In 1941, British pottery production was subject to a Concentration Scheme whereby individual firms were classified as: nucleus, concentrated or closed-down. In 1942, maximum retail prices were set and letters such as A, B or C incorporated in the backstamp. The Scheme was revised in 1945 and additional letter groups BY, CY and CZ created. For full details, see Ten Plain Years: The British Pottery Industry 1942-1952, Kathy Niblett, Journal of the Northern Ceramic Society Volume 12 1995, pp175-213.
This cottage in the depths of the country enjoyed dramatic views across the fields to the towering height of Black Down, and was some four miles from Haslemere. Many of Edward's childhood holidays had been spent at a nearby farm and personal friendships had been maintained. He enjoyed to the full the peace of the countryside, but it was within easy reach of London and he remained as active as ever. As Chairman of the Board, he continued to go regularly to Stoke-on-Trent and attended numerous committee meetings in London. He travelled extensively to Egypt, Cyprus and the United States of America. It was only on reaching his 85th birthday that he began to reduce these activities and to resign his membership of the various committees. The replies expressed deepest regret that he was doing so - even at that age - and underlined the very great contribution he had made over the years and the esteem in which he was held. At Easter time 1959, just before his 88th birthday, whilst at West Wittering on the Sussex coast, he appeared in bathing trunks ready to go for a swim! He was finally persuaded that the sea really was cold, and settled for a long paddle instead!
In 1959, Mrs Susan Cooper-Willis, daughter of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the founder and architect of Portmeirion and an old friend of Edward Gray, made an offer to purchase the business of A.E.Gray & Co.Ltd. After much anxious deliberation and consultation with his fellow Directors, he agreed.
It was the last decision he was to take. He suffered a severe heart attack and died peacefully a fortnight later on 29th July 1959 at the age of 88. He had kept the spirit of youthful zest to the end and, as his sister remarked at his funeral: "What a pity he died so young!" He is buried in the churchyard at St Laurence's, Lurgashall, West Sussex and, appropriately, a mosaic marks his grave.