This is a spectacular piece of architectural ornamentation which I chanced across on a building just behind the Albert Embankment in Lambeth.
It was built in the mid-1870s and is the only surviving part of the Doulton pottery in Lambeth. This section was home to Doulton's museum and art school.
Doutlon was established at Vauxhall and then moved to Lambeth - and rebased to Stoke in the Potteries in the 1880s.
The relief above the entrance is by George Tinworth - then in his mid-thirties and Doulton's chief designer. It shows craft workers decorating and displaying their wares and perhaps being inspected by Henry Doulton.
Tinworth designed quite a few reliefs, but this must have been a a really pleasurable piece for him to work on - reflecting the industry of which he was part.
The building fronts Lambeth High Street - which isn't a high street at all, at least not any more. But it's worth tracking down just to see this cornucopia of craft.
Well, as 'beware' signs go, this is refreshingly different. And there were inded dangling caterpillars ahead, thousands of them all over this tree -
This is Camley Street Natural Park in the heart of London, just north of St Pancras station. It's tiny, just two acres; a former coal yard on the banks of the Regent's Canal, recently refurbished and back as a delightful pocket-size nature reserve.
And those caterpillars - well, they are spindle ermine moth caterpillars, since you ask!
There's lots of other reasons to visit this charming haven of peace and wildlife - today I saw reed warblers, which I was quite chuffed about.
And even in such a tiny area there's meadow, wetlands, reed beds, and a dead wood area ... plus a half decent cafe!
FOR A CLOSE-UP OF 'HEADOPOLY' HEAD HERE:
The hardback first edition of Richard Neville's Playpower - the book by the co-founder of Oz - included in a slip in the back cover a fold-up poster come Monopoly spoof. This is it. Headopoly!
The book was published in 1970. And the poster is a chronicle of the 1960s counter-culture in the form of a board game (not that anybody was expected to roll the dice - more roll the spliff ...)
It's worth a close look ...
As you can see, it's an intricate and beautiful thing, designed by Rolling Stone's Jon Goodchild.
Neville told the story in his memoir, Hippie Hippie Shake:
'Playpower was rushed into production. ... All that was left to do now was to complete the artwork for a full-colour poster, to be inserted in each copy. This seemed an innovative way to present a series of significant dates, gleaned from the research. I had contacted Jon Goodchild at his new Rolling Stone office in San Francisco, and he came up with a way to make the poster work as a game as well as a reference tool.
'Jon airfreighted the artwork to London, where it was impounded. A caption contained the phrase ‘Fuck Communism’. I rushed to the airport, bowed and scraped, and somehow convinced the Customs officers that this was a work of scholarship. Which it was. Jon had divided the huge sheet into tiny rectangles, each one representing a month of the year, for the past five years. The game was called Headopoly. Players could traverse the board with counters, aided by instructions in the squares, e.g. August ’69: in Belfast, Bernadette Devlin MP admits throwing petrol bombs at police; miss a Go.
'With a golfball typesetter on the dining-room table, Jim and I updated the board, right up to the final square, 10 December ’69: Senator Edward Kennedy disclosed that in the last four years, over a million civilians had been killed or wounded in Vietnam.
'Felix Dennis came by to assist Jim and me with the fiddly bits of paste-up, flourishing cowgum and scalpels, while Louise took it easy on the bed with a joint, Let It Bleed on the turntable, delighted that this was absolutely the last night of my authorial outpourings. ...
'It was three in the morning by the time Headopoly was finished and the lid was back on the cowgum. Felix asked to crash on the floor. At dawn, with everyone still sound asleep, I crept out of the flat into the drizzle, lugging the artwork off to a laboratory run by the Defence Department in a hard-to-find industrial zone. Specialists in aerial reconnaissance maps, they possessed the only camera in England capable of dealing with the complexities of Jon’s design.'
The striking jacket design, by the way, was the work of the Australian artist Martin Sharp - pity it wasn't used for the paperback too.
A May Day visit today to a second-hand book sale at the Marx Memorial Library on Clerkenwell Green, where I came across four wonderful political song books.
The most interesting is People's Parodies, published in 1938. The parodies were the work of Rufus Hogg - which might have been a pseudonym for Randall Swingler - with illustrations by the Daily Worker cartoonist, Gabriel. This sort of thing -
I can't imagine the parodies were much sung - but they do raise a smile
And the striking orange cover has a Gabriel drawing of Neville Chamberlain being done over by Mr Punch - who's a pretty boy, then!
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