Poetry has always been an integral part of Sunderland style, and the old pots enjoyed taking liberties with Byron when not quoting other poets or employing anonymous popular verse. It’s wonderful to be able to continue this tradition with contemporary poets.

Benjamin Zephaniah

2023 was the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks, and Benjamin Zephaniah kindly gave permission for his words to appear on a celebratory jug. You can read the story of how that happened here. Mick Manning and Brita Granström created the artwork, and Benjamin waived his rights to royalties requesting that they instead be donated to the Windrush Foundation. This was one of his final collaborations before his death at the end of that year.

In 2022 Poet Laureate Simon Armitage gave permission for his poem ‘Resistance’ to be reproduced on our large jug to raise funds for the British Red Cross in Ukraine.

Simon Armitage

It was decorated with illustrations by Clive Hicks-Jenkins and the text was set by Deborah Hopson-Wolpe in type designed by her father, Berthold Wolpe. Bookbinder Christopher Shaw made a presentation box for it, and it was sold at the Institute of Digital Archaeology’s annual charity auction at the Freud Museum in London following display in the British Library’s Treasures Gallery.