
Alveston Cream JugOld_Hall__Alveston_CReam_Jug.html
Oblong Hammered TrayOld_Hall__Oblong_Hammered_Tea_Tray.html
Chippendale Edged TrayOld_Hall__Chippendale_Edge_Tea_Tray.html
Lifespan ‘square’ TrayOld_Hall__Lifespan_square_Tea_Tray.html
Dodecagonal TrayOld_Hall__Dodecagonal_Tea_Tray.html
Oblong Campden TrayOld_Hall__Campden_Oblong_Tea_Tray.html
Round Hammered TrayOld_Hall__Round_Hammered_Tea_Tray.html
Sweets DishOld_Hall__Sweet_Dish.html
Stockton & Darlington TrayOld_Hall__Stockton_%26_Darlington_Railway_Tea_Tray.html
Barrel Outline TrayOld_Hall__Barrel_Outline_tray_with_rosewood_handles.html
Bright Connaught Tea SetOld_Hall__Connaught_Tea_Service_%28Bright%29.html