In August 1919, Bishopthorpe celebrated the peace following the First World War. The Yorkshire Gazette reported the event in some detail describing how the children sat down at tables outside The Ebor and enjoyed a sumptuous tea. They also received a souvenir of the occasion – a decorated Peace Mug. Now, after many years, one of the original mugs has come to light.
Our late, well-known butcher, Mr. Geoff Dixon, was interviewed in 2001 by members of the Bishopthorpe Local History Group as part of their Oral History Project. During the recording, Geoff revealed that he remembered the ‘Peace Tea’. He was only five years old at the time and recalled a lot of people attended and that Mrs. Walter Paver organised it. He surprised his interviewers when he told them that he still had the Peace Cup, as he called it, and searched it out to show it to them.
Earlier this year, I happened to read the transcription of that interview and wondered if the mug or cup, was still around. Sadly, Geoff died in 2009, and so I went to see his nephew, Robert Dixon, in the butcher’s shop. Robert told me, yes, he had the mug at home and would find it for me to photograph.
With thanks to Robert, the mug has now been recorded for the Bishopthorpe Community Archive and is displayed here for all to see. The mug, which is now over 100 years old, is in good order without a chip or crack in sight. The gold rim is just a little worn showing that Geoff must have occasionally enjoyed drinking tea from his memento.
On one side of the mug the colourful illustration depicts the Admiral of the Fleet, David Beatty, and Field Marshal Douglas Haig, commander-in-chief of the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front. Sitting serenely between them is Britannia.
On the reverse the dates of both war and peace are recorded:
“Commenced Aug 4th 1914
Armistice Nov _1th 1918 (Note the number ‘1’ has faded.)
Peace Signed June 28th 1919″
To read further details about the 1919 peace celebrations in Bishopthorpe, follow the link here:
Bishopthorpe Community Archive