HISTORY OF THE WEMBLEY WARE SOCIETY INC
MAY2010 A notice was placed in the ‘CAN YOU HELP?’ section of the West Australian Newspaper on 10 May 2010. From the tremendous number of responses received from all over Australia, I could see that there was a big interest in the china from Subiaco and I was delighted that I was hearing not only from collectors, but from people who had worked at the china factory or families of these workers. So the concept of the Wembley Ware Society was formed.
OCTOBER2010 This month marked the first issue of the Wembley Ware Society Newsletter. Our newsletter continues to be published six times a year and is sent to all members. It includes up-to-date information plus illustrations, on meetings and events. There are articles on topics related to the china and items of historical interest in each edition.
DECEMBER2010 An information stall was set up at the SUBI FARMERS MARKET in Perth on December 11, 2010 as a means of promoting the china, its history and community interest it the heritage of the china factory. There was much interest in the emergence of the Wembley Ware Society and strong support for the concept of a Wembley Ware Museum/Heritage Centre on the factory site.
MAY2011 An enthusiastic group of people gathered on 14 May 2011, in a hall in Subiaco to meet othercollectors and watch some archived films about Wembley Ware and the china factory. The meeting decided that the Wembley Ware Society form an interim committee to establish defined objectives as was discussed, and to pursue incorporation.
MARCH 2012 Inaugural WEMBLEY WARE WEEK was held in Subiaco, WA 24 March to 1 April 2012.
MAY 2012 The Wembley Ware Society was granted Incorporation this month.
JULY2012 The first Annual General Meeting of the Wembley Ware Society Inc. was held 14 July 2012. Elected to office were-
Chairman: Susan Wann, Vice Chairman: -, Secretary: Robert Cock, Treasurer: Mike Kouwen, Committee: Graham Chave, Kaye Cook.
Calyx Porcelain, Wembley Ware, Bristile and Australian Fine China.
The china was first produced in 1921 from the factory in Subiaco, Western Australia which opened under the name of Calyx Porcelain and Paint Company.
There were several changes of directors in the following years and the business went through plenty of ups and downs and in 1938 it was re-named H.L.Brisbane and Wunderlich Ltd.
The company used the name Bristile, but to avoid confusion with the name of their baked clay tiles, the earthenware items reverted to the name of Wembley Ware. The name Bristile was re-introduced to the products in the 1960s.
The production of Bristile crockery came to the fore with the manufacture of ‘vitrified white crockery, often ‘badged’ for Government Departments and other institutions.
George Clauson, the pottery manager in 1946 inspired the factory’s gifted artists and modellers to use their talents in developing the Wembley Ware lines. The fancy ware proved to be exceedingly popular, not only in Australia, and it’s production was to continue until 1961.
In 1984 building of a new Office and Showroom was commenced on the Subiaco site.
In 1997 the name of Australian Fine China was adopted, and the company made china under this name until the closure of the Subiaco factory in 2006.
From this time Australian Fine China has operated its business from its headquarters in Welshpool, with all the china being made overseas.
There were some very interesting ranges of Australian Fine China made in Australia prior to closure, with colourful decorations including many featuring Australian flora and fauna. Australian Fine China which was made in the Subiaco factory and marked ‘Made in Australia’ has a proud past. These items are the last chapter in the story of the China Factory in Subiaco and as such have a place in history.