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Sheridan Parsons

All Sheridan's contact details and social media links are listed on LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/sheridanbythecanal
Sheridan Parsons
Sheridan posing in the style of the 855b box in 2005

Hello! My name is Sheridan. My interest in teasmades began in 2000. I wanted to start an unusual collection and I settled on teasmades when I was in a rebellious frame of mind. My first husband always disliked the bulk and noise of teasmades and adamantly refused to let me have one. I launched this website as www.teasmade.com in 2000, with the help a team of supporters including Doug Fennell, Mike Phelan, John Atack and many others. On 3rd May 2001, The Surrey Mirror devoted a large panel on their front page to my teasmades. This article resulted in several new additions to my collection.

Sheridan in the Surrey Mirror 3rd May 2001, photograph by Stuart Douglas, reproduced with his permission.

Interest in the website and our personal collections peaked in June 2007. It was a very busy time for Doug and I. I moved to Wootton Bassett in 2008 and married my lovely husband Mike Parsons. Mike was much more sympathetic towards my unusual hobby. We felt that it was a particularly fitting union, because my maiden name is Green and my married surname is Parsons – the Goblin office was once based in Parsons Green.

I enjoyed having a large house in which to display my collection, but I was a little nervous about what might happen if I ever lost my permitted use of the teasmade name, so I added the domain name teawaker.com to my stable by Jan 2011. However, I was beginning to find the whole thing a bit overwhelming. In June 2011 the Marketing Director of Swan Brand, who were making teasmades via NLC Services Limited and were the only company licenced by Swan to use the Teasmade trademark, expressed an interest in taking over the my domain names. We concluded an amicable transfer of www.teasmade.com and www.teasmade.co.uk.

I took a short break, and allowed www.teawaker.com to expire in 2012, but unsurprisingly, I really missed my teasmade history. I rebuilt my website and launched it as www.teasmade.info in January 2013.

Sheridan surrounded by some of her teasmades at the time of the sale. BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833) Pic: Phil Yeomans – BNPS

By 2015 I had gathered the worlds largest collection of teasmades, 172 machines acquired over 15 years of dedicated searching, as well as numerous kettles, clocks and accessories. I believe that it was the largest collection in the world. But then a house move forced me to reduce my unique collection. The Daily Mail ran quite a lengthy article about the sale and I was even on BBC Points West.

Here's a Facebook post by BBC West on Wednesday, 14 October 2015:

You're never short of a cup of tea in this house! A West Country collector is selling off most of her collection of 172 teasmades. Did you ever own one?

Part of the proceeds from the sale were donated to Royal Voluntary Service and to Jessie’s Fund in memory of the wonderful teasmade collector John Atack who died earlier in 2015, and in memory of his son, the musician Mike Atack. Jessie’s Fund is a UK charity helping children with additional and complex needs to communicate and express themselves through the use of music. They work with children in hospices, special schools and in other settings nationwide, giving them access to music-making and to music therapy.

After the sale I concentrated on collecting only the oldest, rarest, pre war models. My favourite teasmades are my:

  • George Absolom Teesmade, made in 1932, with original lamp.
  • Goblin with a yellow teapot, made in 1936, found in pristine condition under a house in Australia.
  • Goblin D20, made in 1947 .
  • Ivory Bakelite Tealarm, made by Concentric, c.1948.
  • Brown Bakelite Tealarm, made by Concentric, c.1948.
  • Hawkins LGH 1200b made in 1949.
Sheridan at the Science Museum in 2019

Sadly, the continued availability of modern teasmades appeared to satiate the public’s interest for teasmade information. The new website www.teasmade.info never reached the giddy heights of www.teasmade.com and I closed the website down in September 2017.

After a three year hiatus, a chance to catch my breath, study and research, I relaunched the website in April 2020, with its new domain name www.teasmade.uk.

As a historian, I have always loved uncovering the hidden history of teasmades, and the stories of their entrepreneurial and innovative British inventors. I have always wanted to write a book about them. This website has allowed me to release chapters the book online.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody who has emailed information and photographs over the years that my websites have run. Without your help I would never have achieved so much.

All Sheridan's contact details and social media links are listed on LinkTree: https://linktr.ee/sheridanbythecanal.