Ian Holmes has set up a website with a great page of Staffordshire plaques: http://unitedcollections.weebly.com/plaques.html. There is also a series of pages dedicated to Jack Crawford (right below), and a page of lifeboat-related pottery (left below), so plenty to interest Sunderland lustre collectors.
If you're a serious collector, the chances are your partner's on the verge of a breakdown (oh no, not another crenulated Edwardian stomach pump), your friends roll their eyes when you tell them about your eBay purchases, and your work colleagues think you're every bit as mad as the woman in HR with six cats. Starting a website helps you reach out to like-minded people, who will deceive you into believing collecting is a rational activity.
And it's easy and costs nothing. All you need is a digital camera. Take a look at www.weebly.com, and learn how to build a website for free.
Here are some more great pottery-related websites:
Myrna Schkolne's www.mystaffordshirefigures.com is a fabulous reference site, with well-researched information and professional quality photos of early Staffordshire figures. Even if figures aren't your thing, you'll find it fascinating. And where else are you going to get the latest insights of a published expert for free?
The Staffordshire Figure Association runs a site www.staffordshirefigureassociation.com that has a chatty newsletter style, and puts Staffordshire collectors in touch with each other.
The Sunderland site has a wealth of information about all things Sunderland, including the potteries and engravings of the bridge over the River Wear. The enthusiast who put the site together lives in Canada, and has never been to Sunderland!
Myrna once said to me, 'Imagine if every collector did this'. And she's right, the internet would be an amazing place.
Stephen Smith lives in London, and is always happy to hear from other collectors. If you have an interesting collection of plaques, and are based in the UK, he will photograph them for you. Free advice given regarding selling and dispersal of a collection, or to those wishing to start one. Just get in touch...
This website is indebted to collectors, dealers and enthusiasts who have shared their knowledge or photos. In particular: Ian Holmes, Stephen Duckworth, Dick Henrywood, Norman Lowe, Keith Lovell, Donald H Ryan, Harold Crowder, Jack and Joyce Cockerill, Myrna Schkolne, Elinor Penna, Ian Sharp, Shauna Gregg at the Sunderland Museum, Keith Bell, Martyn Edgell, and Liz Denton.