Tea Towels and Lockdown (29)


Today I am going to start with some ‘feedback/comments’ from Readers. I don’t want Readers to think that I am ignoring the effort you are putting in with your contributions. @BitThing tells me that the birds in ‘Tea Towels and Lockdown (27)’ are wrens. Beth, not a Twitter user, from California, wanted to comment on ‘Redwings Sanctuary’ in ‘Tea Towels and Lockdown (28)’: “It was interesting to see the Redwings Horse Sanctuary tea towel. I visited the Redwings Sanctuary near Forfar, Scotland, when I was there in 2018. Seeing the towel made me Google them so I could mentally re-visit. I was surprised to find out there are actually five Redwings Sanctuaries – four in England and one in Scotland”. Wondercollie, from Canada and an Instagram user, wanted to comment on the suggestions from Broadbottom Mill yesterday about things to do with a tea towel “I’ve used tea towels as bottle wraps for ages. My sons do as well, lol. People seem to like getting a new towel as well”

Sometimes a Tea Towel Blog can set people off on that ‘Rabbit Warren’ I often go down. Beth responded to the ‘Panasonic Panacrunch’ Blog with “Intriguing enough that I had to look it up on the Panasonic website. Interesting that this particular appliance is not available in the US. I wonder why”. This was immediately followed by another message “What I meant was that a steam microwave isn’t available in the US. And then the whole concept of needing to use an expensive specialised pan to make your food ‘crunchy’ whilst using this appliance makes me wonder what’s the point”. I certainly understand Beth’s point but without the pan there wouldn’t be this crazy tea towel!!.

On to today’s ‘Headliner’, it is from @JanCherryJovi, ‘The Otter’. “Here’s a lovely Otter photo tea towel from @EilidhCarr @coralboxshop on Berneray”. I’ve been to Berneray, but before @coralboxshop was established, otherwise I’d have spent a fortune! Photo Tea Towels work really well and can really distract you during the wiping up.

The next tea towel is from @LynOwen11 who has submitted her daughter’s @SophieAllport design of ‘Gardening’. This is the first @SophieAllport tea towel that has been offered in #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing, strange for a designer that has so many different tea towels. The second one, on this line, is from @Judy_at_TW “Over the years I have commissioned tea towels as seasonal gifts celebrating the work of charities, for example Edwards Trust local charity working with bereaved families”

The next two are from @claraclarabel “Shame they are both from the same year” she said after I got so excited about having two Calendar tea towels. I have developed a new penchant for Calendar Tea Towels but they are difficult to come by. These two are from her father’s kitchen drawer. I love them, look like something out of a Christmas movie, especially with the little verses/sayings at the bottom..

Yesterday, I was extremely fortunate to received twelve tea towels as part of #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing. I am going to give you a taste of things to come in the next few Tea Towel Blogs. The first event was @harrington_pip photographing seven tea towels in one shot from @V_and_A. I couldn’t believe that these were all tea towels, they were radiant, shining out from her table. She had said “When the highlight of the day is getting new tea towels from @V_and_A. Mind you, they are lovely”. I replied with “Are you telling me that these are all new tea towels? If so, can you photograph them individually please”. When I read that Tweet back, I thought ‘What a cheek I’ve got!” But she did. The first one displayed is ‘Seaweed’. The next five came from Pamela, a brilliant creative writer. I wasn’t sure if she would submit any because tea towels don’t have the same sense of seriousness as Creative Writing, but she did. There was one proviso “I don’t do ironing or stain removal”. Don’t worry, many people don’t. The first one from Pamela is ‘The Wine List’.

Thank you to all of today’s contributors. There are some great tea towels!!

Tea Towels and Lockdown (28)


Your Blogs get better and better. Please don’t stop. I am planning my next exhibit, I will just say that I love cats, red squirrels and hares….” says @Judy_at_TW. I can’t wait to see what happens next. In the meantime, there are some good ones coming.

@eamonncanniffe sent his first tea towel photo; it’s the ‘Headliner’ of ‘Colosso di San Carlo Borromeo’. I have been to Italy many, many times. I have family in both Florence and Rome, yet I have no idea who San Carlo Borromeo is. It’s another ‘Rabbit Warren’. Blimey, I’ve read a lot about Carlo Borromeo. This is a massive copper statue erected between 1614 and 1698, near Arona in Italy, of Carlo Borromeo who was a Catholic saint and former Archbishop of Milan who died aged 46. I quite like the quote, from a biographer, that he was “an austere, dedicated, humourless and uncompromising personality”. Paintings of him would certainly imply that! But he makes a great tea towel. I hope @eamonncanniffe has some more tea towels because he said “I only discovered #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing yesterday and I’m hooked”

“Got a brand new one today. It’s to be a present for my husband as we often listen to the late Shipping Forecast in bed when he can’t sleep. I got it off eBay. And in my background there is my office carpet, the fringe off a poncho at the side” says @JanCherryJovi. I love these two and I’m sure that @JanCherryJovi will hate me for this. I saw that there was a Tweet from @JanCherryJovi and was quite excited because I know that she is a regular supplier of tea towels. I thought “Interesting”, as an upside down tea towel appeared, unlike her. I can ‘right’ it but it didn’t stop me sending a tweet “A very interesting upside down photo but then this is an upside down world. No fear, I can correct it. Great tea towel. Thank you for contributing to #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing”. It was only a couple minutes later that the second photo came through “Rotated”. I ‘cropped’ the second one but not the first one. I liked the fringe of the poncho. I hope this wasn’t a surprise gift, or if it is, that your husband doesn’t follow #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing.

Moving on we have a bit of a ‘Animal’ theme (bit of an exaggeration). First, there is ‘Redwings Animal Sanctuary’. It came via email from Julie “No idea where it came from or how old it is”. That’s OK by me, it is a lovely, vintage, quite traditional tea towel. The second one is from Sarah, also not a Twitter fan. I’m delighted that people are still able to get through. This is a hand-drawn, and decorated, tea towel by Sarah’s aunt. It was a Christmas present about four years ago and was designed to help Sarah’s children learn about animals and family.

The next line of tea towels is more specifically ‘Animal’ – hares. It is so unusual for two of the same theme to come through on the same day. The first offering is from @McBrideWriter ” This was designed and printed by my talented artist friend, Kathleen Lolly. I only have two tea towels”. Shock, horror, only two tea towels? And one is so nice. I asked @McBrideWriter if we could have a picture of the second one but it hasn’t been forthcoming as yet. I am ever hopeful. The second one is from @Judy_at_TW “Here is my Ulster Weavers ‘Woodland Hare’ with my dear Michael Storey collection”.

Two more great tea towels. From @MFitzoliver there is ‘How Stokie Are You?’ Tea towels are hard to take a picture of! @claraclarabel submitted a few tea towels discovered “rummaging around in a drawer in my father’s house”. Continue rummaging is what I say and that recipe looks good.

Today’s final offering is of the ‘Waterways Alphabet’. It is one of a pair that was part of ‘Jane’s Tea Towel Story’ in the Virtual Tea Towel Museum. @JanesHeroes explained that she saw a ‘Make Your Own Tea Towel’ offer on eBay.; this is a woman who was well trained by me at work. She knows how to travel down a ‘Rabbit Warren’. She asked the woman who was selling the stuff how she came about the Make Your Own Tea towels and this was her response “My mother used to make them and sell to make money for a school. Think they mainly came from Broadbottom Mill in Glossop (Tiviot Print)”.

@JanesHeroes doesn’t stop there. “Barbara, I’ve done further research so Broadbottom Mill is a fabric shop….. (sends me the link). She sends me the link as to what they sell…“Sadly, you can’t buy direct from their website but I have followed them on Facebook, they have some great Christmas fabrics, ideal for my bags. Would love to pay a visit someday and see the Make Your Own Tea Towels too. And thinking of the planet too….(suggestions about wrapping Christmas presents in a tea towel). Further research, they helped produce a Royal Wedding Tea Towel”. So if you want to follow a ‘Rabbit Warren’ clearly this is a good place to start and I present the tea towel that Jane gave me, and I now own.

Tea Towels and Lockdown (27)


Yesterday’s Tweet, with a sense of both relief and disappointment, followed the night before last’s Downing Street Briefing. “Now we know there is at least five weeks more of Lockdown-type restrictions, there is plenty of time to sort your tea towels, photograph them on a washing line and submit to #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing”. The reference to photographing your tea towels on a washing line was merely because I’d been on a nice walk yesterday, in the sunshine, and was feeling a little bit more hopeful. Photograph them where, and how, you want is what I say! @JanesHeroes asked “Is there a way to wash tea towels so they come out with less creases? I’m sure my Mum would have known, she used to roll her wet washing before hanging out to get the creases out. Shall try that on the next tea towels”. The debate about creased or uncreased, to iron or not to iron, tea towels still rages. I’m glad people care.

The ‘Headliner’ today was submitted by @JanesHeroes “I love it and it is currently in use”. I love a Collective Noun and @PerkinsMorley certainly know how to make them!

I am amazed at what beautiful tea towels emerge from people’s cupboards and drawers. We are going to start with @JanCherryJovi’s offer of ‘Appleby- in-Westmorland’. Strangely she comments “Only got this one to hand at present. No idea where I got it”. Surely, it must have come from Appleby-in-Westmorland‽ ‘Red Squirrel’ from @Judy_at_TW is a stunner. “Dear Barbara as your Collection goes from strength to strength please can I submit the tea towel that I will never use, because I love it so much. It’s published by Cardtoon Publications. Printed in GB. Photo by Val Corbett. I bought it in Grasmere, about 10 years ago, on our holiday in the beautiful Lake District, when I first saw my first Red Squirrel. We only have grey ones in my home, Birmingham”. So does anyone (a) know of the Black Squirrel (frequenters of Hertfordshire may be familiar) and (b) have a tea towel of one? Personally, I have never seen one; it was a subject that I debated with David, on many occasions. He was a big fan of, and believer in, the Black Squirrel. I thought it was a myth; I am willing to be proved wrong.

@MFitzoliver suggested ‘Av a Dance Duck’, a great tea towel that is very topical; it has pictures of twelve Nightclub-like venues in Stoke. Topical, because 21 June 2021 could be the date for opening up such venues. @BitThing submitted a delightful one of ‘Birds’. “It’s definitely Spring-like here so here’s a seasonal one”. Sadly, I can’t identify the birds but I can identify with that Spring-like feel. I’m sure someone will be able to spot the birds. @BitThing has been a regular participant of #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing. I am delighted that not only have I seen her tea towels but she has introduced me to a new word on the subject. “So glad I ‘met’ you Barbara and enjoyed all the other Towelist stories. Is that a new word?” It may be a new word but certainly one I will start using.

The next two are a continuation of the sets from @ltmuseum. The tea towels are taken from vintage posters of the London Underground. I have previously shown a double-pack of Boat Race tea towels and a Rugby League Challenge Cup pack. I personally own a double-pack of FA Cup ones. @LynOwen11 is offering the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Meeting ones. She offers a completely different way of displaying them, which I love. You have a feeling of two proud owners!!. The only thing I find frustrating about the @ltmuseum poster tea towels is that they are not dated by year. This then requires a lot of research which you can guarantee won’t be accurate. I think there is a good chance that the one with a man is from 1935, the 55th Championship where Fred Perry was the Men’s Champion and Helen Moody the Women’s Champion, poster designed by Dorothy Paton. Is the other one a Mixed Doubles image? If so, it has to be after 1913 so could be 1914, the 32nd Championship and the first Grand Slam, poster designed by L.B. Black. I’m sure that @ltmuseum can put me right, but whatever, they are great tea towels.

I end today with an alternative view of the ‘Headliner’. It is Isabella with A Romp of Labs. What more could you want?


Panasonic Panacrunch: 2021


A couple of days ago, I heard the man from Headspace.com (online meditation) giving words of advice for the day: “As you pick up your phone to do anything, be clear in your intention, do the thing, then put it away”. I’m not into meditation, online or real, it’s not my thing. But I do know that I use my phone for most things concerning tea towels. I also realised that piece of advice is about as far removed from my life as it could be. My friends and family get very frustrated by my half-finished sentences, changes of subject, with absolutely not idea about where I was going with it, usually disrupted by the phone. (But I never use a phone to ring anyone!). I could say that tea towels keep me concentrated and on-point but that’s not true. It is probably true that tea towels are the cause of my haphazardness and seldom-finished sentences. If you have read any of my Tea Towel Blogs will know of my references to the ‘Rabbit Warren’ I often find myself following. The term ‘Rabbit Warren’ was originally used by my friend Nick to describe how distracted I get, going off at a tangent.

If I look it up on Google, a Rabbit Warren is “An underground system of interconnected tunnels occupied by rabbits” alternatively “a confusing environment” (or the story of my life). Tea towels, in my opinion, lead you down interconnected tunnels because they are so fascinating. My ‘Rabbit Warrens’ often end up in me watching something, completely disconnected, on YouTube, but I am so much wiser for it.

This is where I come to Panasonic Panacrunch. My classic, fitting every meaning of the words, ‘Rabbit Warren’. I looked at this strikingly, garish tea towel and tried (a) to work out how old it might be. That picture is dated but Panasonic Panacrunch is still a name to be reckoned with and (b) what the hell is it? Is it the microwave itself? Is it a pizza oven? Is it a pizza (a pizza called Panacrunch sounds quite tempting)? Is it something to do with quiche? And what on earth is that picture imposed on a background of light blue/dark blue stripes? First, I try Google which takes me to Amazon. I’m nearer finding the meaning; it is either a specialist microwave or a pan. I am then led down the ‘warren’ of Amazon reviews, not quite sure what they are reviews of. I remember Liz’s Dad always asking her whether she has reviewed anything she had bought on Amazon.

“No” she said “I’ve got better things to do with my time” laughing.

“It’s important” he said “How will they know if things are good?”

“Do you think they do anything with them? Are they going to improve their products?” She asked.

“I don’t know but it’s good fun”. Liz sighs in exasperation, still laughing. And I have probably just read his reviews from 2015! Will the price give me a clue as to what it is?

Now I might have the answer to what a Panasonic Panacrunch is (because Amazon certainly don’t describe what it is). It costs somewhere between £69 and £79; it could be a microwave or some specialist piece of equipment. The first review says:

“……this pan is supplied (it’s a pan!!!) with some Panasonic microwaves, and is also buyable as an accessory, albeit an expensive one. What is special about it is that it contains elements that can absorb microwave energy and heat food from underneath as well as on top”

Do you get any feeling that this is what Panasonic Panacrunch is all about, from that picture? It looks like they are eating French bread, salad, olives, quiche and drinking a lot of wine. At least the quiche won’t have a soggy bottom. As a ‘Promo’ tea towel, it probably isn’t doing it’s bit (although I may use tea towels I never, ever cook anything, not even in a microwave, so maybe I’m not the best person to evaluate this). However, one reviewer says “…The only thing I will say is to be diligent about hand-washing it in hot soapy water. It will not stand being put in the dishwasher unless you only use it very occasionally…….if you wash it after eating, by hand, it will last twice as long. I’ll never be without one now. It’s awesome”. So if you are hand-washing it, immediately after eating, perhaps that’s why they produced a tea towel, to make sure you look after the pan.

Where did I get this tea towel? Certainly not with a microwave! Jane gave it to me, arriving a couple of days ago through the post. I don’t want to spoil Jane’s ‘back story’; it will be in Jane’s Tea Towel Story in http://www.virtualteatowelmuseum.com in a few days time. Thank you so much Jane. I love it and I also love that phrase Panasonic Panacrunch; it’s the sort of thing you have to be able to drop into conversation, every now and again.

Tea Towels and Lockdown (26)


Who could resist this stunning tea towel? It has to be a ‘Headliner’. It must be vintage and at a time when firms like North Thames Gas used a tea towel, a very unique tea towel, as a promotional tool. I think I have to ask myself ‘would I buy a gas cooker as a result of this tea towel?’ I think the answer is ‘Definitely yes’.

I sometimes get very confused with the Twitter handles people use. I don’t know if some people use two. The ‘Headliner’ was submitted by @AdeleGroves4, with no additional comments. When I asked about the background and age of this one, it was @C20Southern who answered “I inherited it – think it dates from 60s – North Thames Gas wound up in 1973. I would buy the cooker if I could wear it in my hat!” You can’t beat a comment like that. Where do we go after a tea towel like that?

Maybe, a bit of culture? @KellyMae36 submitted ‘Irish Poets and Playwrights’ “No Narnia but I do have a lovely ‘Irish Poets and Playwrights’. I wonder if it is (a) Irish linen and (b) larger than usual, like many Irish ones are‽ And now a bit of history? @nicholascoke has submitted ‘The True Levellers’, one of @radicalteatowel‘s unique political tea towels. ‘The True Levellers’ tells a story that is not as well known as something like the Tolpuddle Martyrs. “I love this because of the stories of those who fought for the rights of all” and now another ‘Alphabet’ tea towel. This was submitted by @Judy_at_TW who has a number of these tea towels, this one is the ‘Christmas Alphabet’, designed by @ShelliGraham, a friend of hers.

This next one, ‘Knots’, is the last of @gorton-carol’s tea towels that she has submitted. It looks pristine but then as she say “I don’t use any of them”. I’m ever-hopeful that she might have some more lurking in a cupboard. I think many Readers of these 26 Tea Towel Blogs will be surprised at how few very traditional, touristy tea towels have been offered. I’m getting to know the regular presenters of tea towels to #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing project. I can rely on @JanCherryJovi to offer an eclectic collection of tea towels. This one of hers is the epitome of ‘touristy’ and it is from’Derbyshire’ “Here’s a lovely one of Derbyshire. I have lived in Hope Valley off and on, as a teenager and in my 20’s”. That’s what tea towels can do, just bring back memories.

The last two today are ‘Footprints’ submitted by @KellyMae36 who says “One of my favourites is ‘Footprints”. This is a classic for putting on a tea towel but they are never done in the same way. The second is another @radicalteatowel print, ‘The Tolpuddle Martyrs’. There are many designs on this topic, all delightful and historical. It was submitted by @nicholascoke. And the final tea towel on this row is from @JanCherryJovi “A nice floral one?”

Actually, I have one final tea towel from today, inspired by @CruisingTheCuts’s submission from yesterday. It is from @EDITHMARKER5 “I am not a Narrowboater but I follow many of you and would love to have a boat….this was a gift from my daughter and made in your lovely country”. @weironthemove sent a message “Thank you so much for sharing the Widebeam Map (yesterday) which was painted whilst travelling on our Widebeam boat. ‘Weir on the Move’ is on YouTube if you are interested.


That is a great tea towel for the detail of it’s illustration. http://www.sophiasillustration.co.uk has three wonderful tea towels on there.

Tea Towels and Lockdown (25)


Before I discuss today’s ‘Headliner’, I’d like to include some comments people have made, some answering questions already raised. In Tea Towels and Lockdown (24) there was an elegant green tea towel from @halinaward “I like this tea towel. They are Ukrainian cucumbers” (which I had described as aubergines!). I had queried this, were Ukrainian cucumbers different from British cucumbers. Tea Towel People know their stuff “They’re the small sort, like gherkins. There’s Dill on the design too” (Where’s the Dill? I ask myself). “And you can tell they’re cucumbers cos of the ridges and tendrils. That and being Ukrainian”. If anyone remembers, from Blog 22, the tea towel from the Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club where I randomly queried whether the tea towel was just commemorative of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee or whether the Rowing Club took part in the Thames Pageant (because that’s a long way to take your boat). The question was answered by @ScotlandAlice “Yes, the Ullapool Rowing Club took part in the Jubilee Thames River Pageant on 3 June 2012. As a fundraiser, they sold merchandise like this”. In Blog 23, @SylviaHoppman‘s tea towel of Pennsylvania appeared “Wow! I’m famous. Just wished I’d ironed it”.

Today’s ‘Headliner’ is from @Spacexecadet “I promised you a tea towel a week or so back. I don’t see this one on your website, hope it is of unusual interest”. This is one of those tea towels that you wonder ‘Who thought of this for an idea, on a tea towel?’. I love it. There is such detail, the use of both English and French languages and a lot of information. I think @MrTimDunn might like this one. Where do I go from here?

How about ‘Woodpecker’ from @Joseamey “Here’s a Woodpecker by Ulster for you. Think it was a Charity Shop find”. This is definitely a striking ‘find’, beautiful colours, vibrant; however, I’ve been looking for the Woodpecker and am only seeing Owls. I need to look more carefully. This next one is from @gorton_carol. She has a good selection of tea towels “I don’t use them. Just bought them because I liked them, mainly on holiday, back home in Scotland” which makes me think that this could be called ‘Charles Rennie MacIntosh’.

Now the following two are very different. @JanCherryJovi, someone who I think has a never-ending stock of tea towels (which I hope she will continue sending in) has offered ‘Lost Gardens of Heligan’. This is a brilliant tea towel where, in the foreground, it looks as though there are two rows of tea towels on a washing line. Surely, that can’t be right? The second one on this line is from @seaparkin “It is a sample one, done recently. Probably should have ironed it. Not sure yet about the design. My first tea towel. I didn’t have a say about the layout as it’s for a Charity”. Probably called ‘Riber in the Snow’.

This Blog will probably be shorter than most because I want to end on ‘The Widebeam Canal’ submitted by @Cruising The Cut. “Hark at me with a shiny new ‘Widebeam Canal map’ tea towel from @weironthemove. Saves me washing the old one”. This is a very special tea towel for me because it was offered by @CruisingTheCut and it brings back such memories. Lockdown Number 1 was a strange time. There were programmes on TV that had been pre-recorded so there was plenty of new stuff to watch. Gradually, there were more and more repeats; suddenly it began to dawn on me that nothing was currently being recorded. I was delighted that, by mistake, I had signed up to Amazon Prime for a year. We scoured the weird and wonderful programmes available and discovered ‘Cruising The Cut’. We binged-watched it; we watched it again and returned to it a bit later. I love a canal, not that I have ever wanted to actually steer a narrowboat, but I love the tranquility, the beauty, the social history, the buildings and the countryside. This tea towel reminds me of those days of watching a programme that I probably wouldn’t have watched under normal circumstances and realised that you can create pleasure and happiness if you let your mind be open to new ideas. And that is how I want to end Tea Towels and Lockdown (25).


Tea Towels and Lockdown (24)


I have to thank @ScotlandAlice for this wonderful picture. I know it’s not a single tea towel, that someone owns, but it is poignant. As @ScotlandAlice says “This is from a Gift Shop on Shore Street, Ullapool called ‘Ceol Na Mara’ (Music of the Sea). Was thinking about your posts today…..think this reflects all our moods these days. Closed shops and rainy days. Ullapool is a beautiful place, you have to come and see it. Give me a shout and we’ll have a cuppa!” Now there is an offer I can’t refuse. When out of Lockdown Number 3, my priority is to travel to Scotland, to Aberdeen, to scatter my friend, Jean’s, ashes who was only able to have a Zoom funeral, travel on to Tiree and Lewis and Harris, and now maybe divert to Ullapool for a cuppa and a look round Ceol Na Mara. I have to comment on those tea towels hanging in that shop window. I can see the Robert Burns tea towel with extracts of his poems; it’s the one within a pale blue background. I think I can see The Scottish Vocabulary one, with a bright red surround, or it could be ‘Nessie’. I’d take a punt that those are nearly all @EttrickValley tea towels; they are always excellent value, and Scottish. I want to go to that shop, and, as long as it re-opens after the Pandemic Lockdown, I will be there!! I just hope they don’t move that Tea Towel Hanger, it’s great!!

Having started with this magnificent ‘Headliner’, it will be followed by a submission from @johnrstevens called ‘Stay Weird’ and ‘The Welsh Dragon’ from @TCYJimB “Fairly sure this was bought in Wales!”. I’d be surprised if it wasn’t bought in Wales. When? is the question.

We move on to cats and cricket. @Judy_at_TW supplied ‘The Cats Alphabet’, designed by @ShelliGraham. As a Cat Lover and Cat Owner, and former Cat Fosterer, I simply love this tea towel. Shame I’m not challenging myself to writing a Blog with just ‘C’s because we are moving on to ‘Cricket’ supplied by @gorton_carol. “I buy tea towels because I like them but don’t use them. The cricket one I’ve had for years”. As soon as I saw this, I remembered a conversation with my father when I was about 5; that’s a lot of years ago. Before the War, my Dad had started to play cricket for Middlesex. After the War, he didn’t continue that career but he was always a Cricket Fanatic. I was a ‘W’ child: Where? What? Why? When? Who? “Dad, what does lbw mean?” I asked. “Leg before wicket” he replied. “What does Leg Before Wicket mean?” was my next question. I can almost feel myself drifting off into the Land of Narnia. He went on for ages and, to this day, I never understood it. But he would have loved this tea towel.

Now for two very colourful tea towels. ‘Country Garden Birds’ is from @JanCherryJovi, a known tea towel lover, she says “I love using this, so colourful and cheerful”. Margaret (via email and a listener of @bbchw) says “This multi-coloured one came from Portugal”

The ‘Mushrooms’ from @Jennyamphlett was an early arrival. I had wanted to place it with other tea towels of mushrooms but I couldn’t get them out of my Media Library. I think this one is so stylish, and distinctive, that I couldn’t leave it any longer. Now the ‘Aubergines’ is one of the many of @halinaward’s submissions, most of which I am unable to transpose into this Blog. The only way that this one would work was if I didn’t turn it round 90 degrees; it works OK as it is a geometrical pattern.

I’d like to finish this Blog with A Hanging of Tea Towels, the ideal way to display more than one tea towel. This one is courtesy of @rachblacklabel. And there are tea towels on that line that you haven’t shared. Where’s the Moquette? And the Cats? And that one on the end? Thank you so much! #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing goes on for another day or two, at least.


Tea Towels and Lockdown (23)


I am going to start #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing with two quotes from Readers of ‘Tea Towels and Lockdown (22). @lizmac307, referring to the ‘Headliner’ tea towel said “I do like the red tea towel with the tea pots, that’s very stylish”. Beth, via email, said of the ‘Puffin’ “Thanks to @KarenCornwell18 for her picture of how she displayed her Puffin tea towel. I have struggled with placement for showing off my limited collection and this idea was so simple. I feel stupid for not having thought of it myself, Great idea!!” And I was a bit worried about having a large photo of the side of @KarenCornwell18’s fridge; it is reassuring to know that it helped someone living in California, someone who is fanatical about puffins and who was planning to come to Scotland in 2020 to see them, until Coronavirus interrupted her plans. I hope she has rebooked but will 2021 be ok? I’m not sure.

On to the ‘Headliner’, seriously, does this look like a tea towel that you would have bought in Mallorca? Never. I have a lot from Mallorca and Spain and they are absolutely nothing like this. Who ever heard of cup cakes in Mallorca? It is a great photo, you can see the detail of the cloth it is made from and I can almost feel my hair stand on end. It could be ‘Chinlon’ (Chinese nylon) and, if it is, you would never want to wipe up with that. For the value of it’s uniqueness, ‘Mallorca’ (cup cakes and all) has to be the ‘Headliner’. It was sent in by @TCYJimB “I found this one in the drawer today from Mallorca with various drawings of cupcakes on it!!”. Personally, I think it is magnificent!! And I’m not sure I can beat it today, but I will give it a go.

‘Cheeses’ from @gorton_carol is not one I’ve seen before and you need good eyesight to read it. “Never been used, just bought it because I liked it when I was on holiday”. @Judy_at_TW sent in a couple from a designer friend of hers @ShelliGraham who specialises in using the Alphabet as part of her designs. This one is ‘A Very English Alphabet’.

@Ali3506 sent in a really lovely tea towel called ‘Harvest Season’. “No Calendar Tea Towel but I do have them for all seasons (Winter ones are Christmas Tea Towels – all packed away). This is the Harvest Season”. @ChitChat5 , on the other hand, sent in a Glass Cloth “I use the Glass Tea Towel for everything, not just glasses”. Oliver sent in this comedy tea towel, ‘Things My Dog Says’.

@JanCherryJovi, a tea towel fan, sent in this great Emma Bridgewater tea towel which I assume is called something like ‘Hobbies’ or even ‘Things To Do in Lockdown’ but it is one of her distinctive styles.  In contrast, @SylviaHoppman’s tea towel is from Pennsylvania.  The last one on this line is from @claraclarabel and is from the ‘Unicorn Grocery’.  There have been two others from Unicorn Grocery on display in the past.

And my final offerings are from Margaret (by email) which depicts some exotic drinks “Not sure where the drinks one came from. People have bought them for me in the past”. I have to admit that my records got a bit muddled early on and I have no idea where ‘Home is where the Gin is’ comes from, my notes say Tracy (anyone know?). Finally, @BitThing sent in ‘Pastoral Scene’ “Today I give you a spring pastoral scene. Lets hope it will be here soon”

Thank you to all those people who have shared their tea towels in #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing project. Every tea towel tells a story.

Tea Towels and Lockdown (22)


To celebrate #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing, and the fact that I am about to have my ‘jab’ (or Vaccination Stage 1, as I like to say), I will be sharing some very elegant tea towels today. I have had a couple of days off from Blogging because of the excitement of taking Liz into a hospital for a CT scan. Virtually no one there, main door locked and it felt like a scene from ‘The Prisoner’ and then more excitement because it was Pete’s Birthday of Significance. He had been ‘jabbed’ and felt crap. Good grief, it’s been exciting. Finally, yesterday was the day to send my piece of Creative Writing (not about tea towels) to the group I’m working with, sharing our work for constructive criticism. Sadly, I couldn’t remember who was in my group so spent several hours trying to visualise the three group members from Zoom. It’s much easier just coping with tea towels.

Today’s ‘Headliner’ is Red Tea Pots from @BitThing “My favourite. Ironed! It’s from France. Jacquard Francois. I think the tea pots are Japanese”. I think this is a very stylish tea towel, looks unused. Next we will have two ‘sporty’ ones, courtesy of @ltmuseum, and sent in by @rachblacklabel. They are ‘Rugby League Cup Final 4 May 1929′ and the ’76th Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race’ held on 5 April 1924 when Cambridge won.

From a previous Blog @rachblacklabel said “I’m superpleased with my mention in the @myteatowels Blog. I have been enjoying reading them all”. She’ll be double-pleased now.

The next three are: @Griffiths4Nicky sent in ‘Old Thatch’, another of her mother’s and the last that I have to display from her (so I’m hoping there are some more lurking in the airing cupboard). Now @ScotlandAlice has presented us with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tea Towel. This one is interesting because it uses the Diamond Jubilee Logo, designed by a 10 year old, Blue Peter competition winner, Katherine Dewar, chosen from 35,000 entries. I wonder where 20 year old Katherine Dewar is nowadays? This tea towel has had an additional bit added to the design. The colourful logo is still there and underneath is Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Thames River Pageant: 3rd June 2012. At the very bottom is ‘Ullapool Coastal Rowing Club’. I wonder if that is just a commemorative tea towel or whether the Ullapool Coastal Rwoing Club actually took part in the Thames Pageant. The final one on this row is ‘Coffee Pots’ from @halinaward.

And I am going to end with a contribution from @GeoffRimington. He says “A late entry for the Virtual Tea Towel Museum. The artiest one. I bought it in 2017 at an exhibition called ‘Sussex Modernism: Retreat and Rebellion at Two Temple Place’. It is based on a painting by Vanessa Bell (Virginia Woolf’s sister)”. There is another very attractive one from @KarenCornwell18. “Just purchased on the soup run. This is getting out of control”. It is ‘Puffin’ by @ChloeGardnerArt and is accompanied by a picture of the side of @KarenCornwell18’s fridge where it is now hanging.

Should I include any more? No, I think I’ll leave it at that and try and scour Twitter for some more tea towels.

Tea Towels and Lockdown (21)


#TheGreatTeaTowelSharing continues; new tea towels, in fact there have been more than 300, are still coming in and there have been NO duplicates. No duplicates, that is until very recently, and the only duplicate is this one: ‘The Celebration of the Scots Language’ and this is the third one. The two previous ones are from @ProfRodham and @eastendtwit. I even own one myself, in the ‘flesh’, to be used. I am interested why this one is so common. I physically own more than 1450 tea towels and yet none of the ones that have come in from #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing have been ‘duplicates’ of mine, except for this one.

I’ve loads of different tea towels with various Scots dialect and, back in 2016, I wrote a Tea Towel Blog about mine, on this site, on 14/11/2016. And as I said before, I am disappointed that my favourite word ‘haver’ isn’t on it. My Blog referred to how useful the tea towel was when listening to Kenneth McKellar (“Who”? I can hear people shouting out) but also useful if you are playing the music of The Proclaimers. Today’s ‘Headliner’ is from @gorton_carol who says “I bought this one on holiday, back home in Scotland. I don’t use it”

The next two tea towels are both ‘Recipe’ ones: ‘Yorkshire Pudding” and ‘Irish Bread’.  @eastendtwit sent in the Yorkshire Pudding one with a comment “Never used, either as a tea towel or a recipe.  At least 22 years old”.  @Griifths4Nicky has sent in a delightful tea towel, never been used, from her Mother’s Collection called ‘Irish Bread’, a Recipe tea towel.

The next three tea towels are certainly a ‘Mixed Bunch’. First, is one from @GeoffRimington called ‘Weights and Measures’. This was one of the early ones to come in and it was immersed beneath a pile of Tea Towel Photos, and then it suddenly emerged. The second one, ‘Noel’, is from @Conecclesia with a simple message saying “A festive tea towel”. Festive but certainly understated, but still making us feel Christmas was not that far away. And the third tea towel is ‘The Yorkshire Translator’ from @Justm3x “I haven’t used this one but I love it”. I am always surprised at how many ‘Dialect’ tea towels there are around and there is obviously a fascination with them.

Now I am going to do something rather unusual.  Several people have sent me in pictures of tea towels that they have found on the internet, so they are not the owners of them.  People have spent a lot of time searching for the pictures so I am going to use them, with the equivalent of the ‘real thing’ from my personal collection!  I start with ‘Edinburgh’ from @BrianInkster.  He had been offering #TheGreatTeaTowelSharing tea towels from places where he lived e.g. Shetland, Glasgow and felt that since he lived in Edinburgh for a short while he should have one from there.  I could supply many, but I restrict myself to offering ‘The Streets of Edinburgh’ (the most expensive tea towel that I have bought) and ‘The Buildings of Edinburgh’.  But I note that I do have two from the University of Edinburgh, maybe I should have shown them‽ 

@bertus161057 offered two piles of tea towels, red and white and black and white, demonstrating well that plain ones, not arty, can be very pleasing to the eye. I personally offer a red and white check that I inherited from my friend Jean, a blue/red/green checked one alongside a yellow/green/bluish check tea towel both from Uzbekistan. There is a blue and white tea towel that I inherited from my mother and a green and white checked one that I found in the bottom of a drawer when I was cleaning out my mother’s house 30 years ago. All still going strong.

And, finally, from @GeoffRimington comes the Tunnock Caramel Bar and the Tunnock Tea Cake tea towels (the two on the left). I can offer Tunnock Tea Cake, as well as a Tunnock Caramel Bar (a favourite of mine), two on the right.

And I will end with one of the most striking tea towels that I have seen in a while. @gorton_carol sent ‘The Swans’ which she bought at @V_and_A. It is from the artist Walter Crane. It was one of his earliest designs for wallpaper called ‘Swan, Rush and Iris’ (1877), very much of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the sort of image you look at and can become mesmerised by and creating Tea Towel Envy!!!


There will be more tomorrow!