Bygone Beautys

Maurice Cooper and
the Treasured Teapot Museum

© Gregory North, 2015

Commissioned for the official opening of Bygone Beautys
Treasured Teapot Museum and Tearooms on 4th August 2015.
Download poem as pdf.

In Grose Street, Leura, every tourer has a place to see.
It’s all spruced up and holds the cup – and pots – for cups of tea.
And not just plain old tea obtained from water through a bag,
High Tea is served by those reserved and not inclined to brag.
Good taste’s expressed with waiter dressed in fine top hat and tails –
the proper way, I’m sure you’d say. Tradition still prevails.

Plus you can shop until you drop with jewels, toys, antiques.
For choice of china, there’s no finer – go and take a peak.
But best of all, what will enthral’s the great museum there.
Not dusty stacks or boring racks of things that need repair
but gorgeous art to grab your heart and sweep your cares away.
Five thousand – more (they’re not quite sure) – fine teapots to display!

When Maurice Cooper and Ron Hooper grouped their stash of pots
in ninety-two, a business grew from pots – and now there’s lots!
With more acquired since Ron retired they’ve had to make more space
so reformation renovations have transformed the place.
While treasures stay, what’s new’s the way that Bygone Beautys looks.
The teapots now have increased wow through lots more shelves and nooks.

The super-dooper Maurice Cooper really makes me laugh.
Eccentric, yes, but all confess he truly loves his staff.
Denise has been employed and keen and managed to survive
the tears and cheers through all the years – it’s over thirty five!
And through the quirks of building works, that could turn casuals sour,
the kind intent of Maurice meant staff never lost an hour.

The charming wooer, busy doer, selfless teapot man
is quite a gem – an OAM – and ardent teapot fan.
So many pots – there’s lots and lots – and as you might expect,
if linked with tea it’s bound to be a thing that he’ll collect.
Like cosies, strainers, caddies, drainers, billies, towels and spoons.
As tea infuses, he enthuses, gushes, raves and swoons.

Along with Kerry he is very keen on real estate.
They’ve held the keys to B&Bs, a convent too, of late,
a TB home that made them foam, an orphanage with plums
and almost missed from off the list – a hospital for mums!
A yearning for what some abhor is nothing to regret.
He says they crave the strange but they’ve not owned a graveyard … yet!

He won’t confess that he’s obsessed – “Committed,” he rebuts
but all detectors of collectors know they’re slightly nuts.
So if you’d care to see just where the Treasured Teapots dwell,
in that museum’s where you’ll see ’em – Maurice knows them well.
He’s kind of “short and stout”, I’ve thought, but surely as a kid,
just like each pot, he must have got a small hole in his lid!

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© Gregory North 2015. Photos by Andrew Bosman and Gregory North. Updated 
August 2015