One of Londonderry’s most famous landmarks - a huge copper teapot gilded with gold - is to be restored to the city on Sunday.
The unique relic, which is over a metre high and two metres wide and weighs 74 kilos, previously hung in the city for over 100 years.
Having hung outside McCullagh’s grocer shop since 1866, it was moved when the shop closed in around 1970. The teapot was then bought in 1974 by Noel Faller, who carried on his grandfather’s clockmaking business in the city.
Although ‘missing’ for around forty years, it’s a case of once seen, never forgotten. News of its reinstatement will delight many who remember it in the city.
Having been fully restored, the teapot will hang outside the Strand Road premises of Faller’s jewellers- in the 130th anniversary year of the shop’s opening in the city.
Noel said he is proud his shop will host the relic.
“Now, the golden teapot, Derry’s truly outstanding nineteenth century trade-sign, is back in its original splendour,” he said. “It will be a great tourist attraction. I’m proud to have such a famous artefact as it is so deeply imprinted in the memory of this so many people and it’s fitting that it is being restored during our City of Culture year.”
Writing in 1946, one of the city’s oldest residents, Charles Wesley Gordon, then aged 88, mentioned the teapot.
He said: “Turning towards Waterloo Square, my attention is arrested by ‘The Golden Teapot’ standing out so prominently against the sky just as it did 70 or 80 years ago, with its worthy traditions upheld as of old.”
Norman Hamill said the timing could not be better.
“It is hoped the teapot will again capture the imagination of all and that it will be, once more a landmark in the city,” he said. “It will attract many locals and visitors to see it in its new home and could significantly increase foot fall in this part of the city. The re-appearance of such a unique heritage artefact is a major local contribution to Derry’s year as City of Culture.”