Many thanks to Darwen Terracotta in Blackburn for the trip round their works a few weeks back. Fantastic to see the whole process in action, along with some splendidly strange ornamentation in course of production, like this scary monster! And of course big thanks also to @tilesocorguk for organising the trip.
Made my first visit to Bradford Industrial Museum recently, and what an excellent place it is, packed full of working (check before you go, as they say) textile and other machinery. The line shafting on the ground floor of the mill is the best display I’ve seen, while the assorted weaving and spinning machines upstairs are brilliant, really make the process come to life. Indeed, one of the machines is so complex, bits of metal ‘arms’ waving in all directions, that it almost seems alive. It is a huge place, with lots more to see, including some good enamelled metal adverts. It was originally Moorside Mills – congratulations to Bradford Council for keeping it open and retaining the free admission policy. Well worth a visit.
This unicorn from Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport features in a paper I gave on beer and heraldry almost two years ago, to a conference partly organised by the Heraldry Society in London. It has now been published on the web, part of a wide-ranging collection of papers from the conference. It is an illustrated pdf available at Beer and heraldry.
Yes it’s the solstice at last so the nights (after this one) will be growing shorter and the dog-walking and photography days will be getting longer. Beers all round. Finally, a merry Christmas and a happily industrial and industrious new year to all! The, er, card is of course adapted from one of Dorothy Annan’s 1960s tile murals, originally at the Fleet Building near Farringdon Station, now rescued, restored, and mounted on the High Walk just beyond the Barbican Centre. Well worth a Christmas diversion.
As part of the Heritage Week events at Leeds arts centre The Tetley, I’m doing a talk on brewery architectural history on Wednesday 10 September at 18.00. For booking details see The Tetley website. Look forward to seeing everyone there.
A lot of positive things have happened around the topic of postwar murals since I first began looking at them in the 1990s. Listings, conferences and books, all generate interest in an area that could do with even more research into the lesser-known artists of the time, especially those using ceramics and other non-paint materials. So this is just a reminder that my book, A Field Guide to Postwar Murals (Blue House Books, 2008) is still available through the blurb website, and best of all the ebook version (readable on ipads) is still under £2. There’s a 15-page preview on the blurb website.