The Dragon Who Came Home
We are often delighted to see old Groggs brought back to their birthplace but some are more special than others. Especially those pieces which bring back particular memories or are significant milestones to their makers. My memories of the dragon I made as a ten year old boy in junior school is one of these special pieces although if truth be told not as sophisticated as my old head has imagined over the years. The dragon was made and entered into a schools art competition to celebrate the investiture of Prince Charles in 1969. The idea to do so was my Parc Lewis junior schools Headmaster Mr Evans who had no doubt heard great things about my "abilities" from my doting mother who was teaching in the infant’s school across the yard. However Mr Evans was no fool. Literally an old school headmaster he only allowed me to work on the dragon in his presence and on the school premises to make sure I had no help from Dad! However when the piece was finished I can vividly remember being taken to each classroom in the Junior school building as Mr Evans sang my praises to each class one by one....describing how I had made my creation using only my bare hands and some wooden modelling tools. As you can imagine this was a little nerve racking for me but it's something I have never forgotten. The dragon went on to win first prize in its age group and I was given the choice of either a one pound premium bond or the cash in hand. One pound was a lot to a ten year old in 1969 and I had already spent it many times over in my head..... however I was convinced that the premium bond was a sure fire investment and one day may make me a very rich man.
Headmaster Joseph Gwyn Evans picture courtesy of Richard Evans
I can remember my grandmother checking to see if I'd won a million every week as the winners were posted in the newspaper but I soon forgot my moment in the spotlight and got on with being a naughty schoolboy.... until Mr Evans grandson Richard reunited me and my only prize winning Grogg 46 years later. I had no idea my rather imposing headmaster had kept my "investiture dragon” and passed it on to his family where it has been ever since. Many thanks to Richard and his family for leaving his heirloom with us where it will be on display in our museum for a while.
Now if I can only find those gorillas and my premium bond!
This piece was been made to commemorate both our 40th Anniversary of us moving to what was the Danygraig Arms - now the Groggshop and the 1971 Lions Tour to New Zealand. A dinner was held in honour of the Tours Captain John Dawes in which the No 13 of this Limited Edition Grogg was auctioned. Which made the 70 pieces left very sought after. Complete with scars, rake marks and bruises the detailing illustrates the ferocitiy of the tour.
Captains Climb Kilimanjaro 2010
As most people are aware Huw Evans of Welsh Rugby Pics Fame has taken 15 ex Captains of Wales on the 'Brains Captains Climb' to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro this September. On behalf of the Stepping Stones Appeal, Velindre , the historic climb is raising funds for Lung Cancer Research. Having known Huw and being fans of his work for years we are delighted to be involved.
Instead of making just one figure at the summit - Richard thought it would be fun to make all the players participating including Huw at the peak taking a snap shot! What Richard didn't realise is that each figure would only be 6 cms high, making them the smallest Groggs in history. It's just as well he's just had his eyes tested and has some new glasses! Donate to this important cause here http://www.justgiving.com/huwevanskilima njaro
The World Of Groggs decided to put this amazing piece to public sale donating a percentage of the profit to Velindre. Many thanks to everyone who purchased one for also helping to raise money for this worthy charity. All pieces are now sold. Numbers 1 and 45 going are also going to charity.
Mount Groggmore - February 2010
With only 45 (Our Anniversary) made, this publicly chosen figure didn't last long. Our version of Mount Rushmore is now added to the archive after selling out before the figure was even complete.
Grand Slam Groggs
Made to commemorate the Grand Slam 2005 - the first for Wales in 27 years, turned out to be the fastest selling Grogg of all time, selling out in 2 days without customers even seeing the figure being made. With only 121 pieces made anyone who owns one is very lucky!
We made a figure of Ryan Jones holding both the Triple Crown plate and the RBS Six Nations Trophy back in 2008, the figure also had all of the results on the back of the base, it was a Limited Edition to only 300 pieces.
In 2012 Captain Sam Warburton stormed to success with a Triple Crown and Grand Slam win, this piece was created to celebrate. Limited to 500 pieces and sold out early 2016.
Created to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the birth of the World Of Groggs this special figure became the springboard for an amazing WREX dinner on the 3rd of November 2005, when two unique Front Rows were auctioned. Limited to only 40 pieces, the owners count themselves very lucky!
Gareth Edwards Handoff
The “Hand-off Gareth Edwards” was made to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Groggshop. This also coincided with the 30th anniversary of the victorious Lions Tour of New Zealand in 1971 inspiring Richard’s choice in modeling Gareth’s famous hand-off of All Black fly half Bob Burgess in the Third test at Wellington. As unhappy Grogg collectors are only too aware only thirty of these pieces were produced and sold before the mould was destroyed.
Examples of rare early Groggs
Slip cast and hand modelled. Oxide wash and acrylic decoration. One of only 22 pieces in exsitence. Signed John Hughes' Groggshop Wales 1992, made by Richard Hughes.
Unique Mike Tyson
Bust of Mike Tyson by Richard Hughes. Commisioned to be presented to Mike Tyson prior to the Holyfield title fight.
Delme Thomas and Willie John Mc Bride.
Thanks to Grogg Collector Mr Duane Williams of Aberdare for requainting us with a great vintage Grogg. Dwayne has been collecting Groggs since 1978 and recently acquired this very rare and totally unique Second Row on eBay.
Depicting Delme Thomas and Willie John McBride on the victorious Lions tour of New Zealand in 1971, this was a very early example of Richards work, dated 1977. A great bargain!
Buff Stoneware, Slipcast, Hand Painted David Bowie Limited Edition. Shows Bowie in "Serious Moonlight" costume. Made by Richard Hughes, signed and dated, John Hughes Wales 1989. One of only 26 pieces made!
Property of Mr and Mrs Mathers
Unique, Hand Made, Stoneware Winston Churchill in 'John Bull' pose. Made by Richard Hughes, signed and dated John Hughes, Pontypridd, Wales 1985. Recently featured in Douglas Hall's book of Churchilliana .
Part of the Groggshops own collection.
Untiltled, handmade Gerald Davies, British Lion strip. White stoneware with oxide wash, made by John Hughes, 1971.
Owned by Wayne Thomas of Treorchy
Moulded white earthenware Juggler, Cobalt glaze made by John Hughes, circa 1965.
Handmade drummer boy, dark blue cobalt glaze, made by John Hughes, circa 1960.
Both owned by Anna-Marie nee Warlow.