Published: 17 August 2023

A visit to a Wales Air Ambulance Charity shop turned into a heartwarming surprise for one tourist as she stumbled upon a new addition to her treasured teapot collection.

Linda Garwood had been visiting the picturesque town of Mumbles with her partner Ron Smith, when she made a special stop at the charity’s Newton Road shop, where fate had an exciting discovery in store for her.

Linda, 75, was immediately drawn to a shelf that held a teapot depicting a charming scene of a teddy bear's picnic. Upon further examination, Linda saw it was the creation of one of her favourite ceramic pottery artist’s Paul Cardew, who is renowned for his intricate and imaginative creations from whimsical characters to classic designs.

The retired ceramic pottery artist, who herself worked at Poole Pottery between 1974 and 1986, has been an ardent collector of Devon-based Paul Cardew teapots for many years. Her collection boasts over 100 teapots, each a masterpiece of art and craftsmanship in various shapes and sizes. Her passion for collecting extends beyond mere aesthetics; it's a testament to her deep admiration for the artist’s work and the intricate details that adorn each piece.

Linda said she was overjoyed at her latest discovery at the Wales Air Ambulance shop in Mumbles and was thrilled to add the unique piece to her already impressive collection.

She said: “I was so excited when I saw it, I was bursting with joy. Sometimes you see a teapot and you pick it up and it may have a crack in it, but this one was in perfect condition. I paid £40 for it and in my eyes, it was a steal, as I was so pleased to find it. As a collector it’s about the joy I get from finding a piece rather than how much it cost.”

Ron said the pottery was made near to where he lived in Plymouth, Devon.

He said: “The pottery was made just up the road from where I live, and I used to go and see them being made. Unfortunately, the pottery closed some years ago and now it is very difficult to find the teapots. If you are lucky, you can find them sometimes in charity shops, but it is very rare.

“Our visit to Wales turned out to be very fruitful and we found a teapot that Linda does not have in her collection. We brought it back to where it was made, back to Devon.”

The Wales Air Ambulance Charity relies on public donations to raise the £11.2 million required every year to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the road.

Both Linda and Ron regularly donate to their local air ambulance in Devon and Cornwall and are pleased that their purchase will help benefit the Wales Air Ambulance.

Linda said: “Finding the teapot was a true highlight of my holiday. Not only does it enhance my collection, but the facts that the proceeds are going to a meaningful cause makes it even more special.”

Michael Edwards, Wales Air Ambulance Shop Manager said: “We are really pleased that Linda enjoyed her experience while in our Mumbles shop and that she was able to find a collectable teapot to add to her existing collection. It is always lovely to hear heartwarming stories like Linda’s.

“As a charity we always appreciate donations from the public, and this story highlights that one person’s preloved item can be another person’s treasure. Our customers play an important part in helping to raise vital funds for our lifesaving charity, and we thank them all for their continued support.”