An Antique Crested Ware Find & A Series Of Unlikely Events - Whitchurch (Hants) to York

Just For Fun


A happy "Blog Post Monday" to you wonderful lot!  I hope we're all bearing up and staying as positive as we possibly can right now.  Hopefully this post will help brighten up your day.

I was sat straining my brain for something mildly interesting to write about this week when it struck me!  No, not Covid, but an intriguing true story that I thought I could share.

So, as always, get that kettle on or, perhaps, to make this story a little more interesting, take a shot of liquor every time I mention the word "Whitchurch" (drink)...  Here's a story of a little place called Whitchurch (drink), an antique and a series of unlikely events...

 Image:  Whitchurch Silk Mill courtesy of Visit Hampshire


I was born and raised in a little place called Whitchurch (drink) in Hampshire.  In 1888 a newspaper was quoted as saying "People who live IN it call it a town. People who live OUT of it call it a village.  It is about as big as a good-sized pocket handkerchief.  It has three shops and 19 public houses." 


Image:  Whitchurch, Hants.  Courtesy of the Happy Snapper -


19 pubs...!?  A town...okay okay...OR a village...full of drunks, ladies and gentlemen...


Image:  The White Hart in Whitchurch - courtesy of


Famous Whitchurch (drink) residents have included Lord Denning (once described as "the greatest English judge of modern times"), Richard Adams (author of Watership Down) and Carl Barât (of the band the Libertines).


Image:  Lord Denning, Richard Adams, Carl Barât


Much of the town is a Conservation Area and because of the amount of wildlife in and near to the River Test, its course and banks are designated as a site of special interest.


Image:  The River Test courtesy of Andrea Jones / Garden Exposures Photo Library 


Anyway, I moved away from Whitchurch (drink) many years ago now, finding myself in a few different places, until I came to stop in Scotland for a few years.  Then came my move to my current home in York, North Yorkshire.  Shortly before moving to York, my Grandfather, Robin (Bob) Jones, had passed away, he was a long standing Whitchurch (drink) resident of Station Road. 


Image:  Whitchurch, Hants.  Courtesy of the Happy Snapper -


He had left me his coin collection and upon moving to York, I thought it best to get the coins checked out for insurance purposes, in case there was something of value.



Walking through the streets of York one day, I spotted an antiques shop.  I popped in to see if they could tell me anything about the coins.  They couldn't help, but as I skipped back out of the shop, I noticed a job advertisement in their window.  I thought to myself, this wouldn't be a bad place to work...  So, I skipped back in and enquired about the position.  Long story short, I got a job there and that's where I stayed for a few years...until the pandemic struck...!


Image:  The Shambles York - courtesy of Visit Britain


Anyway, a few days into my new job, I went to assist a customer with an item.  I opened the cabinet and passed him a piece of antique Crested Ware in the shape of a little boat rested atop of some rocks.  I took it to the sales desk for him and as I was about to wrap it, I noticed it had a Whitchurch (drink) crest on it.  Now, there are several places named Whitchurch (drink) around the UK, so I didn't initially think anything of it.  However, on turning it over, I saw it was stamped "Made in England J.Hide Whitchurch (drink) Hants".


Image:  The Whitchurch, Hants Crested Ware


Crested Ware was first produced by W. H. Goss and Co. of Stoke on Trent in 1888, the company having gained permission from UK towns to reproduce their arms on miniature porcelain pieces.  During its heyday it was an immense success, due to the popularity of souvenir collecting brought about by expansion of the railways and the introduction of bank holidays in 1871.  It is said that by 1910, 95% of homes had Crested china on their mantelpiece.


Image:  The Whitchurch, Hants Crested Ware


Now, I've seen plenty of Crested Ware in my time, it's very common, but why on earth was there a piece marking the existence of tiny little Whitchurch (drink) in Hampshire...!?  Why did people visit this little place back then...?  Probably for its 19 pubs, eh...!?


Image:  Whitchurch, Hants.  Courtesy of the Happy Snapper - 


As much as I wanted to snatch this piece off the customer and keep it for myself, I had to proceed with the sale.  I explained to him that I was from Whitchurch (Drink), to which he was completely disinterested and told me to add extra bubblewrap... But thankfully I did manage to capture a couple of photos before wrapping it.



I sent the photos to my Sister, who still lives in Whitchurch (drink), to see if she could shed any light on it.  She, in turn, posted it on the 'Whitchurch (drink) Nostalgia' Facebook group to see if anyone had any information.  People began sharing stories of the Hide family and 'J.Hide's' shop in Whitchurch (drink).  Someone was even able to share a picture of the shop itself.


Image:  Whitchurch, Hants.  Courtesy of the Happy Snapper -


But, I suppose, what I find most crazy about all of this is the series of events leading up to this.  My Grandfather had passed away in Whitchurch (drink) shortly before I moved to York.  It was his coins that gave me reason to go into this antiques shop.  It was this shop that gave me a job and it was in this shop that I found the piece of Whitchurch (drink) Crested Ware...!!!  I mean, seriously, is this or is this not a series of spooky coincidences...!?


Image:  My Grandfather Robin 'Bob' Jones


Anyway, that's it for this week folks!  You must be absolutely wasted by now with all the shots you've had!  I hope you've enjoyed this week's post, if you can remember any of it...!!  If you have enjoyed it, please show your support by subscribing to my blog, which you can do so via the "Homepage" or by clicking on "create account" in the top bar.  And as always, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, it's always nice to hear from you.

So, until next, stay safe, keep buying those antiques and keep spreading that Source Vintage love!




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  • Stephen - Source Vintage on

    Hi David,
    Thanks so much for commenting. What a lovely story. Isn’t it funny how excited we get when we see or find something connected to home. I don’t know about you, but it fills me with so much warmth and comfort. Like a great big nostalgic hug! Thanks for reading my blog. All the best to you.

  • David Wiltshire on

    I had a similar experience in York. I’m originally a whitchurch( Hants ) boy too, I moved to Andover in 1969. Several years ago we decided on a week in York for a break and mid week we went to the Rail Museum there. After wandering around looking at the various, very interesting exhibits we wandered over to the station set ups with coaches and engines lined up on the various platforms. One had a ticket office on it and all the old tickets there were from Andover in Hampshire. An amazing coincidence.

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