Carlton Ware's earliest range was Blush Ware, transfer printed or hand-painted floral designs on pastel backgrounds. Throughout the decades, Carlton Ware has been inspired by many themes, including blue and white, museum artefacts, coats of arms, military vehicles, suffragettes, Asian and Egyptian scenes, hollyhocks, foxgloves and violets, the colors of rouge, vert, noir and bleu, advertising for companies such as Guinness and, the more modern 'walking ware' featuring little feet.
Lesser known facts in Carlton Ware history are the two tragedies which befell the Wiltshire family which owned the company.
One of the founding owners, James Wiltshire was killed in a dreadful railway station accident, leaving Carlton Ware to his son Frederick Cuthbert.
In 1952, Frederick's wife was brutally murdered in their home. She was beaten to death with a poker during a robbery and the police pinned her murder to Leslie Green, who was subsequently hung. Leslie was a former chauffeur to the family, sacked two months prior to the robbery for using a car for his own purposes.
Three thousand pounds worth of jewellery was stolen in the robbery. Police found Green had given rings to his girlfriend that matched stolen items. His shoes matched bloody footprints left at the scene of the murder and he had a recently healed cut on the thumb of his left hand which perfectly matched a tear in blood stained gloves also left behind.
The pictured bowl and serving plate are treasured pieces of Carlton Ware, handed down by my late grandmother.