Queen laughs at Blackpool veg scraper

EXACTLY 51 years ago today, The Queen was shown a way to make life easier in the Buckingham Palace kitchens – courtesy of a Blackpool company.

Together with the Duke of Edinburgh, she toured the Ideal Home Exhibition at London's Olympia when the royal party stopped at the stand of kitchen utensil manufacturers Thomas M Nutbrown.

They were greeted by the managing director, from which the company took its name, and enjoyed a demonstration of one of the latest kitchen gadgets – a hi-tech vegetable scraper – by David Henry Robinson, of Larkholme Avenue, Fleetwood.

Turning to Prince Phillip, Mr Robinson claimed: "It's just the thing for the wife!"

According to a Gazette report from March 5, 1957, the remark brought laughter from the Royal visitors: "the Duke looked at the Queen with a twinkle in his eye".

Mr Robinson continued with his spiel: "It is possible to scrape potatoes more quickly than you can get them into the pot!"

Mr Nutbrown then stepped forward to present The Queen with one of the gadgets which plugged on to the kitchen tap and washed the potato through its filter as it was scraped on a rough disc.

As well as the scraper, it was reported that Mr Nutbrown also gave the Queen a fancy potato decorating set – a device that cut and curled the humble spud into all kinds of fancy shapes.

But 1957 wasn't the only time Thomas M Nutbrown and his team attended the exhibition in London and met the Queen.

Pictures found in the archive of another Blackpool company – the Glasdon Group, of Preston New Road, show Mr Nutbrown pointing out his products to the Queen.

Gill Williamson, secretary to the directors, who has passed them to The Gazette, says: "As Glasdon had no connection with Thomas M Nutbrown Ltd we were about to dispose of the pictures.

"The company was a major Blackpool firm just after the last war and it was felt that perhaps a member of Thomas Nutbrown's family might like to have them."