Posts Categorized: England history

My Origin Story!

I received a bulky package in the mail today from my one and only Uncle Mike! He was going through papers from his father, my grandfather, John Jerome Murray. The package contained dozens of letters that I wrote to him and my grandmother in the mid-1970’s…when I left home at 18 I didn’t really ever… Read more »

The Ken and Cousin Vernon Show(s)

“THE BARRELS” After taking some of the photos of the lads drinking cider, I stole a few random video moments, keeping the camera in my hand by my side. The subjects are all over the place, from local gossip to wartime stories, but it’s the language and the music of their Gloucestershire accents that really… Read more »

Old Friends

I can’t really begin to write about all the wonders of this visit, but here’s just another little taste. I just returned from an exhausting and wonderful trip to Devon, where Doug Fitch and friends and family gave me a very warm welcome! I took some little videos of the one lane tracks that abound… Read more »

Two Sides of the Same Coin

    If you’ve read my last post about my ‘Night in the Abbey’ (and why wouldn’t you?!) you will perhaps be able to make sense of today’s title when I tell you that last night I was just as privileged to spend the evening in a shed drinking  cider with my old friend Ken and… Read more »

Before and After

Before aAter All play and no work makes this potter mighty restless, so yesterday Toff and I rebuilt one of the bag walls in his salt kiln…do you think we should have waited?!

Our Humble Abode!

I don’t have much time for writing today, but I had to give you a few photos of the place that Hannah, Doug and I stayed Saturday night After the show ended at Hatfield House we boarded the train for London, where we stayed with the Canon and his wife at WESTMINSTER ABBEY!!! Big Ben… Read more »

That’s All For Now, Folks…

#6…the last for now…   The early history of the pottery at Winchcombe is a bit murky, but it is generally accepted that there had been a pottery on the site for 100 years or so before Michael Cardew came along. Like most potteries of it’s time it was located on a good seam of… Read more »


#5 is a series Still figuring out life 40 years on… Ray picked me up from the coach station when I returned to England a few months later and drove me to the pottery. He told me that a few things had changed in the interval…some bloke by the name of Toff Milway had been… Read more »

Joining the Team

4th in a series… I worked at the Guildhouse for about 6 months, but it was far from a taxing job, teaching a few classes a week and with few other responsiblities I had more idle time on my hands than I would have preferred. I went for long walks over the hills, scattering sheep… Read more »

The Guildhouse

Part III in a Series.     The Guildhouse was the brainchild of Mary Osborne and her story is well worth telling. Mary worked in the east end of London as a social worker before WW2…this was a very impoverished area and it was here that she encountered Mahatma Gandhi who became a friend and inspiration…. Read more »

Well, How Did I Get Here…? *

In the summer of 1977 I was on a 2 month bicycle trip through New York and New England when I received a letter at a post office that I had previously arranged to visit. I still recall sitting against a tree, excited to read the words of the girl that had taken my heart… Read more »

Home Alone…

It’s been just about three weeks now since I left for the U.K. I had two incredible weeks in Scotland including a visit with one of my oldest friends, Jan, and my newest, Hannah and Paul. I can’t  truely describe what it means to return to the Cotswolds, where I write today. In some ways,… Read more »

Hannah’s Revenge!

Sorry for the lack of photos, that’ll have to come later. When Hannah and Doug visited us last year we heard plenty of whinging about inadequate clays. Today in her workshop she tried to foist more of that filthy red stuff on me and I did try…but I’m not up to such a radical change… Read more »

A Little History

No new photos today, so here’s a little piece of my formative years….. I arrived in England and ‘The Guildhouse’ (above) in January, 1978, to teach pottery to ‘seniors’, local villagers and handicapped children. This amazing building was built by the sheer willpower of one woman named Mary Osbourne. To conform with local building codes,… Read more »