Just recently I was lucky enough to be present at the opening of Fairchilds Tea Rooms and such a wonderful place it is.
As I sat there looking through the menu of all the different teas that were on offer it reminded me of a time in my childhood.
Dad was an on-course bookmaker in the summer, a job he juggled all his life with “real work”, as it was only flat racing he was interested in, so the winters could sometimes be rough.
It was getting near Christmas one year and a tree hadn’t arrived let alone the presents, so although nothing was said it looked like we might have to pull our belts in.
Dad was always scouring the local newspapers to see what was going on.
A new local grocery wholesalers was opening up about the same time J Lyons introduced a sixpenny stamp on the outside of a quarter pound packet of premium tea.
He contacted the wholesalers and said how would they like some free advertising.
He told them to contact J Lyons and tell them they also could benefit from the advert for their new Premium Tea Stamp.
The plan was to give every old age pensioner in the area a pound of the new tea.
Dad would organise the distribution door to door.
Well they fell for it, delivered the tea, and Mum, Dad and me spent the next two days taking off the stamps and sticking them in the books provided.
He then got in touch with the local scouts and guides who were only too pleased to deliver the tea to the old folks for Christmas.
So the wholesalers and J Lyons got the advert, the newspaper got the story, the pensioners got the tea, the scouts did their good deed and we cashed in the stamps, and had a jolly good Christmas, and, as a bonus, Dad was thought of as a local hero and had old guys in the street thanking him for ages after.