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.
I’ve been busy travelling all over the place to collect photographs for the Vic & Ed industrial architecture book, last week fetching up in Halifax and Glasgow, the latter on one of their Doors Open days. Felt very fortunate to see the trades stained glass panels at Maryhill Burgh Halls – although pictures are easily available on the web, the real thing was so much better; the detail of the tools and workplaces is incredible. And a fine little talk on the panels from local author (and mountaineer) Ian R Mitchell, for which many thanks; his book Glasgow Mosaic is excellent on industrial ‘stuff’. The wonderfully 1960s St Gregory’s Church was close by, with a fibreglass mural by Charles Anderson and some great stained glass, then just had time to head south in search of the dragon. At least, I think he (is it a he? how does one tell?!) is a dragon although the building’s category A list description specifies a griffin. However, a griffin should have the body of a lion and legs of an eagle. This, er, chap is more lizard-like with four clawed legs and of course the wings, and that is certainly not a beak. Also he is not a wyvern as he has two pairs of legs, rather than the wyvern’s one. So I guess he is probably a dragon, up there amongst the rainwater goods. And the building? I leave you to guess, but it is an unusually art nouveau styled works façade.
Have been in London at the Emblems and Enigmas heraldry symposium. My presentation was in a group with others on informal French heraldry, football club badges and crests, and modern attitudes to heraldry. The discussion afterwards was fascinating and very broad; very good day altogether and organisers hope to publish the papers. After that went to Derbyshire walking in the Hope Valley (around Hathersage, Stanage Edge, Hope, Castleton and so on). Lots of people get upset about the very obvious presence of the Hope Cement Works, but it seems most of my photos are views of the works….. So back to reality now and getting started on my Victorian and Edwardian industrial buildings book. Sadly the cement works is just too late for inclusion.
Thanks to everyone at the NAHS meeting last Wednesday, for being a great audience and providing some lovely stories afterwards. What felt like moments after that presentation an email arrived telling me my abstract on beer and heraldry had been accepted for the symposium Emblems and Enigma: The Heraldic Imagination (London, 26 April 2014, see heraldics2014 for details). I was delighted – then realised I now had three months to build an idea into an actual paper; time for some serious research…. This unicorn at Robinson’s in Stockport is a start. Meanwhile, progress is good on Built to Brew and it seems we have a proposed publication date of May 2014 (or thereabouts). The page layouts are looking fantastic.