Joseph Forsyth Gimson - Chairman and Director of Worcester Porcelain.

Joseph Forsyth Gimson painted in oil by Ruskin Spear - one of the great English portrait painters of the 20th century and educator to many British artists at the RCA (Many thanks to the Museum of Royal Worcester).

Managing Director of the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company from 1934 and Chairman from 1954. Joseph Gimson expertly guided Royal Worcester through the difficulties of the 1930s, the challenges of the war years and developed new products and ranges, transforming a struggling Victorian firm into the world leader it became in 1960s and 1970s. He was feared, respected and admired by his workforce and his success was due to hard work and incredible vision.
He was a Founding Trustee of the Perrins Museum Trust in 1946.

Joseph Forsyth Gimson - Some information about his life.


This is a photo showing Thorney, on Darby's Green, Doddenham, Worcestershire.
This was the home of Joseph and Sylvia Gimson. I used to deliver the Sunday papers there and always had a good tip from them both at Christmas. [Although situated in Doddenham, it has a Knightwick address]

Joseph owned quite a considerable amount of land and farms, which were part of the estate.

One thing that he and his wife both enjoyed doing, was going to New York and there are quite a few examples of this and data showing when they arrived in America, which was how i learned that his wife was born in Budapest, Hungary. These trips I am sure were to promote the sale of china from the Worcester Porcelain.

In the Birmingham Post, 11th May, 1960.

'Royal Worcester, Ltd., the porcelain group, is to open a factory in Jamaica to make high-class china and pottery, the chairman and managing director, Mr. Joseph F. Gimson, said when he landed at Southampton, from the Queen Mary.
A 10-acre site had been secured at Spanish Town, the old capital.
Machinery and kilns will be sent from Britain. The factory will employ about 1000, including six British technicians. It will be in production in about 18 months'.

Joseph also did many talks about china and pottery all over the country.

Joseph Gimson, was managing director of Worcester Royal Porcelain Company from 1930, Joe Gimson was a larger than life character and with Dyson Perrins financial help he built the factory up into a prosperous company. He lost an eye in an accident (was always crashing a car) and in his last years married a French countess much younger than himself.

In the Evening Sentinel, Thursday, 1st February 1934.
Qualities of English China.
Mr. J. F. Gimson's Broadcast.

An interesting talk on English china wares was broadcast from the Midland Regional Station last evening by Mr. Joseph F. Gimson, Manager of the Royal Worcester Porcelain Wors who is well known in North Staffordshire.
Mr Gimson outlined the history of the production of porcelain in England, and extolled its technical and artistic qualities. He referred to the many beautiful and richly decorated china services which had been made for Sovereigns and Princes and other persons of high estate, and went on to refer to the former great demand for high-class and costly china from American Millionaires.
Unfortunately this great demand has been greatly diminished by the 1928 slump in America, but he expressed the hope that President Roosevelt would succeed in bringing back prosperity to the United States, and that the millionaires of America and other countries would soon be ordering again the lovely wares which formerly they ordered from this country.
Incidentally, Mr. Gimson commented that Scottish ladies seemed to be more proud of their tables than the ladies of the Midlands, for they sold many more beautiful tea services in Scotland than in England.
Formerly most of the hotels in this country used Continental porcelain, Mr. Gimson commented, but he was glad to note that the English makers were now supplying almost all the best hotels and restaurants in this country. In this connection he quoted the statement of a cafe proprietor who had fitted out his establishment with English china bout a year ago. He said:-
"It was the finest investment I ever made; the breakage has been so small that after a year it only cost me half-a- crown a week more than I used to pay for the cheapest stuff that I could get. When the ladies came into my cafe and saw the new china and drank out of it, they were so delighted they brought their friends, and I have had a lot more business than I had before".
In conclusion, he remarked That, although people had not so much money to spend as formerly, he believed they were beginning to realise the pleasure of having beautiful and artistic things in their homes, so he hoped our craftsmen, before long, would be very busy again.

Evesham Standard & West Midland Observer 10th August, 1956.

(Mr. Gimson also farmed pigs and here is an advert for a Working Bailiff)

Experienced Working Bailiff, required September; 200 acres, Large White pigs, breeding flock sheep; fruit, including black currants; ex-Graduate preferred but not essential; applicants must understand machinery; good farmhouse available; salary and bonus dependent upon results - Apply by letter only, to J. F. Gimson, Thorney, Knightwick, Worcs. C1919.

This appears to be in Mr. Gimson's house [1958] (Many thanks to the Museum of Royal Worcester).
Dorothy Knee, forelady of Lithography Department being presented with her retirement present by Joseph Gimson.

Sports Day, 1955. (Many thanks to the Museum of Royal Worcester).

Joe Gimson about to hand out the prizes to the winners of the competitions.
The factory had a keen sporting history: angling, cricket and football. The angling prizes were handed out in the factory canteen opposite the Museum, now part of Kings School.

Prince of Wales and Mr Gimson. (Many thanks to the Museum of Royal Worcester).
Prince of Wales, the later King Edward VIII

The Prince of Wales visited Worcester in 1932 to open the new bridge and park and toured the factory with Joe Gimson – his cheerful presence struck a hopeful note at this difficult time.


 

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