The company was started in around 1979 by Dave Drury under the name of Highbank Pottery. It was initially owned by a company called Howood Industries but was soon bought by Wally and Camille Smith of Helensburgh. They sold it to Peter Burrell in 1980.
Peter changed the name to Highbank Porcelain shortly afterwards. At this time Dave also continued to do design work for the company.
Initially it employed seven people and produced a range of slip cast, reduction fired porcelain vases. These were successfully sold all over the world. A range of clowns was then introduced.
This was followed by a range of stylised model animals, initially these were designed by Alasdair Dunn of Arran and later by Tom Mackie (see details on those sculpted by Tom Mackie here).
The animals were extremely successful and were exported as far as Japan, New Zealand and the Falklands!
The labour force rose to 30 people plus outworkers.
Further diversification occurred into other forms of giftware and eventually the ceramics business was sold to Scotia Ceramics in Coll in Lewis, Outer Hebrides 2001, later to become Coll Pottery which was owned by Barry Edwards and Peter Honthy. Scotia Ceramics was disolved in 2006.
The clay used by Coll Pottery was slightly different which resulted in the same mould producing a piece a millimetre or two larger than the original ones produced by the Highbank Company.
In January 2005 Dominic Tooley became one of the two Directors along with Keith Burns and the name became Broad Bay Ceramics.
Sadly Broad Bay Ceramics ceased trading in 2011 and no longer exists and so the production of the original range has ceased.
The Company Site at www.highbank.co.uk offers a range of Nessies today.
Our In The Press section has a selection of press articles about Highbank Porcelain.
Below are a number of photo galleries that have been compiled from original company material and photos that have been made available courtesy of Peter Burrell
These photos were taken to record the processes used in the production of porcelain items and the staff involved.
The following are photos taken of Highbank exhibition stands
The Company produced a number of flyers and advertisements – copies of some are shown here together with copies of two original press releases.