Artist's death is end of an era for iconic Pembrokeshire brand
With the recent death at the age of 91 of Mrs Boo Markes of Tenby, Pembrokeshire has lost the final living link to an iconic brand that earned worldwide acclaim.
Boo and her husband Tony established Tenby Pottery in 1958 and the pottery’s signature glaze styles are still in demand by collectors more than half a century on.
Although Tony made the thousands of pots, vases and plates, it was the artistic skill of Boo who ensured that they were so saleable and collectable.
And she did so with the talent that saw her work in the 1950s as a freelance designer of dress fabrics after studying textile design at the Central School of Art, selling to household-name companies including Tootal and Marks & Spencer.
One of Boo Markes' textile designs. In spite of its contemporary feel, it was actually created in the 1950s.
A vicar’s daughter from Worcester, she originally worked under her given name of Mary Frances Beard, although she was known to everyone as Boo since her childhood.
Her talent extended to needlework, handicrafts – including the creation of the magnificent interior of a dolls’ house – dress and costume-making and calligraphy, with her distinctive italic script gracing the frames of countless photographs from Tenby’s Squibbs Studios.
A recent shop window display in Tenby showcased some of Tenby Pottery's work over the years.
As well as the everyday range of pots, vases, dishes and plates, Tenby Pottery produced 10,000 individual commissions, from house signs to a full dinner service and an order including more than 1,000 ashtrays for an hotel in the Virgin Islands.
Boo and Tony semi-retired in December 1992, but still continued producing a limited edition of pottery from the studio at their home in Park Road, Tenby.
They were delighted when a private collection of their work was featured on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow at Pembroke Castle.
One of Tenby Pottery's signature glazes which decorated a vast variety of vases, vessels, plaques and plates.
Farewell to Tenby Pottery founder and former magistrates chairman Tony Markes
Away from the pottery, Boo was a member and former president of Tenby Inner Wheel and a member of the Friends of Tenby.
She died at Belmont Court Nursing Home, Tenby following a short illness. Tony, who had also been a resident at the home, died in February at the age of 92.
She is survived by her daughter and son in law Sally and Peter, son and partner Jonny and Caroline, granddaughter Tasha and partner Vikash and grandson Sam.
The private funeral service will take place on Friday August 12 at Parc Gwyn Crematorium, Narberth.
The funeral cortege will pass by The Parade, Esplanade, Picton Road, Trafalgar Road and Park Road at approx 10.45am for anyone who wishes to pay their respects.
Donations, if desired, can be made payable to ‘RNLI Tenby" c/o the funeral directors, W & M J Rossiter & Sons Ltd, The Old Rectory, The Norton, Tenby, SA70 8AB or via www.rossitersfunerals.co.uk