Tantallon Ceramics was NOT a Bo'ness pottery but is featured on this website in order to complete the history of the McNay
Harry started Tantallon Ceramics in the East Lothian town of North Berwick.
There was no traditional potter’s wheel on the premises as all the wares were produced from moulds. The simpler moulds were made
on the premises but the more complicated moulds were made to order by an outside mould maker.
The wares, sold predominantly by gift shops and stores throughout the country, were under-glaze hand decorated. Dennis was one of
the decorators and worked with Evelyn Morren, the chief decorator.
As the firm grew, Harry became more involved with the administrative side of the business and his friend, Eddie Stenhouse, took over
as mould maker, kilnman etc.
The small pottery was at 25 Station Hill, hidden from view by a row of shops and connected to the street by a long corridor. At the
entrance was a showcase exhibiting the latest wares that could be bought in the small shop located within the pottery. The pots proved
popular with the locals and when the “seconds” went on sale the queue stretched along the corridor and out on to the pavement!
During school holidays, Harry and Dennis' daughter, Jane, helped out in the pottery. Assembling brooches and fettling the pots before
firing in the biscuit kiln were just two of her jobs.
When it was at its peak, the pottery had a workforce of about 10 making approximately 55 different items.
The business closed in 1987.
Looking up Station Hill, Tantallon Ceramics was behind the shops next to the parked cars
The entrance was between what is now Wilkies and Carol Morin Hairdressing (in December 2006)
25 Station Hill ~ a corridor went between the shops to the pottery behind
Left - right: Evelyn Morren, Dennis McNay, Patsy Sinclair
Ann Borg filling the moulds to make jam pot containers
Molly (don't know surname - can anyone help?) tending to the moulds (above) and fettling (below)
A corner of the pottery was set aside as the factory shop
Hand written recollections of the wares produced at Tantallon Ceramics
(Click on list for a larger printable version)
The backstamp used by Tantallon Ceramics (above)
and a selection of wares (below)
Posy bowls were popular and were decorated in various designs and colours