'Beryl' tea cup and saucer



'Beryl' tea cup and saucer


A Nice Cup of Tea


Shortages of materials during the Second World War and into the 1950s meant that this pottery was designed to be as simple and hard-wearing as possible. This design became very popular and ‘Beryl’ pottery was used by families, business, and community organisations across the country.

New Arrivals
On the ‘Empire Windrush’ ship which arrived in 1948, there were 1027 passengers. The largest group, 539, came from Jamaica. Others came from Bermuda, Trinidad, England, Mexico and British Guiana. There were 684 men (including teens), 257 women, and 86 children under the age of 12. Their given occupations show a huge range of skills, interests and economic circumstances. They included RAF airmen, mechanics, engineers, tailors, carpenters, musicians, hairdressers, boxers, artists, housewives, servants and cleaners.

Oxford and the Windrush generations
The 1940s and 1950s saw increased numbers of Caribbean people moving to Britain as part of the ‘Windrush generation’. City of Oxford Motor Service Ltd, known now as the Oxford Bus Company, had recruited 48 West Indian bus conductors and garage hands by 1956. Many women arrived in Oxfordshire from the Caribbean to work in local hospitals or Colleges. By the late 1960s there were around 2000 West Indians living in Oxford.

Malcolm Graham, Diverse Oxfordshire: The County and its People (2010)

This cup is part of the 'A Nice Cup of Tea' handling collection held at the Museum of Oxford and collected through the 'A Nice Cup of Tea' project.


A Nice Cup of Tea project, with Mimi Goodall, Elisabeth Grass, and photographer Fran Monks


Museum of Oxford


1940s, 1950s


Angeli Vaid and Myfanwy Lloyd, oxfordartsconsultants.co.uk


A Nice Cup of Tea, Fran Monks

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