The first Torquay pottery, the Watcombe Pottery, was opened in 1869 to make terracotta wares, such as vases, urns and statues, in classical forms. Watcombe Pottery’s example was followed by the Torquay Terracotta Company which made similar wares. The Aller Vale Pottery also began in a similar style but, from the 1890s, was strongly influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement and began producing slipwares that become so popular that the other two potteries, and eventually about a dozen more, began to follow their example.
By the 1920s, the main customers of these potteries were day trippers and holiday makers seeking a cheap souvenir. As a result, design were simplified and mottoes added. Although the potteries continues to produce a varied range of products, motto wares remained their main lines for the next fifty years.