Ringtons Tea Company was founded in 1907 by Samuel Smith selling tea from a horse and cart around Newcastle and is still a family business today. In fact many of us in this area are visited every fortnight by the ‘Ringtons man’ in his green van.
But do you know why the company is called ‘Ringtons’ and not Smiths?
The Ringtons name was formed from the last part of the name of Titterington with the ‘S’ for Smith added at the end.
Well if you ever visit Holbeck Cemetery from Beeston Road you will come through the small gate and see the War Memorial on your right but directly in front of you will be a monolith-type memorial with the words John & Emma Titterington, owners, engraved on it.
John was possibly William Titterington’s grandfather , and William was the man who backed Samuel Smith’s investment in the tea business. Samuel also built a tea warehouse on Lady Pit Lane , Leeds, on the site of the terrace house where he was born.The building is still there today.
John was the second prize winner of a Lottery run by Mr Masser, lithographer, which took place at Leeds Music Hall on September 20th 1849. Mr Masser decided to raffle off his Fallowfield Terrace estate, which was on Carr Place, Leeds, by selling shares at a guinea each. The estimated rental value of the whole estate was £230 per annum, a tidy sum in those days.
Mr Thomas Bailey, bunting maker, was the winner of the estate. Mr Titterington , librarian, drew the second prize of £150.
Then things got out of hand, as reported in the newspapers of the time,” Mr Masser was prosecuted by the Crown for holding an illegal lottery, and adjudged to be imprisoned and kept to hard labour in the House of Correction,(annals of Leeds, York)
It is interesting to note that there is another connection with this story because near the main cemetery gates there is a gravestone commemorating Henry Bailey, ‘caterer of amusement’. Was Henry related to Thomas? As there is circus connections with this family it is certainly posible.
Another Titterington is also connected to an important piece of Leeds history. William Thompson Titterington who was born in Bridgetown, Barbados was ordained as a minister in the Moravian Church in 1876 . In 1882 he was appointed Headmaster of Fulneck School in Pudsey. He died in 24th September 1915.