Rainham Pottery

Rainham Pottery was an offshoot of the Upchurch Pottery which the Wakeley brothers had opened in 1909. The Upchurch business was eventually purchased by Oscar Davies in 1936, who after selling it on in 1938, opened the Roeginga Pottery on the eastern outskirts of Rainham. Its name seems to have been a variant of the Anglo-Saxon word for Rainham.

Mr and Mrs Davies brought in Edward Baker jr, the son of the Upchurch manager, to run Roeginga for them. It had hardly had time to establish itself when the Second World War broke out and it closed for the duration. It did not reopen until 1948. By 1949, it was producing 200 pieces a week, two thirds of which were exported.

In 1956, Edward Baker jr, its manager, purchased the business for himself, and under the name Rainham Pottery, it manufactured and sold pottery for a further 20 years.

The premises were adjacent to the Man of Kent public house on the A2 road at the eastern edge of Rainham. They consisted of a converted house and a mock-Tudor single storey building which served as a retail outlet and café. In its 1950s heyday, the pottery produced mainly domestic items such as coffee sets, mugs, commemorative ware etc. In 1955, the firm patented the colour “Rainham Blue” which appeared on most articles. Four potters were employed and three women decorated the finished products.

 



From the 1960s, the M2 motorway by-passed Rainham and took away some of Rainham Pottery’s passing trade. The availability of cheaper, mass-produced ware was also becoming a problem for the specialist company. When Edward Baker jr died in 1975, the Pottery closed, and the site became home to a caravan retailer.