Last weekend we had a three night visit from one of our daughters, together with husband and two children. We had a number of “exciting” activities lined up for us all and one of these was a longish walk in the countryside. Our daughter’s son enjoyed this from the comfort of his push chair, but her daughter had to walk. Now she is a charming child, (hard not to be, looking at her grandparents) but walking is not her favourite activity.
To encourage her to engage in the walk I introduced her to the made up story, shared between the two of us, that countless parents and grandparents have used over the generations. We had a fox called Arthur, a cat who could talk, a boy who was mean to his sister and a family of rabbits. Each story had to have someone in it called Arthur, our granddaughter’s favourite name, my grandfathers name and if my father had won the naming battle with my mother, it would have been mine too.
Strangely the whole experience made me think of the Beswick factory. Why ever could that be? Well I think it’s the name Arthur. The chief modeller at the Beswick factory from 1939 to 1957 was Arthur Gredington and thanks to him there is now a huge selection of wonderful animals to choose from.
Horses, cows and bulls are the most popular, especially the larger more impressive variations. Because of the immense variety, collectors tend to concentrate on one particular animal. Some models were only made for a short time and therefore more desirable today, for example the Galloway Bull which was only made from 1963 to 1969. He is available in three versions, with the all black being the rarest and so most prized.
Beswick was eventually sold to Royal Doulton in 1969, but animals marked “Beswick” continued to be made until 1989. They are without doubt a very exciting collectors field.
Senior Valuer Michael Dowse
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