In the 3rd week of the Great Pottery throw down TV programme, the potter’s wheel challenge was to throw a retro hot water bottle. This brought instant memories back of the one my Dad’s Mum used when I was little and I still have it! Then I was fascinated in how they would throw it. That was fun to watch. After the show I went upstairs to find my Grandma’s hot water bottle; I have it in my bathroom as a quirky object as it goes with my bathroom style and it is a treasured keepsake too. When my brother and I stayed over in the winter at Grandma and Grandpa’s she would boil the kettle and fill it up for us and put it at the bottom of the bed to keep us warm. It was often still warm in the morning. I remember it not moving as it is heavy any way and even more so, full of water. I think it is still nicer than the modern rubber ones though you can’t really cuddle it.

Mine is very similar to the one they showed on the programme, I tipped it up to see if there was a potters makers mark on it. It is stamped with “Lovetts pottery”. I was so excited to find it on a Google search. There are a few around selling on eBay etc for around £22 but I won’t be selling it.
I discovered in the Victorian era copper bed pans were first used to warm beds – filling them with hot embers from the fire – often scorching the bed sheets. This is when the pottery bottle foot warmers were evolved and much safer too!

I found Calvert & Lovatt pottery was established in Langley Mill, Nottinghamshire in 1865.
In 1913 they became Lovatt & Lovatt pottery with all the Lovatt family working in it and running it. They made these hot water bottles or Foot warmers as they called them. They made them for Timothy Whites & Taylors chain of chemists and household stores. So, I guess my Grandma must have bought it from one of those or maybe her mum did – I’m not sure which.

In 1930 the Lovatt & Lovatt company went into liquidation due to the post war depression affecting the business. The pottery business was taken on by someone else and they kept the name and ran it until it closed in 1982.

It has been great to find out the history of my treasured foot warmer and be inspired by the TV programme.

If you would like to have a go a hand building a bowl, tall pot or decorative plaque in clay please hop to this page for more info here

If you would like a lesson on the potter’s wheel to learn to throw – you start with a basic bowl – there are many techniques to learn just to throw a bowl, please hop to this page for more info here

To book yourself and others in for either or both options please call me on 01772 20 30 60

Thank you for reading this, if you have any questions please ask away by the way of my contact page

Best wishes
Jane, Katy & Kelvin the kilns