History Society Tea for the British
by Wickhambrook History Society
The September meeting always has a ‘back to school’ vibe after our excellent summer outings and it was a very enjoyable evening.
Miriam Stead talked on ‘Tea for the British’ and included many local references in her talk and photographs.
The growing, exporting, handling and distribution of tea was a large industry in the 18th and 19th centuries when it became our national drink. Before then the prohibitive tax (120%!) meant that only the rich could enjoy it, hence the prevalence of locking tea caddies.
In 1833 it is recorded that 3 boatloads of tea were sent to Ipswich every week and Lowestoft also became an independent port dealing in tea, coffee, wines and spirits. The mediaeval wharves at Ipswich were then still in use but in 1845 a splendid new Custom House appeared.
Newspapers began to carry advertisements for tea importers and shops ,and in Wickhambrook tea would have been delivered to local shops by horse and cart.
A VERY local connection was mentioned by one of the members at the end of the talk. Justin Brooke, who came to Clopton in the 1930s to grow fruit, was a member of the famous Brooke Bond Tea family.
Look out for posters for our October meeting which is a joint one with the Horticultural Society – Capability Brown, Hero or Hooligan – which is on Friday 19th October at 7.30pm in the WI Hall.
We also have the return of a popular event on Saturday 6th October at 7pm in the WI Hall when Barrie Stevenson will be in charge at an Antiques Roadshow. Please bring along an interesting artefact for Barrie to look at. Tickets cost £8.50 to include a Ploughman’s Supper and are available from any committee member.