I was doing some blog editing over the weekend and decided that this story, which I recounted earlier in a history post, really was such a lovely one it deserved a post all of its own.
Do you remember your grandmother using these tea cosies?
The ones I found at Hanworth were not quite so glamourous as this one, but the whole concept of some of the residents crocheting is one which really thrills me. I am guessing knitting and crotchet were the older days version of social media! At least it was functional.
Remember I have talked about Hanworth's hallowed halls?
Well when we moved in the halls were not nearly as wide, they were cluttered with cupboards
They were not uninteresting cupboards inside (don't be fooled by the ugly mission brown exteriors). The Anglican church left lots of cups, teapots, cutlery, plates, old tablecloths, linen and , yes of course, the beloved teapot cosies.
I'm a little teapot
and my Hanworth cosy comes in pink...
(this is my personal favourite - being the Green Cosy for the Green Lady naturally!)
But an even more exciting find lurked in the first cupboard on the left...
The wall being brick you see was only really visible once we removed the cupboards - see
Look how fantastic the hallway looked when those eyesore cupboards were removed. Since I loved the natural brick (and hated the paint which had been used to disguise them), we pondered about ways to bring the natural brick back:
We mulled over the many removal options and slowly gathered confidence to peel away.
And in that journey of discovery, look what we found inside written between the bricks in that cupboard:
A message on the wall! Better than a message in a bottle. There was high excitement ! The previous tenants had told me about this and it was just like discovering something in the Harry Potter cupboard underneath the stairs (except that there were no stairs).
And this was Hanworth - not Hogwarts!
But nevertheless the discovery was a moment of fabulousness!
You probably can't see it that well in this photo but what is clear is that it is a full sentence and was written in November 1890 (it s pictured on the middle mortar of this photo).
We have presumed that one of the numerous Heath children might have written it as the words seem to jump out at us that "Mamma and Dotti ...are coming home". As this was likely very soon before the whole family were to return to England, it was obviously a significant time for the writer.
And a very exciting find for us. As we had worked so hard to protect the inscription from the paint stripping, you can see how the fire, whilst peeling all the protective coating, did actually leave this patch of the wall alone. We were so relieved!
Now it is here to be preserved for another 123 years at the very least, hopefully longer.
Might just go and get that tea cosy now and make myself a cuppa - happy Monday everyone
Aren't some people so clever!