My Collection and Me

SomersetClive is delighted to bring you the first in an occasional series in which we will be visiting residents of Smalltown and Dullbridge who have amassed extensive collections of interesting artifacts.

First up it is the turn of Smalltown and Dullbridge Headmistress and Mayor Kelsey Dullard. Cllr Dullard invited us to her home to show us her incredible collection and share some of her favourite pieces with us.

“Hello and welcome to my home. I’m delighted you’ve been able to join me so that I can share my love for my lovely hobby.

Everyone should have a hobby. Hobbies are wonderful for mental health, as focusing on a hobby can help people to forget their mundane lives. A hobby doesn’t have to be expensive – you can collect anything at all. There are lots of lovely things out there which can be collected for free or next to nothing, for example, Councillor and Deputy Headmistress, Eugenie Sherry collects used yoghurt pots and you can often spot her on bin days going through the recycling boxes in Smalltown and Dullbridge searching for new additions for her collection.

Collecting things like used yoghurt pots gets you out into the lovely fresh air and gives you the opportunity to chat with other collectors who may be searching for new items to add to their own collections.

Personally, I’ve been collecting used tea bags for over 55 years now and nothing brings me greater pleasure than to be able to add a new used tea bag to my collection. When I’m not cutting ribbons and drinking tea in Smalltown and Dullbridge then you’ll find me hunting through residents’ lovely bins searching for used tea bags.

I recently took part in a lovely beach clean in Barrow where I was delighted to add 26 used tea bags to my collection and on Saturday I joined a lovely team of litter-pickers on Smalltown Beach and trawled through the flotsam and jetsam along the tide line and found yet another 15 used tea bags to add to my bevy of bags.

As you can see I spend a lot of time cataloguing my collection and rearranging my displays. Writing lists is a very enjoyable part of my hobby. I love a good list and it helps me to keep my lovely collection organised. I currently have 94,767 used tea bags and I like to organise them by size, shape, type of tea and, where possible, manufacturer.

To the casual observer tea bags may look all the same, but we’ve actually come a long way in terms of development since the first tea bags were introduced in 756 by the Chinese. Those original teabags are now exceptionally rare and were made of folded square scraps of paper. Since then tea bags have changed in shape and style, as manufacturers tried to find the best way to deliver lovely tea in a quick and convenient fashion.

The idea of a triangular tea bag was short lived and consequently I don’t have many of those. Circular tea bags were made illegal by an Act of Parliament initiated (or should that be iniTEAated? – just my little joke) by the BeFuddled Party in 2012, as their shape was a catastrophe for the environment due to the waste of paper incurred in their production. Circular examples now change hands on auction sites for quite a lot of money and are becoming increasingly hard to find.

Nowadays we are all used to the lovely square shape which offers so much of a design advancement on that original 8th Century Chinese shape. However, types of tea have varied greatly in recent years, with the introduction of lovely fruit teas.

At this point Cllr Dullard offered to list all the different varieties of lovely fruit teas, but we declined her kind offer and fled.

Next week:- Squire Teflon shows us his vast collection of empty Albanian Whiskey bottles.

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