Royal Worcester’s Evesham Pattern was introduced in 1961 as the beginning of a new trend for more informal dining that was to bring the humble casserole dish from the kitchen to the dining table. Evesham, named after the local fruit-growing region near Worcester, was Royal Worcester’s best-selling brand of the late 20th century.
The original painted fruit sprays were painted by Professor Baker, Ronald van Ruyckevelt, Peter Ewence and other members of the team in the Royal Worcester Design Department.
- Apples, pears, cherries, damsons and blackberries were just a few of the colourful fruit sprays developed. These original designs were then faithfully reproduced using an eighteenth century technique in which lithographic stones were painstakingly engraved to reveal an impression of the original artwork for transfer to the porcelain.
- The design was first proofed in1961.
- The Design Department worked on the pattern throughout 1961/62 until five items were introduced in 1962.
- The artwork was reproduced in 26 colours using lithographic prints and items were finished with hand applied gilding.
- The rich fruit pattern was immediately popular and the number of items in the Evesham range was gradually extended.
- By 1965 a large range of porcelain cookware was available including casseroles, ramekins, saucepans, soufflé cases and flan dishes.
- In 1967 a range of boxed giftware items was introduced.
- In 1968 hard porcelain tableware was introduced in the Severn shape, designed by Neal French.
- In 1980 a range of Evesham cutlery was developed.
- Public demand for porcelain to use in the microwave inspired the introduction of Evesham Vale, which has a green rather than gold edging, in 1987.
- In 1992 the traditional Evesham tea and coffee items were changed from ‘Severn Shape’ to the more up to date ‘Malvern Shape’ designed by Franklyn Francis.
- In 1992 Peter Ewence stated after 30 years Evesham could be seen in one in five households in the UK.
- 1994 saw the introduction of the Classic Gift Collection. This range of functional, attractive items included a crudité dish, wall clock, scallop bowls and a mint tray.
- In 1996 the pattern selection was altered increasing the number of fruit sprays on each item to produce a greater density of decoration.
- Evesham was sold all over the world. New items were added to the range over the years such as a pizza plate and spaghetti jar, reflecting changes in lifestyle and culinary habits.
- Giftware items were very successful with the crudité and shell dish among the top selling lines within the range.