Pottery business to revive industry

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A new enterprise is doing its bit to revive a Castleford industry with the launch of a new paint a pot business at Queen’s Mill.

James and Ruth Knowles are launching Riverside Paint a Pot at the premises of Castleford Heritage Trust on Saturday, October 17.

They will be operating at Queen’s Mill every Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Visitors pay for an unfired piece of pottery, ranging from ornaments to plates and cups, which they can then decorate before it is fired and glazed.

Mr Knowles, who is also a volunteer at the trust, said: “We think it’s a fantastic venue and it’s another way of attracting people to the mill. In part we were inspired by the success of Queen’s Mill Tea Room, which opened here in August, and all the new people it’s brought to the mill.”

The venture is also a nod to Castleford’s pottery past - the town had ten potteries by the mid-19th century, but the industry died out in the last 40 years.

Mrs Knowles said: “We like the idea that in doing this we are bringing a touch of the town’s past back to life, which we think is in keeping with the heritage aims of the trust.

“It’s a relaxing activity for families, adults and children.”

The venue has room for up to 26 people, and it is advisable to book a place in advance, although people can just drop in.

The couple will also host special events like birthday parties and evenings by arrangement. Completed items will be available for collection from seven days later.

Mr Knowles added: “Ruth is a DBS-checked, mainstream and special needs trained teaching assistant, so it is suitable for children who need more attention – get in touch and let us know.”

To find out more, visit facebook.com/riversidepaintapot, email ruth@riversidepaintapot.co.uk or call 07841 572812.