Originally, the Storm Kettle was handmade in Ireland - often by travellers who produced them in copper - for fishermen, itinerant workers and tourists. John Grindlay, who with his wife owns and runs the Eydon Kettle Company, modified the design and implemented modern manufacturing techniques in the early 1960’s.
John Grindlay borrowed an original copper kettle and took it to England during the winter. Tooling was manufactured and the first 10 kettles eventually produced. These were very quickly sold for £10 each in 1979, the assembly work being carried out by Mr Grindlay’s children who were then 8 years and 10 years old. Popular demand meant that production had to increase. Since 1979 the numbers sold have substantially increased each year.
Mainly these Kettles, whether sold in the UK, Germany, or elsewhere, are used by sportsmen, holiday makers, expedition organisers and outdoor enthusiasts. They have even accompanied the explorer John Blashford-Snell, while he was searching for signs of early civilisations on a trip to Central America.
Nowadays they can be found in the Solomon Isles helping remote islanders boil water to purify it, in remote parts of Southern Africa, where dried cattle dung is used by the Zulus as fuel, or in the Sahara Desert on expeditions.
Using a Storm Kettle means you can boil water easily, in the wettest and windiest of weather, both rapidly and safely. They are also environmentally friendly as you only need a sheet of newspaper and a handful of twigs as fuel. So the simplicity of the Kettle ensures that boiling water is always available, without the need to use gas, petrol or any other artificial fuel.
Storm Kettles come in two sizes, the Original and the Popular. The Original will boil up to 2.5 pints (approx. 1.5 litres) the Popular up to 2 pints (approx. one litre) – that should ensure more than enough hot water is available for you within minutes - at any time.
The water boils rather quickly and can be kept going by just adding further small sticks into the fire that is going in the burner beneath the kettle via the “chimney”.
One word of warning even though it is mentioned more than once in the literature and also on a sticker on the kettle itself: NEVER EVER use it with the cork in place. While the cork is very handy for carrying the kettle with water in it when heating the water the cork must be taken out of the spout.
I am always amazed though that they never seem to have found a take up by the still travelling Romani in the UK and elsewhere. The Storm Kettle does away with the need for a fire for just the purpose of brewing a cup of tea or coffee or even for the making of some other hot beverage. I can but highly recommend them for our use as well.
While the Storm Kettle and accessories do not come cheap they certainly do not cost a fortune and will save a lot of trouble for those of ours that are, even if only occasionally, still po drom.
The Prices for the kettles are: £43.00 for the Popular and £44.50 for the Original. Prices include V.A.T. and carriage.
Reviewed by Michael Smith (Veshengro), February 2008