Two winners, and an ode to green teacups

Two winners, and an ode to green teacups

Congratulations to Alan Taylor and Caroline Butcher – winners of Finding Myself in Britain, by Amy Boucher Pye.¬†I’ll be in touch to get your postal addresses. For now, maybe just celebrate with a nice cup of tea. ūüôā (For the rest of you, sorry you didn’t win, you can buy a copy of this great book here.)

And¬†for anyone who was wondering what Amy¬†meant by the green church hall crockery (p13), that’s it, above. From some point in the 1940s, every church hall, village hall¬†and, if certain TV programmes are to be believed, police station¬†acquired¬†that crockery in vast quantities, ready to be brought¬†out for WI meetings,¬†parties, funerals,¬†fetes, committee meetings, celebrations, disasters… or any other occasion when a restorative cup of tea might be needed.

I’ve tried to discover the history of it – how did it come to be produced, why was it¬†almost exclusively green (yellow, blue and even, I¬†believe, pink versions do exist, but green is by far the most prevalent),¬†and¬†how, in the midst of wartime and post-war austerity, did¬†it became so utterly ubiquitous across Britain’s institutions?

All I can discover, from a website claiming to tell the ‘Histories of UK potters and pottery manufacturers’, is the single line, “from the 1940s ‚ÄėBeryl Ware‚Äô‚ÄĒtableware in a green coloured body‚ÄĒwas popular”. ¬†Surely that’s the most sweeping understatement about the rise and domination of a cultural icon ever!

If anyone can point me in the direction of somewhat more comprehensive information, I’d be very grateful.

2 Comments On This Topic
  1. Matt O'Brien
    on Oct 7th at 1:40 pm

    Hmm, if you’re doing a history of church tea cups, how about the clear glass Arcoroc France ones that have been in every C of E kitchen since I was little?

    • Jennie Pollock
      on Oct 7th at 1:47 pm

      Ooh, yes. How did they take over from the green ones? And why only in the CofE? Fascinating…


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