A tea lady brings round refreshments for British office workers in the 1970s. All over the U.K., the arrival of the tea ladies with trolleys loaded with a steaming tea urn and a tray of cakes or buns was the high point of the workday.
M. Fresco/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
News that British tea-drinking is on the decline is stirring a tempest in a teapot across the pond. But U.K. leaders might have welcomed such headlines in the 1970s, when the length of the tea break became a major point of political contention.
So recounts Charles Moore’s acclaimed new biography, Margaret Thatcher, which describes the British prime minister’s “titanic struggle” against the trade unions – a victory for which she was praised and revil…