1949 Goblin Teasmade D21

The D21 was manufactured from 1949 or before, to about 1954. There were several different versions of this model.

This Goblin D21 owned by Doug has a confirmed date of 1949, when it was given as a wedding present.
Goblin D21 owned by Doug, dated 1949, when it was given as a wedding present.

This D21 owned by Doug has a confirmed date of 1949, when it was given as a wedding present. The construction is almost identical to the D20, with its cream coloured textured paint, wooden tray and teasmade unit and cube shaped teapot. The square clock is fashionably trimmed with chrome.

I am most grateful to Alex for these pictures of his early D21. Alex’s D21 is serial number 29104. Bizarrely the switch stalk on the left is longer than that on the right, which is consistent with John’s model below.

The teasmade instructions are helpfully printed on its body. The standard alarm clock triggers an electric element in a kettle. As the water in the kettle reaches boiling point the pressure forces the water through a tube in the kettle lid into the teapot. The teapot fills and the empty kettle unit rises, simultaneously switching on a light and an alarm.

Edi, who lives in Switzerland, collects teasmades on his visits to England. His boxed D21, serial number 33944, is pictured here with its outer label and instruction leaflet.

Here is John’s D21, bearing the later serial number 48817. The teapot is similar to the D25, (except that the corners of the polygon lid are not as pronounced). Whilst the clock surround is square with a chrome surround, the face itself is circular. The kettle has the standard dimpled metal finish, spout and handle of a Goblin kettle but no maker’s name. The lid is shallower than the subsequent D25 lid, and the handle is secured to the kettle by rivets top and bottom, unlike the D25 handle, which is riveted to a strip which is then brazed to the kettle corner. The most significant difference is that the kettle is made in two halves, top and bottom, and has a central seam.

Mike’s even later D21, serial no is 54643, is pictured here. The clock face once again has a square design.

This 1949/1950 example of the D21 is in Doug’s collection. The round clock face is the same as that fitted to the Timespot radio. Doug feels sure that surplus stock was used up on Teasmades as he has a later one which reverted to the square face. This example was sold to Doug not working but he soon fixed it and it is excellent condition. It had one owner who died in 1982 and it had been stored since then.

This advert from 1949 illustrates what appears to be a D21, still in production with the square teapot design. The price is itemised both with and without a tray, crockery not supplied. With tray – £15.9.0, without tray – £14.7.11. I have an even later advert in an electrical catalogue dated 1954 which lists the Goblin D21X at £12-16-6 (wholesale). The casing is identified as being made of plywood.

Pye Polly

1952 Pye Polly

LG Hawkins were connected with Pye Ltd as early as 1950, (a Pye letterhead of that date shows L G Hawkins as a director). Pye branded versions of Hawkins products were made.

The Pye Polly illustrated here is a wonderful Pye branded version of the Hawkins Tiffee in metallic blue. It was a basic design without a clock or a light.

Pye Polly with box

The Hawkins Tiffee LGH 1500 and 1500A were introduced in 1952. I have a 1954 catalogue which shows the Tiffee LGH 1500, price £3-19-6 (wholesale). It bears the delightful slogan “Hawkins Tiffee – Tea in a Jiffy”. An advert in Ideal Home in December 1953 lists the retail price as 79′-6 and another in December 1955 lists the retail price as £3-19-6.

Sage Tea Maker

2013 Sage Tea Maker by Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal has launched a Sage branded version of the Breville One-Touch in the UK, in conjunction with Breville Australia. This is the closest thing to a reworking of the teasmade that has been released in decades! I have been in touch with Breville US and UK recently and they had both told me that this model was not coming to the UK, so I am thrilled and surprised to see that it is being launched here after all.

Hawkins Classic LGH 5000

1963 Hawkins Classic LGH 5000

Hawkins Classic  LGH 5000
Hawkins Classic LGH 5000
Label with reproduced signature of LG Hawkins on Hawkins Classic  LGH 5000
Label with reproduced signature of LG Hawkins on Hawkins Classic LGH 5000

The Hawkins Classic was made by LG Hawkins of Drury Lane, Hastings. At this point Hawkins was part of the Pye group. It is known to be available from 1963 to 1966 and was probably produced into the 1970’s. This teawaker was advertised as a “Luxurious Tea and Coffee Maker” in the Gardiner of Bristol catalogue, 1966, for £19/10/7. The description states that it is “beautifully constructed of heavy chrome plate brass with black handles, face and clock dial” and that “the unique design eliminates the rocking movement usual in teamakers”.

Advert for Hawkins Classic  LGH 5000
Advert for Hawkins Classic LGH 5000

Thanks to Paul Linnell at the Simply Switch On…! website for the use of this description:

Compact and elegant tea maker. Black stove-enameled base with three equal height units in matt/brushed chrome-plated brass. The clock has a black face, and the kettle and teapot are rectangular. Semi-circular chrome-plated tube arches from kettle to pot. Angular black phenol plastic handles and lid knobs. Stylistically orphaned – geometric style looks Art Deco/Modernist but materials/finish are too late, but too early for 1970s high tech aesthetic.

Clock used on Hawkins Classic  LGH 5000
Clock used on Hawkins Classic LGH 5000

It appears that the clock from this unit was available separately but it is not clear whether this was available from Hawkins or from another source (the manufacturer?) The picture here shows an example seen on ebay. The then owner writes:

Measures 5 1/2 high by 6 1/2 inches wide. Heavy chrome case with mahogany feet, in good clean condition. Perfect working order with buzzing alarm that can be turned off. Also features a “tell-tale” in the dial to show that it is running and continuous soft illumination of the dial. 240v 50c/s only. Self starting. Make uncertain; it just says Made in Great Britain on the dial.

russell hobbs set

1970 approx Russell Hobbs Tea Maker

The Russell Hobbs Tea Maker is a fascinating device. For a long time I thought of it as simply a tea maker, but I later discovered that a time switch was available to turn it into a teasmade. The tea maker comes in two finishes, a plain brown and a delicate clover design. The clover design is available with a matching tea service. I believe that there may have been a matching brown tea service too, but this I have not seen.

Both the tea maker and the time switch are branded as Russell Hobbs. The time switch has a bakelite type finish. I do not have a date fro this model but I believe it was patented so I will try to date it.












Russell Hobbs

Goblin D31

1966 Goblin D31

Goblin D31
Goblin D31

The Goblin D31 is known to have been on sale from 1966, for £14/10/-, when it was referred to as the “New Goblin”. We have not yet confirmed the start and end production dates, but this model is known to have been available in 1968.

With the D31 Goblin moved away from their traditional styling into a much more modern look. Enthusiast John Atack described his D31 as having a white plastic plinth with a recess at the front edge. The clock surround and controls are the same as the subsequent 833 and share its pink colouring. The clock dial has numerals, and the hour hand has a small hole drilled in it for some unfathomable reason! The kettle sits on a black plastic tray switch that has locating slots at its rim for the kettle. The kettle tapers slightly towards the top, with a butterfly or wing nut style handle through which the exhaust spout runs and points (hopefully) in the direction of a teapot you have to provide.

John comments that this model specifies a 40w candle bulb, in contrast to the 15w standard bayonet pygmy bulb specified for other Goblin models. The 40w bulbs generally had a poor life, especially when burnt horizontally, although changing the bulb was a relatively easy operation. Incidentally John adds that the 15 watt is a fragile bulb and not as common to find in shops or supermarkets as the 25 watt, although the latest product do have a better filament support these days and do last longer. Many folk will, he supposes, replace the 15 watt with the 25 watt. He doubts if this will cause an immediate problem but in his experience and as evidenced by one of his own machines, it can lead to melting or distortion of the plastic diffuser cover or possibly worse if left on for ages.

Mike and his wife Joyce

Mike Phelan

Mike Phelan
Mike Phelan and his DS Citroen

Since joining us Mike has been one of the chief bedposts on the Noticeboard, helping countless visitors with their teasmade problems. He writes:

Hi fellow Teasmade avocados*! Mike Phelan here – been a Teasmade fan and daily user for the last 30 years or so. My background used to be radio/TV/video servicing, but I quit that in 1981 when the throwaway society made an impact on skilled craftsmanship in this field being worthless. So, I design databases and have been doing so since then. I also collect old radios and restore, (and sometimes make), clocks, and have an interesting fleet of Citroens, including the DS you see, which joined its fellows of about 2600 or so in Paris to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Current project, apart from a few 1930s radios, is to design and make a coil-winding machine – very useful for Teawakers with defunct motors as well as other things!

My wife of 32 years, Joyce, and myself live in West Yorkshire near Leeds.

A confession – I do not drink tea, and never have done. The Teawaker doubles as a “coffeesmade” admirably, and the teapot stays clean as it only contains water! There – that’s me “outed” OK – enough of this waffle, on to the Teawakers.

Soon after we were married, we bought an 854, new from Comet, then found that it would be nice to have a ‘tea now’ facility, so a visit to a secondhand market in about 1985 got us an 855 for a fiver. I cleaned it thoroughly, and it gave sterling service until… [It has now gone to the great bedside table in the sky].

At some point I spotted this site, and was impressed with the build quality of the D25, so a watch on ebay started. These seemed to go for £40-£60, but eventually patience rewarded me with a working D25 for a tenner, complete with little red goblin! It needed a complete overhaul – the clock was gummed up with grease so the contacts did not close, and the mains lead was perished. I cleaned everything, made a new seal for the kettle, resprayed the platform, overhauled the clock and made new mains and kettle leads. I did not want to use plastic lead – the original was a sort of dull pink fabric, which had probably faded. A trip to B & Q got me some fabric iron cable which was white. Got hold of some Dylon fabric dye in Woollies, a sort of maroon colour, and, hey presto! The lead, dyed in hot water, looked perfect. Some heatshrink sleeving where the lead goes through in the case made it safer.

The only thing that may have been a problem was the lack of a ‘tea now’ facility, so I started scribbling, as is my wont. I decided that as we need Tea Now, there are four things to do – Off/Light/Auto/Tea now, as per later models. We have two switches on the D25, which give us four permutations. Sorted. One switch is a double one, as well. A little bit more scribbling, and I came up with a circuit with no extra components, but a Tea Now setting! That is as far as it went, as we actually found that resetting the alarm to 7:00 on Friday night and 6:00 on Sunday night was not a problem. It was fun, though.

*That was not a misprint or ebayese – it is a Mikeism for “aficionados”.

Click here to contact Mike.

Doug Fennell and some of his Teasmade Collection

Doug Fennell

Doug joined the ranks of the techie teasmaniacs in February 2002 and has always done his best to answer any questions. Doug specialises in collecting Goblins. Some of his extensive collection is pictured on this page. You will find more advice and pictures of some of his models featured throughout the site. Click here to contact Doug.

Doug on GMTV
Doug on GMTV
Dougs Ideal Home 1950
Dougs Ideal Home 1950
Doug's Collection
Doug’s Collection
Doug's Collection
Doug’s Collection
Nigel and Doug
Nigel and Doug
Goblin D24 Tele T serial number 8696, found in Tasmania.

1949 or after Goblin D24 Tele-T

Goblin D24 Tele T serial number 8696, found in Tasmania.
Goblin D24 Tele T serial number 8696, found in Tasmania.

The Goblin D24 Tele-T was compact model which featured only a kettle and an on-off switch. There is no clock and no alarm feature. The instructions read, “10 minutes before tea is required depress the switch on the front of the Tele-T.”

This model is clearly marketed for use in the living room, so that you can make a cup of tea without leaving the comfort of your armchair or missing your favourite TV show. We have traced very few examples of this teawaker in the UK.

Goblin D24 Tele-T Instruction Leaflet
Goblin D24 Tele-T Instruction Leaflet