Katherine’s Tea Towel

MS Archive - Virtual Tea Towel Museum

I was looking at my Tweets a couple of weeks ago; someone had retweeted a post from M&S Archives.  I never knew that there was such a thing.  I have been a lover of all things M&S since I was a teenager as are many people that I know.  My mother would never buy underwear from anywhere else; I used to have to take M&S nighties and underwear to Italy every year for my Aunty Eileen; my friend Jean, with her sisters, used to make a trip to M&S very Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter to renew their wardrobes.  Jean, at 91, still buys all her clothes from M&S with the help of the internet.  I could go on forever!  The idea of an M&S Archive is very exciting.  I know that M&S produce tea towels so the first thing I did was to abandon Twitter and email them; this could be a ‘Special Collection’ – tea towels from the M&S Archives.  Katherine replied: “I’ve searched our Collection Catalogue and I’m slightly ashamed to say that we only actually have two tea towels currently catalogued although I am certain there are more yet to be catalogued”. 

I asked Katherine if, instead, she would like to be a Guest Tea Towel.  This is her response: “This is my favourite tea towel in the M&S Company Archives.  It dates from 2009, when M&S celebrated it’s 125th birthday.  Around this time, the business began to look back at it’s heritage to inspire new products – the result was a special range of anniversary products, including this tea towel.  Some of these products drew on stylistic features or patterns of vintage clothing and packaging while others, like this tea towel, featured the original designs.  The Jelly Creams design on the tea towel is taken from a 1960s box held in the Archive Collection.  The food packaging designs from the 1950s and 1960s are fantastic, full of colour and lovely illustrations – just calling to be reused.” 

Thank you, Katherine for that history behind the tea towel; I agree that it is a fantastic tea towel and I hope your colleagues will join the ‘gang’ of Guest Tea Towels.


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