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Tea Caddy Extravaganza: World record?

Tea Caddy Extravaganza: World record?

It would take most of New Zealand’s tea drinkers to get through Renwick man’s Graham Brooks’ tea caddy collection.

An estimated 3,000 caddies will be on display to raise funds for Alzheimers Marlborough’s crucial support services during Awareness and Appeal Week, which runs from 12 to 18 July.

Graham Brooks has been collecting tea caddies from near and afar for 35 years after his mother-in-law gave him one as a gift. For the first time in 25 years Graham’s collection will come out of storage for a special event at the Blenheim Club, officially opened by Wellington-based antiques expert Peter Wedde of the television programme Auction House.

Spokesperson for Alzheimers Marlborough, Helen Knapp, says the organisation saw the display as a fantastic opportunity for Appeal Week. Traditionally, they encourage ‘Cuppa for a Cause’ events where workplaces, individuals and groups of friends host a cup of tea with proceeds going to the organisation.

“The tea caddy extravaganza is an extension of our ‘cuppa’ events, but a massive one!
Many people who have dementia are of the generation where the ritual of tea making, including the beautiful caddies, was an important part of daily life. We are delighted to host the collection at the Blenheim Club, with its elegant décor and 100 year history.”

After trawling through the online community of tea caddy collectors, Graham says it appears he has the largest collection. Application has been made to the Guinness World Records for validation of the largest collection in the world and Graham is expecting notification of the outcome this week.

He is delighted to be able to show off his collection and support people with dementia at the same time. “I thought there needed to be something for people to come and have a look at while they had their cup of tea. I also wanted to get all the caddies in one place. I regularly come home from a holiday with a hundred tea caddies. That’s why we take the car over on the ferry, because it’s easier than flying when you’re collecting. You pick them up in obscure places.” Graham says he had no idea there were so many caddies until he gathered them from all over his house and packed them in boxes for the collection.

Alzheimers Marlborough hopes to raise $10,000 through the event. This funding will make up the difference the organisation needs after the funding it receives from the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.


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