Everyday People: Thelma Banks and the Tea Aholics

Sixty years ago Claremonter Thelma Banks, hands crossed in front, and a group of fellow British expats formed Tea Aholics. Photo/courtesy of Thelma Banks

By Thelma Banks | Special to the Courier

This is a photo of some of the members of the “Tea Aholics,” a British women’s club. My name is Thelma Banks. I’m originally from England, having arrived in the U.S. in 1954. Sixty years ago I met a small group of gals from England and Scotland in Claremont. We all had small children and we became friends. We decided to form a British women’s group meeting once a month for tea. Each member took a month to serve as hostess. We called ourselves the Tea Aholics.

We had all been children in Britain during World War II, and shared memories of the bombings and hiding in bomb shelters with lots of people. There everyone sang as loud as they could to drown out the sound of the bombs.

In Claremont we helped each other and watched as our families matured. Eventually our daughters joined us. Several of us are in our 90s now, but we still meet once a month for tea. I am in front wearing blue with my hands crossed.



    This sounds like a group of women perfect for my mom. She is 96 and was born in Chelsea England. Lived through WWII and cam to America at age 18 on the Queen Mary; now docked in Long Beach. How do we get in touch with the group to see if we can join?

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