This is my favourite mixing bowl. As you can see old, battered chipped and stained….. but It is not just any bowl. Oh no! This bowl has a history, this mixing bowl is over 50 years old, and this mixing bowl is VINTAGE!
Still quite sturdy and in daily use, but definitely showing its age a little like it’s owner.
Its history starts at RAF Northolt, a station in South Ruislip two miles from Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon Western London. England. Today, the station still handles many civil flights plus Royal and VIP transport to and from London. This is where my husband, a Royal Air Force Air Cartographer and I were based a few years after our marriage. (1)
When our first child was born, we were assigned married quarters at RAF Northolt, and as you are ‘marched in’ to your furnished house an officer accompanies you. He has a list of all the contents within the house, which as you inspect the house, he points out and writes down the condition of each item. Hours later we can take possession. When we leave the same happens, in reverse and the condition of each item is noted and whether we have to pay a fee for misuse or damage.
Because service people get posted frequently, all essentials and furnishings within a married quarter house are provided including this T. G. (Thomas Goodwin) Green Pottery Company mixing bowl which is 31.115 cm (12 1/4 inches) wide. As you can see, it had a large chip on the edge and then had the beginning of a tiny crack inside the bowl, which, over the years has become larger.
The officer made a note that it would be replaced however, it never was but I continued to use it.
A few years later, when we were ‘marched out’ all was in order and no fees were incurred. However, the officer decided that the mixing bowl was to be discarded, as it had a large chip in the edge so, I asked if I could have it. The officer agreed. It was mine!
On the bottom, the date 1971 – the year my eldest son was born, so it is of sentimental value to me – and a three-prong black mark. This broad arrow was used in England (and later Britain), apparently from the early 14th century, and more widely from the 16th century, to mark objects purchased from the monarch’s money, or to indicate government property.. (2)
Whilst my vintage mixing bowl is not in great condition, I know that the vintage gripstand mixing bowl is highly sought after today, and sells online for over100$ Canadian or 26 pounds sterling.
I found the following ad on Etsy just this week and it sold! However, more reasonable prices can be had online.
I use this bowl daily for my baking and cooking I just love it. Traditional Cane Bowls were an item invented in the late 19th century by the precursor of the Mason Cash Company, which was incorporated in Church Gresley in England in 1901. T. G. Green & Co Ltd originally operated from the village of Church Gresley, South Derbyshire between 1864 and 2007.
Church Gresley is medieval village and former civil parish in the Southern District of Derbyshire, England. Gresele is recorded in the Domesday Book. Its first element is of uncertain origin, possibly the Old English grēosn meaning gravel and lēah meaning a woodland clearing. Churchegreseleye was first recorded in 1363 and distinguishes it from Castle Gresley. A priory of Augustine canons was founded at Gresley in the reign of Henry I by William de Gresley, son of Nigel de Stafford. It was suppressed in 1536 in the Dissolution of the Monasteries. (3)
T. G. Green is more famous for their blue and white striped ‘Cornish Kitchen Ware’ produced from the early 1920s (then known as ‘E-Blue’) which, as a child, I remember from my own home and my Granny’s house too. Mugs, plates, cups and saucers teapots, the company made it all.
Sadly now however the old pottery site lies in ruins, the land under private ownership, never likely to ever see the production again, and the last of the South Derbyshire potteries has gone, although as it nears its 100th anniversary the traditional Cornishware is still manufactured and sold through a new T. G. Green & Co Ltd. (4)
My bowl is made from local light brown clay also known as yellow ware and is a ‘Gripstand’ version patented in 1906 it has a wedge in the base, which allows the bowl to be tilted and held at an angle that allows for an easier whisk or stirring.
As my bowl is sorely in need of repair, I think it is about time I find a china repair shop and get the chip and the crack on the inside repaired so I can continue to use it for many more years.
Who knows, maybe pass it along to my eldest grandson, Devon or my granddaughter, Molly-Marguerite aged 9 or her brother Louis-Ryan aged 11, all of whom I am thrilled to know, show a great deal of interest in cooking and baking.
(1) “Northolt predates the establishment of the Royal Air Force by almost three years, having opened in May 1915, making it the oldest RAF base. Originally established for the Royal Flying Corps, it has the longest history of continuous use of any RAF airfield. Before the Second World War outbreak, the station was the first to take delivery of the Hawker Hurricane. The station played a key role during the Battle of Britain, when fighters from several of its units, including No 303 Polish Fighter Squadron, engaged enemy aircraft as part of the defence of London. It became the first base to have squadrons operating Supermarine Spitfire aircraft within German airspace” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Northolt’
The following link is to the T. G. Green pottery archive museum.