Friday 25 October 2013

Friday Face

I resisted all temptation to do anything rude! The time of squash has come. It is the season of squash, cider and fireworks. Hopefully all at the same time! Risotto?

Wednesday 23 October 2013

Market Finds No 8

Three cheers for Mitchell! I've had a run of Mitchell finds of late and I won't make you weep at how much this fine example cost. It is in such lovely condition and like the splendid battle scarred spare spool I found recently will soon be re-acquainted with the river. Pike anyone?

Monday 21 October 2013

It's grim out there!

A few seasonal images to hopefully lighten up what is a very grim, wet and dark day here today. I can't believe a pal of mine is out fishing today. Actually, I wish I was too!

How lovely is Autumn Hues? My own shrooming season has been one of the poorest ever - not because they haven't been around, I haven't been around. I have had to endure tales of success from fellow foragers, who have been kind I must add and dropped me a few goodies to liven up my toast!

When Wet Travel Underground, It's Drier - CD McGurk 1922
No Wet, No Cold - FS Manner 1929
Autumn Hues - Walter E Spradbery 1936, Curwen Press

Friday 18 October 2013

The Palace of Light

Was it really 1987? I often wondered what became of The Palace of Light and thanks to the latest copy of Shindig! magazine I now know. I loved this track from their Beginning Here and Travelling Outward LP on Bam Caruso Records. The band had a name change in the early 1990's (Mabel Joy) and released another LP (Wish I Was also on Bam Caruso) - soon to be re-released on Hanky Panky Records

Thursday 17 October 2013

The Earl of Lettuce

This should also be a post about buried treasure as I had totally forgotten I had this until it was found yesterday. A delightful gift which arrived in the post last year from my pal Demus..........soon to be displayed in my shed!

Friday 11 October 2013

More go fishing by train........or tram!

Charles Sharland - 1911

Tom Eckersley - 1954

Tom Eckersley - 1954

Connaught Water by John Mansbridge - 1930


Wednesday 9 October 2013

Buried Treasure Part 6

Flicking through this weeks Guardian Guide I was amazed to see an ad for their first show in 40 years! The mighty Peter Daltrey's Kaleidoscope play at the Islington Assembly Hall on November 17th. I think I read somewhere that they played a very welcome secret gig in the States recently.

Kaleidoscope and PD's other band Fairfield Parlour are never far away from my ears so I do hope the gig is a huge success.

Here's a little treat to keep you going - found a couple of years ago, a rare TV appearance (1967/68) by the boys playing Flight from Ashiya and Holiday Maker. Spot Serge Gainsbourg at the piano trying to act all cool (and very naturally too!!). The blonde dancer is, I think, France Gall - popular French ye'-ye' dancer of the 1960's.

Monday 7 October 2013

Market Finds No 7

A flurry of market finds of late. There is a certain charm about this battered Mitchell 300 spare spool and case. I think I prefer it a bit battered and gnarled. Found in a box of house clearance, I knew what it was instantly, begging to be bankside once more - you shall return to the river!

Thursday 3 October 2013

Landscape, Sea, Fields, Rivers and Bees

The darkest west of Dorset doesn't appear to be too much of an obstacle for some of our nicest authors and speakers and for that I am most grateful -  we have been treated of late in Bridport by James Russell talking about the great Eric Ravilious.

Eric Ravilious - Cerne Abbas Giant 1939
I had come across James before, only through his excellent published works on Ravilious by The Mainstone Press and the packed Arts Centre were enthralled. I was not surprised to hear that there were ER obsessives who collected and researched every snippet of his life and it was fascinating to hear how a draft pencil drawn proof for a Puffin booklet on chalk hill horses had been found - lovely story. I was delighted to hear James mention he is working on a book of Ravilious wood engravings which is perhaps the area of his art I find the most interesting. This is to be published by Mainstone in October.

Eric Ravilious - Puffin Picture Book Proof 1942
What I wanted to hear was something about Ravilious the man, what he was really like - I had always imagined ER to be a moody sort of a chap, so it was with some relief James told the audience he was a happy whistler and quite the life and soul at parties. It was Edward Bawden who was the shy retiring type - even too shy to take public transport. 

What never ceases to amaze me about all my favourite artists is the way that many of them are all linked. I didn't know a great deal of this until recently - Ravilious, Bawden, Nash, Piper, Peggy Angus, Edwin Smith, Olive Cook and Tirzah Garwood. They all knew each other really well and the links run deep.

Tirzah Garwood - The Dog Show 1929
A few days later I came across James's excellent blog and was amazed to read he had also visited Chichester recently for a day which almost mirrored my own as reported here a while back! 

The following week we were treated to George Monbiot, Philip Hoare and Callum Roberts for an evening at the Electric Palace - Our Sea Needs Our Say, a debate on marine conservation and Lyme Bay.

I have a soft spot for George Monbiot - quite the noticer and chivvy upper for the environmental cause. His weekly writings, which I subscribe to, are eagerly awaited and enjoyed.

Sixty square miles of Lyme Bay became the first Marine Protected Area of significant size in English waters in 2008. At the time it was hailed as a turning-point in our collective relationship with the sea.
Five years on the above speakers debated how that relationship is going.

The present government is trying to withdraw support from much of what was envisaged five years ago. Of the 127 reserves proposed by the Wildlife Trusts, it selected just 31. A ‘Marine Protected Area’ in Lyme Bay is quite compatible, apparently, with removing 600 tonnes of whelks per year, mainly for sale to the Far East. No Take Zones, tried and tested in New Zealand, Scotland and the Isle of Man, have been systematically kept out of the discussion in England.

Finally, the programme for the ninth Bridport Literary Festival (November 10th - 17th) dropped through the letter box.

The highlight last year was the Kenneth Allsop memorial evening where we were treated to the delightful Richard Mabey. You can watch that talk here.

Friday 15th November sees the KA memorial evening take place at the Electric Palace - Fields, Rivers and Bees. Hosted by Nick Fisher with Tim Dee, Charles Rangely-Wilson and Dave Goulson. Sponsored by Little Toller Books with proceeds donated to Common Ground.

The evening will be introduced by David Wilkinson who has written Keeping The Barbarians at Bay (Signal Books 2013). I had no idea this book had been published until now - The last years of Kenneth Allsop, green pioneer. Using unpublished papers and diaries and with a foreword by Richard Mabey is a book I am very much looking forward to reading. 

Also, as part of the Literary Festival, we have Neil Ansell (Deer Island - two journeys of survival) again in conversation with Nick Fisher on Sunday November 10th.  The venue is the excellent Hayloft Bar at The Bull Hotel. I am just about to start Deep Country: Five Years in the Welsh Hills (Penguin 2011), which was critically acclaimed and very much enjoyed by those I know who have read it.

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Go fishing by train!

Quite a few years ago I took great delight in going fishing by train. I would often travel the Cotswold Line from Moreton-in-Marsh to the tiny stations of Combe, Finstock and Charlbury to spend a day on the River Evenlode. There was a paucity of services in each direction and I think I even had to request a stop on occasion. 

FC Herrick 1925

It would have been so much easier to go in the car, but not quite as much fun. The joy of stepping off the train and walking into the open countryside, tackle in hand and fishing within a few minutes was far more appealing. I recall catching the last, but not convenient, service back home when the mayfly were carpeting the river. The trout, dace and chub were feeding with gusto...............just one more cast! I only just made the train and caused some excitement coming on board with rod assembled showing the suits some live mayflies I had in a pot.

Charles Sharland 1920

I nearly got adventurous after my local forays. I was able to fish the lovely Cheshunt Reservoir (one of the most atmospheric waters I have had the pleasure to fish - of HT Sheringham, William Senior and John Andrews fame) near Waltham Cross. A horrible journey by car, but what fun by train as it would include a cross London underground element in addition to the standard Inter-City 125!

Douglas Constable 1932

Alas, it only got as far as the planning stage. I dallied and whilst doing so Thames Water decided to fill in some of angling's greatest heritage from 1836. I managed one last farewell trip after the club had given up the rights and the heavy machinery was on site......... but that's another story!

Kraber 1936

Hope you enjoy these super vintage London Transport posters.