So, no googling. Do you know where this plaque is? No prizes for saying Islington. It's not the poshest part of the borough - but it is on a fairly busy road.
This was the London HQ of the ANC as the party built on the back of the Soweto uprisings and the rise of the black trade unions to challenge apartheid and then take power.
Nothing like as grand an address as South Africa House on Trafalgar Square - but in some ways, this was more important to the building of the new South Afrcia.
Two badges bought today from the wonderful Monday flea market in Covent Garden . I bought them 'blind' - I collect political badges, and these looked sort of political but I wasn't sure.
It turns out the top one is from an inter-war temperance organisation, the Fellowship of Freedom and Reform. I should have guessed that a badge in red, white and blue was using 'reform' in a measured manner. Reform of the licensing laws in this case.
There's more about the Fellowship and its splendid badge here.
The bottom one is hallmarked silver, and so was more expensive. It could well be commercial, but if I remember right the Labour League of Youth had at one time a paper called 'Advance' and I wonder whether this was their badge. Anyone know?
Ok, so I'm stretching beyond my normal bounds for this one.
Where is this enjoyable dig at the heritage industry? As you can tell from the graffiti in the background, it's not in a salubrious spot - though the postal address reads well.
And is that redundant apostrophe a deliberate snub to purists and the particular, or is it just, well, ignorant?
Added points if you can tell me who Will Coles is or how the name got to be used. Answers please as a comment here or on Facebook.
LATER -Kate P says: "ok, so i gave up and googled him- apparently they are all over the place... one is in Norwich, 2 are in Sydney where he now lives ( one is even blue) but your one is in DRURY LANE ...and interestingly his grandfather designed our pound coins..."
And that prompted a communication from 'Will Coles': Yes, they're quite a few in London as well as some in Norwich, Diss & Eye (where my Grandpa lives, but I don't think he approves!)
The superfluous apostrophe was a mistake made at the place I had the casting mould made. I'm rather glad people pick up on that as so many people can't even get there/their right these days!
The search is most of the fun - and the look and design is as important as the content. At least, that's my rather ramshackle approach to the collecting of political pamphlets.
I like this pamphlet - bought over the weekend from Walden's Books at Chalk Farm - because of its simple but arresting cover. The opening sentence is memorable too: ‘In a few weeks – perhaps in a few days – from the publication of this Manifesto, there will be a General Election, the result of which will depend on the vote of the Working Classes; and yet the Working Classes will have no political party of their own to vote for.’
It's in fairly grotty condition - but alas wasn't at all cheap. Still, I'm glad to have it.
It's been the most stylish of second hand shops. Always a delight to browse in. And run by a pair with a great sense of retro chic - I've never seen either of them without headgear.
She looks a bit like Una Stubbs - and I mean that as a compliment - and he has the air of a reticent racehorse owner.
But today the Blue Carbuncle on Junction Road closes for good. You have got just a few hours if you want some stylish old cameras, Soviet era badges at 50p a shot, nice furniture, scrubbed up old clothes, or a rather fetching poster of Marc Bolan.
This list of goods for sale doesn't do justice to the place. It doesn't sell tat - it sells period and style.
The proprietor tells me he's not moving the business, simply closing. He says that all three adjoining businesses, and the building behind, are being demolished to make way for some sort of mini-market.
You can get a bit more sense of the building from the picture below. It's reputed to be the oldest on Junction Road - an area with lots of interesting shops, but not a lot of architectural soul. And soon it will have still less.
A tweeting breakthrough! Many months after launching out into Twitterdom, for the first time I have more 'followers' than 'following'. I have been close to this several times before, but then have clearly been dumped by some of those who decided to follow - probably wisely.
I'm at @john_pether ... which seemed like a good nom de tweet ... once. Why that name? Well, better than being @whiteheada69, or some other convoluted moniker. And who was John Pether? A deeply obscure character in George Gissing's (ditto) first novel.
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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