View historic pottery patterns on web

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A HISTORIC book of pottery patterns from a vintage South Yorkshire firm is being brought into the 21st century - by being put online for people to browse.

Rockingham went from a small country pottery to a Royal porcelain manufacturer before going bankrupt.

But its legacy now is some of the most highly-collectable porcelain in the country of which some 1,200 pieces can be found in Rotherham Council’s collection.

Now Rotherham Museums, Galleries and Heritage is launching a new website dedicated entirely to the Rockingham Pattern Book - the only one in public hands.

Coun Amy Rushworth, Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “It is wonderful that such a marvellous piece of history is now available for all to see.”

The website - http://rotherham.gov.uk/rockingham - will allow people the opportunity to view the entire Rockingham Pattern Book at the click of a mouse.

Featured online are all 366 pages of the pattern book, with its beautiful hand-painted designs that were copied by the craftsmen and painters at the Rockingham factory in Swinton.

The Pattern Book, bought by the authority with the help of Heritage Lottery funding four years ago, is the second of four volumes, and illustrates tea ware pattern numbers 593 to 995, and dessert ware pattern numbers 450 to 696S.

In all, there are about 650 patterns illustrated on 366 pages.

All the other three Rockingham pattern books are in private hands and so are unavailable to the public.