The Museum has recently opened a new display in collaboration with Worcester Rowing Club as part of WRC’s 150th anniversary celebrations this year. WRC has a longstanding history with Worcester porcelain, with commemorative ceramics being produced by the Porcelain for the Club since 1874. The objects on display at the Museum are on loan from WRC and its members. This display has been supported by Arts Council England National Lottery Project grants and WRC members.

Andy Payne, WRC President, said:

On 14 March 1874, at the Bell Hotel on Broad Street, 55 gentlemen founded Worcester Rowing Club (WRC). Sir Edmund Lechmere was the club’s first president and Frank William Grainger (son of porcelain manufacturer George Grainger) was Honorary Secretary and Captain. George Grainger’s porcelain works manufactured the pink loving cup to celebrate the Club’s inauguration, the first of many commissions. In the 1880s, WRC entered a ‘Golden Age’ of rowing, winning numerous Challenge Cups – including the prestigious West of England Challenge Vase, and the Club continued to excel in regattas across the country over the course of the 20th century. To mark these successes, Royal Worcester porcelain was regularly presented in the form of two-handled or ‘Loving’ cups.

WRC continues to thrive in Worcester and has recently celebrated successes for both Men’s and Women’s crews at Henley Royal Regatta.

Sophie Heath, Museum Director, said:

Collaborating with WRC on this display has been a wonderful opportunity to illustrate this story of Worcester’s sporting endeavour, community and leisure on the River Severn through porcelain – a previously unexplored connection that adds to the rich community links within our collections. The Museum would like to extend special thanks to WRC Archivist Peter Richardson and Bill Needham.

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