Visitors can potter about the East Yorkshire seaside town of Hornsea and discover a fascinating ceramics legacy thanks to a new art trail – launched 70 years after a once world-famous pottery started selling souvenirs to tourists.
Hornsea Pottery may have closed 19 years ago, but at its height it employed 700 people and sold ceramics worldwide, and to this day remains a popular brand with collectors.
Now, 70 years after brothers Desmond and ColinRawson started making Plaster of Paris models in the scullery of their house, ‘Heritage on the High Street – A Celebration of Hornsea Pottery’ marks that legacy with a specially designed art trail.
Bringing Hornsea Pottery designs to life on the streets of this small seaside resort, the first pieces of artwork were installed at the end of 2018 – with more scheduled to be unveiled soon.
Local artist Adele Howitt has created the designs and when all the pieces are installed a celebration event is planned featuring tours of the art trail with the artist, as well as poetry readings and a display of original Hornsea Pottery.
The trail consists of six bespoke pieces of art, including several Hornsea designs set into the pavement around the town, a piece of pavement art, and geometric and fish designs decorating the roundabout at Market Place.
Known the world over for its innovative pottery – famous for its striking contemporary and quirky designs – the brand still draws collectors to the seaside town; and at Hornsea Museum, based in an 18th Century farmhouse, visitors can see the world’s biggest collection of Hornsea Pottery.
Pottery and tourism have always been closely linked here. In 1949, the Rawsons started their business by making models to sell as affordable souvenirs to Hornsea’s rising number of visitors, while in later years the pottery offered factory tours as well as a retail shop and cafe. After the factory closed, the site continued as a leisure destination and became the UK’s first factory outlet shopping village, Hornsea Freeport, which is still a popular visitor attraction today.
As well as the new art trail, Hornsea is also set to benefit from a £4.2m scheme on the South Promenade, which will see new visitor facilities and improvements to commercial and leisure boat facilities creating a welcoming gateway to the sea front later in 2019.
The art trail project has been funded by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), and Arts Council England, along with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the 4 Good Fund and St Hugh’s Foundation.
For more details about the area, visit www.visithullandeastyorkshire.com.