Events: Woburn China 2004

Woburn China Hazle at Woburn

Saturday 15th May 2004

Woburn Village has been described in guidebooks as "a Georgian town of village proportions". It is noted for its fine architecture, individual shops, tea rooms and restaurants as well as the surrounding countryside and parkland. Over 200 listed buildings can be found, many lining the High Street and photographed by Hazle! There isn’t much traffic making it pleasant to wander around. We ended up in the same restaurant as last year, opposite Woburn China. Owned by a brother of the current Duke, it serves fresh imaginative food in a charming setting.

Philip and Anne Hastings (who is just out of the photo above) were off to see nearby Woburn Abbey, home to successive Dukes of Bedford. There has been an extensive BBC TV series about the estate and the adjoining Woburn Safari Park.

As a result of the new system inaugurated at Woburn China in 2003 when one-offs got turned into short run Limited Paintings, there was no early stampede of collectors. Instead there was a steady trickle throughout the event including some new faces. The eleven Signing Specials on offer, plus the ongoing Woburn China, are shown below.

NOTE in 2006: This site is now for information only as the ceramics are no longer in production.

The Mustard Pot


This pretty piece is painted on the retired RUGBY building (Sports Shop without canopies).

The artist Doreen Bright only started painting specials in 2003 but has developed a very distinctive style full of tiny, delicate details. She also has a reputation for meticulous research into her subjects, which she really enjoys.

Almost every window pane in the shop front has a pot of mustard. The ceramic has an attractive green trim with the wall in a contrasting pale pink.

Closing Down


Sometimes when a ceramic is retiring, a Closing Down version is painted and it was decided to do this with the LONDON CROSS KEYS pub.

If you own one of Iona Driver’s “Closing Down” Victorian Pubs from 2000 you will recognise the skilfully painted cracks on the wall and brickwork exposed by crumbling exterior plaster!

Painted in muted colours - apart from the big red SOLD sticker in the main window - it shows this attractive building in a different light.

the Waxwork Museum


By just changing the painting of the windows and the wall colour to purpley-grey, Iona has dramatically altered the appearance of the LONDON TAVERN building. The original figures drinking in the entrance become a tableau here from London’s past.

This piece was the favourite of the most elderly collector at the event, who used to make china dolls. With the Signing upstairs, she had a special viewing with Hazle from her wheelchair on the ground floor of Woburn China.

Daily Gazette/Peabody's


Painted by Sharon Stroud on the retiring LIVERPOOL M&S.

The prototype of this painting appears on the front page of High Street News Issue 25 as “Freebody’s”. For the LP10 the name was changed to Peabody's but all other details remain the same.

The Oriental Bazaar inside the shop includes textiles, trunks and an ornately shaped mirror.

In an upper window of The Gazette, a bowler-hatted hack bashes his copy into an old manual typewriter.

Cottage Hospital


"Small is Beautiful" applies both to Cottage Hospitals and Hazle Ceramics! Looking charming and inviting just visiting this building should make you feel better.

Based on the delightful WOODSTOCK building with its honeyed Cotswold stone, the climbing lilac foliage of the Wisteria Tearooms has become a rose pink and flowers in the stone urns are a pretty blue. In the left window one can glimpse people in the Waiting Room and to the right is a Doctor’s Office.



This painting is on the WEST MALVERN building (minus post box) with a red and black shop front.

Babushka is the Russian word for baby and this shop is full of Russian porcelain dolls, including the ones that fit inside each other. The stand outside normally carries a newspaper headline, but instead has a large, detailed image of a doll.

The Gnome Sanctuary


Especially for fans of Middle Earth or those looking for something unusual! Iona was watching a programme on a Gnome Sanctuary in Essex and couldn’t resist turning the subject into a quirky Hazle Ceramic, also on the retiring LONDON CROSS KEYS. Including the transformed “Cherubs” on the Cross Keys symbol, this painting is full of little people in pointy hats peeping out from tall grasses.

(I visited such a place in North Devon 25 years ago - we just happened to be passing! The owner believed that gnomes in one’s garden encouraged the real thing, which she believed to be benevolent life forces or nature spirits.)

Woburn China Shop


Painted by Sharon Stroud in pretty colours on the BATH ABBEY GREEN building, the windows are full of the china found in this lovely shop and Hazle stockist on three storeys in historic Woburn village.

A photo of Woburn China’s exterior façade on the High Street appears at the top of this page.

The Pasty Shop


This ceramic on BATH SALLY LUNN focuses on the regional food specialities of the Cornish Pasty and Scottish Bridie.

The wall is painted an attractive bluey-grey and the window is full of goodies. On the small raised plaque above the left hand door a mini-painting shows a typical Cornish scene.



A rare special painted on the retiring LONDON PROSPECT in a simple yet elegant colourway of silver-blue and green.

Unsurprisingly the shop windows are full of curios and furniture! There is a very large ANTIQUES sign beneath the roof, painted to match the building.

Express Courier


A second variation on the WEST MALVERN building, this time with the post box, and a dark green trim.

The shop front is full of parcels and there is a model aircraft with the words ‘By Air’. The lady assistant is consulting a reference book to find the price of the package she is weighing on the scales. There is a globe in the first floor window and the sign outside reads ‘Next Day Delivery’.



Another Sharon masterpiece on LIVERPOOL M&S.

The shop front is painted in Hazle's traditional Chemist blue. The beautiful old glass bottles filled with coloured liquids are known as carboys and over the centuries have been widely adopted as a chemist's symbol. After dark, they were lit from behind by oil lamps or gas jets.

The few shops that still have carboys claim the coloured water has never been changed - or even topped up!

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