Ceri Richards (1903-1971), Coconut Shy (1944)

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal.

-Section from Winston Churchill’s “Blood, Toil, Tears, and Sweat” speech, 1940.

During the World War, businesses, the press, and the state often worked together to provide official spectacles, such as funfairs, which aimed to generate joy and pleasure, and to regenerate support for the war. The amount of support these kinds of event offered towards the War is incalculable. Similarly, Churchill’s speech provided another means in which the ordinary citizen, as well as those who were involved in the war, to retain a sense of hope and courage in continuing the war.

To the right is an image is of one particular funfair that was a pioneer for a larger group of “Stay-at-Home” holidays that was implemented by the government in 1942.

Oldham Blackout Fair 1941, Great Britain

“I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” – Merv Griffin (1944)

  • A song that celebrates Coconut Shy (coconut tossing game) at funfairs

Categories: Spectacle, War