Friday, September 29, 2006

If the previous post has encouraged you to buy a television set then you would have normally needed to subscribe to the TV listings magazine Radio Times. This BBC-biased publication was once host to the cream of British illustrators (and even in the 90's included John Peel as a columnist) but is sadly now dumbed down to pitiful levels of Soap coverage. This cover (featuring good old Sid James) is from the Radio Times heyday.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Autumn Viewing: now that the nights are drawing in perhaps you are thinking of purchasing a television set for your sitting room? To help you make up your mind I have here illustrated all the latest information about this clever broadcasting invention.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Do your brogues need heeling, Sir?

Here's the back cover drawing from my Bushels Of Coalsmoke chap-book of 2005 and a photograph of an old-fashioned Cobbler Shop automaton which originally gave me the idea. I took the photo during a Sunday morning stroll around Morpeth, Northumberland. I've been told the derivation of the town name Morpeth means 'path of death' (mort/peth) but don't know why it was given this chilling title....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

John Betjeman famously travelled by train through the London suburbs in Metroland. Before I learned to drive I used to like travelling by bus. It was the ideal way to become acquainted with the northern pit villages which I now love so much. Sadly you can't take in much detail of a Primitive Methodist Chapel when you have to concentrate on your steering.

Here's a detail from an as yet unfinished comic strip called Bus Stop Philosophers.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Hurrah for Betjeman! The current media frenzy concerning the centenary of John Betjeman's birth is heartily welcome here at Bagnall's Retreat. In particular the broadcasting of some of his witty, evocative and elegiac BBC documentaries from the 50s to the 70s was easily the TV highlight of last month.

The late great Poet Laureate also collaborated with some of my all-time favourite British illustrators on quite a few travel and architecture books. Above is a beaut by the great Edward Bawden from the Shell Guide to Cornwall (1964.)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

September has arrived so here is a 'back to school' Disappearing Phrase.