Last weekend it was Chinese New Year celebrations in Worcester. Well over a thousand people attended – it was a truly spectacular occasion. There was a dragon dance, food, Chinese tea drinking, music and lots of entertainment for children of all ages and it was all free to access.

I have to confess that despite this having run for over twenty years, to my shame, this was my first visit. Why was that? Maybe I thought CNY was just for Chinese people – looking at the crowd around me this was evidently not true. If you have not been before, maybe put a marker in your diary for next year.

The celebrations were hosted by the Museum of Royal Worcester – thank you for so generously opening your doors for everyone to see the amazing collection of fine china on display. All things oriental and the love of fine chinaware was becoming ever more popular in the eighteenth century. Glove making and the wool industry were in decline and so it was that a new industry was created in the city with the creation of the porcelain works that became the world-famous Royal Worcester Porcelain works.

There’s a fascinating history to how the factory was started. Step forward Dr John Wall, born in Powick in 1708 as the only son of Mr John Wall a former Mayor of Worcester. Dr John Wall was an incredibly talented man, he studied at Worcester College in Oxford in 1726, developed a love for fine art, became a consulting doctor in 1739 and – as if he was not busy enough – in 1751 managed to persuade a consortium of 13 local businessmen to invest in the risky task of starting a new factory. For more info see the Royal Worcester Porcelain website:

It’s clear that the UK’s cultural ties with China are long standing and enduring – not least our mutual love of tea drinking and fine china.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *