Let’s drink to the rich history of tea...

Her Excellency Ms Amari Wijewarden, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, lighting the first candle
Her Excellency Ms Amari Wijewarden, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka, lighting the first candle
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A historical tea exhibition has been launched in Dunstable to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Ceylon Tea.

The special drink’s name denotes the region in Sri Lanka in which the tea plant (Camellia Sinesis) is grown and to celebrate its birthday, Dunstable Town Council has opened a new exhibition called The History and Culture of Tea.

Priory House was delighted to welcome Her Excellency Ms Amari Wijewardene, High Commissioner for Sri Lanka and a delegation from the Sri Lanka Tea Board led by their chairman, Mr Rohan Pethiyagoda, along with other guests, to celebrate both the opening and the anniversary.

The town mayor Cllr Peter Hollick, mayoress Cllr Ann Sparrow and David Ashlee town clerk and chief executive were thrilled to host the town’s special guests and the event started with the High Commissioner lighting the first candle on a traditional Sri Lankan lamp stand.

Helen Walker-Sygrove, Priory House manager, said: “The Sri Lanka Tea Board presented Dunstable Town Council with a bust of James Taylor, who planted the first tea plants in Sri Lanka 150 years ago, specially commissioned for the 2017 celebrations, as well as a model of the tea clipper Cutty Sark for the exhibition display case.

“Presentations of commemorative crystal clocks were then made by Cllr Hollick to Her Excellency the High Commissioner and by David Ashlee to the chairman of the Sri Lanka Tea Board.

“A delightful talk delivered by Rohan Pethiyagoda followed ending with a tasting session of teas from all the growing regions in Sri Lanka.”

To learn about the history of the tea trade, you can visit the free Priory House exhibition from Monday to Saturday 10am - 4pm.

Call: 01582 891420.