The Victorian age is like an enormous shout, the echoes of which still rebound around us. Railway stations, waterworks, civil and commercial offices. Even if our local bank is now a wine bar called The Bank the chances are it's Victorian. And then of course there's the churches. Whether original or restored, their impact can't be exaggerated. Today I was told to poke my nose in at my local, to see (and smell) the glorious flower arrangements from last Saturday's village wedding. The church itself is also Decorated (14th century) but was restored by Goddard & Son of Leicester in 1864. After revelling in the flowers I looked more closely at the chancel floor and saw that the afternoon sun was highlighting patches of encaustic floor tiling, and whatever we may think about the Victorian mania for 'restoration', (Goddard's were more sensitive than some) I find the designs utterly compelling. The perfect visuals to go with the scent of flowers and furniture polish, all to the tick of the clock deep within the tower.
Ben Shahn: Man of the people
1 day ago