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Anyone for tea?

Date 19 Jul 2007

One of Tyneside’s most iconic brands will be the focus of a new exhibition at Newcastle’s Discovery Museum this summer. Ringtons, the family-run tea business, celebrates its centenary this year and, to mark the occasion, Tea Times: Celebrating 100 Years of Ringtons will be on show at Discovery Museum from 9 July to 2 September.

Graham Bradshaw, curator of Discovery Museum, said: "Ringtons really is a part of North Eastern history, with the Ringtons van being a familiar sight around the region and further afield. This exhibition is a unique chance to get a real insight into the company and its people, including the stories of people who have worked there, and photographs and film spanning the 100 year history."

Ringtons was founded in 1907 in the Heaton area of Newcastle by Samuel Smith, before moving to Algernon Road, Byker in 1926. The company is now run by the fourth generation of the Smith family.

Simon Smith, managing director and Great Grandson of original founder, Samuel Smith, said: "We are delighted to be celebrating our centenary and showcasing our achievements at Discovery Museum. Ringtons’ success over the last 100 years has been an interesting journey and a notable story that we look forward to sharing with local audiences and visitors to the exhibition."

In the 1930s, Ringtons Tea ran annual employee trips for workers and their families to visit the seaside. These Scarborough trips are remembered in the exhibition through film, photographs and stories from employees. The exhibition also showcases a selection of vintage posters and adverts, as well as tracking changes in the tea-making process.

For more information and opening times, visit

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