Britain's 'oldest' toaster bought as wedding gift still works 73 years later

  • Watch Stuart Leithes' report for ITV News Anglia

It's outlasted 16 prime ministers, seen off the Cold War, and made toast of more than 50,000 slices of bread - could this be the oldest working toaster in the country?

Its owner Jimmy James thinks it could be, and that the faithful Morphy Richards model TA1 that makes him his breakfast still has a valuable lesson to teach us in the 2020s.

Bought in 1949, it was originally a wedding gift to Mr James' parents, who then passed it on to him - and some 73 years on, it still does the job.

"There are lots of things you have around your house that remind you of your parents and childhood that actually don't do anything - they're just there," said Mr James, of Stanwick in Northamptonshire.

"This is a daily reminder that not only it's lived longer than I have but also that it was a really well designed and well-made bit of kit, and that's why it's survived so long."

Jimmy James inherited the toaster from his parents. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The toaster has had a helping hand or two along the way - it is taken for regular maintenance to JH May Electrical, a repair shop in nearby Rushden.

Managing director Jonny May said the shop itself was in its fourth generation of family ownership "so mending vintage antique items is something that we've been doing for 75 years".

Mr James said his philosophy of repairing and reusing made for a lower environmental impact.

"By repairing it you are helping the environment," he said. "Instead of endless toasters going into landfill, this toaster is going on.

"The average toaster lasts a couple of years so if you put that into 70 years, that's 35 toasters going into landfill that we've saved with this one."