What could be more British, a drink from leaves grown in foreign lands served in a delicate cup, with saucer. Saucers these days are out of fashion, but were always used in the 1950s. No drips on the trousers in those heady days and always somewhere to ladle a drop out to cool it.
I was given this cup and saucer, and a small plate, on the Coronation of our late Queen., it sits next to me on the window sill by my desk. Not to remind me of anything in particular or in commemoration, I’m not an ardent Royalist. I just like it and it reminds me of my first school: Bamber Bridge Methodists School near Preston. I think we all got a set at the Coronation, not sure. Beside the cup is my late father’s official police issue whistle. It attached to his heavy blue uniform at the front from the strong metal button. It was the way they called for ‘back up’ in those days. No such thing as even personal radios in those days. I’m not sure if he ever used it.
Someone asked me the other day who am I going to leave it to when I shuffle off. I’d never thought about it. I replied that the tea set was hardly unique, they must have produced millions of them. The whistle might be useful to a dog trainer with a hard of hearing hound.
As I entered the world of modern shopping the other day and put a bottle of wine on the checkout shelf. It asked me of proof of age. A small Yorkshire woman from the staff came over and I remarked that I was ‘Older than our King’. Mistake. She immediately treated me with polite patronisation speaking slightly louder than normal and with that tone that suggests you might be ever so slightly ‘ga ga’. I won’t be doing that again in a hurry.