We were delighted earlier this week to receive a random email from Michael Hammond in Auckland, New Zealand.
He tells us that he was just having a look in a charity shop, rummage around in a box and something caught his eye – some Middleport pottery. He used to live around the corner and bicycle to work in Kidsgrove using canal tow paths where possible.
And after a bit of a search through a box he came across some mug coasters and got this ‘set’ for about a pound. As you can see from the photographs of the items the coasters are of local canal scenes, featuring the Bonded Warehouse.
Who knows how they managed to end up in New Zealand , but Michael thought that maybe one of our members or canal users might recognize the images of the coasters which perhaps date back to perhaps in 70-80’s?
Fellow Trustees have provided further information of what the images depict as follows:
Top Left, Broad Street Wharf, Wolverhampton (top of the 21)
Top Right, Bonded Warehouse before the dry dock was built but after the winding hole creation. So if my memory is correct the photo is post 1990. The first boat named Dadford went into the dry dock in 1997.
Bottom left, Bratch Locks, Wombourne.
Bottom Right, Gas Street Basin in Birmingham before its re-development.
We suspect that they were sold by Inland Waterways Authority and other canal shops including the Blackcountryman shop. They were probably a holiday memento present to relatives back in NZ as we do have a surprising number of visitors from down under, who hire boats often for 4 weeks or more.
Of the two boats moored alongside the wharf (where the Dry Dock is today, the boat on the inside is OLLY which was owned and liked on by Colin & June Beard. June was SNT Manager from c1988 until 2000.
If you have any personal recollection of the coasters or indeed have some of your own we would be pleased to hear from you to add more detail of these items found on the other side of the world.