Tea Trolley - c.1980s

One of the treasures in the CAHS photo archive is this shot, left, of the Henty House Tea Trolley. The Tea Trolley was a great institution in traditional Public Service style and its approach was eagerly awaited by thirsty trainees and instructors alike at the ATC, FS and Com Officer training college.

In order to prevent employees from wasting 'company' time by making themselves cups of tea or coffee whenever they felt like it, morning and afternoon tea breaks were strictly ordained and controlled by the Tea Trolley.

Operated by a lady of senior years (or so it seemed to us youngsters then), the Tea Trolley would come around at the appropriate time and, for a modest sum, the employee could purchase a hot beverage and, if memory serves, a biscuit.

The image at right shows a DCA Tea Service ticket dating from before November 1973, entitling the bearer to one cup of tea (or coffee).

By the late 1980s, under the CAA, the tickets had become more sophisticated as shown below. It was then possible to purchase a single ticket for multiple cups of tea - $2.40 for 20 cups makes each cup worth 12 cents, a bargain in anybody's book. The numbers would be punched out in turn as each cup was poured.

The venerable Henty House Tea Trolley vanished when Henty House was disposed of in the early 1990s

(Photo & Tea Tickets: CAHS collection)


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