Highbank Porcelain set up and operated a shop and factory in Oban. It was located on Shore Street/Albany Street, Oban, Argyll and operated there in the early 1990s.
The premises were originally owned by the Baptist Church (situated next door) and were used for a variety of purposes including Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Today the building is used as the Shore Street Dental Surgery – www.idhdentistobanshorestreet.co.uk.
The information and photographs on this page has been kindly provided by Stuart and Lucy Haddon-Riddoch. Lucy worked there in 1990-91.
Description, layout and photos:
The following photo is taken from Albany Street and shows the lower building which was the shop. There were 2 blue single doors where the stonework is now. The left one was the entrance to the shop. Upon entering the shop, the glass counter with its two glass sliding doors was along the right hand side wall. There used to be a window on the left hand side – but this is now blocked up. Just past the counter, towards the back of the shop was a door into a passageway. Further up along the wall was a door that opened onto a small balcony that overlooked the factory floor and the workers there. Visitors were allowed to view the working from there but not to enter the factory. There was access via metal stairs down to the factory for staff, and the space was also used to store stock items.
The right-hand front door was used by the staff only to enter and leave the premises. Upon entering there was a passageway with the time clock for staff to register their arrival and departure times. Straight on there was a door which gave access to the passageway and the metal stairs down to the factory itself for factory staff. Another door on the left gave access to the shop for the shop staff.
The following photo is also taken from Albany Street
The following photo show the rear of the factory premises and were taken from Shore Street. The premises have been totally altered inside and out to make it into a dental surgery. Windows and doors exist where they didn’t before. The metal fires escape to the right has been added, as have the brickwork forming the ramp and steps leading up to the new porch entrance.
During the period 1990-91 the following staff are known to have worked at the premises:
Margaret Mitchell was the first person to be employed in the shop and was the manageress.
Lucy Ross joined as shop assistant (now Lucy Haddon-Riddoch)
When Lucy left, Lynn Campbell who worked as a fettler, then worked both in the shop when required, and also in the factory. When Margaret Mitchell left, Lynn worked on her own in the shop, but also helped out in the factory as before. Lynn married and became Mrs Lynn McLeod.
Susan McKinlay was in charge of the production staff who were generally fettlers but also hand-painted the items. Other staff who worked there during the period of production included: Alison Sandilands, Nova Gadsby, and M McKay.
Dave Drury – who originally formed the company – also worked there on designs and mouldings.