I love how a detail of a perhaps long-forgotten past can still hang on in there, regardless of everything else that's going on around it. This off licence sign is still firmly up on the wall of a gingerbread coloured house in Hempton, Oxfordshire. All evidence of a shop has disappeared; no tantalising glimpses through the window of dark polished bottles on shelves, no single light bulb reflecting in the glasses on the shopkeeper. Actually, it probably wasn't like that at all. But the sign does appear to pre-date the appalling Watneys Red Barrel, (folklore has it that it was so weak it could be legally sold to children), and the lettering suggests this was not long after Watneys take over of the Northampton Brewery Company (NBC). The road through Hempton is very narrow, and it took several run-throughs to find a gap in the traffic so that I could jump out onto the pavement. Drive-by blogging.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)