FriTir again

And another previously unseen drawing by Tirzah – it’s pen and ink and is called Penny for the Guy. Btw, we sell The Dog Show as a postcard in the shop. (The Persephone Post is on holiday next week and the one after. Of course the shop is open.)

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At the end of the scrapbook there are some designs by Tirzah Garwood. This is an undated design for a wood engraving called Street Games.

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The traditional symbols for the twelve signs of the Zodiac: the cover of an Almanack  designed for the Lanston Montype Corporation.

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Two colour ways for the sinuous double loop pattern designed by Ravilious and printed by the Curwen Press for an Austin Reed 1930s promotional booklet.

Monday copy Rav

Eric Ravilious Scrapbooks is a beautiful book which we sell in the shop (it’s horribly expensive though, £40, but £35 with our £5-off sticker). Every page is fascinating and this week on the Post five random examples. First a 1932 woodblock. ‘The colour effect was achieved by rolling red ink on the top of the block and black on the bottom so the colours mingled’ (p. 71).

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And, to conclude, a characteristic view. If you are visiting Bath it is so worth visiting the allotments. From the Royal Crescent you go across to the road on the west which is Marlborough Buildings. Walk up to the Marlborough Tavern (very nice pub with good food), turn left and go along about fifty metres. There is a little gate in the railings which is always open and here you can go in and walk across the allotments to the other end of Marlborough Buildings and thus back to the Royal Crescent.

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Another view, with Marlborough Buildings as the backcloth. One of the reasons these allotments are so beautiful is that they are framed by the early nineteenth century typical Bath houses on the one side and a nicely mown path on the other.

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Gladioli – like the sunflower they are enormous. Our friend and preface writer Charles Lock wrote yesterday to say: ‘The inventor of the allotment seems to have been Moritz Schreber in c. 1850 (incidentally, it was his son Daniel who was Freud’s patient ). In German the word is Schrebergarten, intended for those living in apartments ie. most of the urban population of Europe apart from the English. Railway lines created many waste spaces around the allotment/Schrebergarten and this was an  obvious use.’ Here in Bath the allotments are on the western edge of the city between a park and ‘the Buildings’ and, amazingly, have never been built on.

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Sunflowers are a must on any self-respecting allotment and this is the largest ever – as comparison, there is a ‘normal’ sized one to the right of the picture (and another huge one on the left).

Monday copy

The allotment. A magic word. Do they exist worldwide? Our interest was first sparked by a 1988 book about them by David Crouch and Colin Ward. Since then we have often ‘followed’ them ie. visited. Now our friend and inspiration Jane Brocket has acquired one (cf. Instagram here). But someone asks  ‘is an allotment like a plot in a community garden?’ which shows they are not ubiquitous. In essence, an allotment is a small patch of meadow/garden which, miraculously, has been saved from the claws of the local council or property developers, where people grow vegetables. (The size of an allotment has been carefully tailored so that, in theory, you can feed a family of four with fruit and vegetables all year round.) You often see them beside the railway line. Jane’s is hidden away in central Cambridge. And there are marvellous allotments in London, for example in Highgate (off a road called Fitzroy Park). But our very favourite are in Bath, two minutes from the Royal Crescent but unknown to tourists. These allotments are unusual in being officially open access – many are locked and you need a key to go in, but in Bath you can walk in through a gate behind the road that runs to the west of the magnificent Crescent, which is called Marlborough Buildings. In this photograph you can see that the Buildings enjoy a fascinating and ever-changing view of the allotments.

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