A whole day out in High Leicestershire, rummaging about in wet muddy lanes. I've known about these red gates with the top rail painted white since I was I boy, when I cycled out into the countryside around Hungarton just to annoy my brother whilst he was hedge laying, or chucking manure about the fields with the aid of a little grey Ferguson. But today I noticed this curious fastening on the double gates, and on closer inspection realised that instead of it being some convoluted addition to secure the gates to each other, it was in fact a letter 'Q'. The red and white gates have always been associated with the Quenby Hall estate, pastoral acres surrounding what is one of the finest Jacobean houses in the county. What a brilliant but subtle way to announce ownership, rather than the usual mindless corporate image for some agro-industrial complex that often has the adjunct 'keep out' next to it. I fear yet another collection coming on- A Country ABC. Well, at least I've got one of the hardest, although I expect 'Z' is going to prove somewhat elusive.
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), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)