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Uncomfortable Scavenger Hunt

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JERICHO: Location 2

The Oxford Wine Cafe, OX1 2HU

Look up to see some old advertisements for Lumley's Tea and Coffee 

Lumley's Grocery

Above the Oxford Wine Cafe, you'll find one of Oxford's historic advertisements promoting tea and coffee. This sign dates back to the 1870s and 1880s, when George Lumley was a grocer at this very address,127 Walton Street. 

George Lumley was born in 1850 to William Lumley, a college servant. George worked as a shop assistant in Buckinghamshire before moving back to Oxford and setting up his own grocery business on Walton Street.

By 1881, he had established himself as a master grocer with seven men in his employ. At the time, competition was steep in Oxford. And although his business expanded its imports over the next seven years, his prosperity did not last. On December 7th 1888, the Jackson's Oxford Journal recorded the announcement that George Lumley had gone bankrupt.

An Advert for Lumley's Grocery. 

Source: The Oxford Times (29 April, 1882)

This second advert shows a typical grocer's selection from 1872. Tea, coffee, and sugar had become staples of the British diet - and still are today.

Indulging in a warm 'cuppa' on a cold afternoon is an experience connected to the long history of imperial trade which shaped Britain's development. The increasing demand for tea was a major reason for the Opium Wars in China (1839-42;1856-60), as Britain pushed opium distribution in order to balance the trade deficit it faced from its enormous tea consumption.

 

Sugar, another staple product, was supplied first from slave plantations in both the Caribbean and North America. British dominance in India led to a global redistribution of Indian workers as indentured servants in the Caribbean, and as cheap labour in its African and Asian colonies. 

Lumley's Grocery Advertisement and List of Goods

Source: Oxfordshire Weekly News (03 July 1872)

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Scavenging with friends or family? Take a few moments to discuss the following:

 

The food culture of the United Kingdom has adopted numerous dishes which have connections to its imperial past - the Gin and Tonic was famously utilised as a method of preventing malaria in India by British officers who mixed water, lime, sugar, and gin with quinine. 

 

  • What are other ways that the empire shaped food culture in the UK?

  • How do modern trade networks reflect former colonial connections?

Post your answers and pictures on social media:     Twitter @UnOxProject

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