Sorting out receipts for petrol, books, firelighters, oatmeal stout etc. today, I thought about how terrifyingly bland and uninteresting these irritating pieces of thin paper are. Just digital print-outs reminding you of everything you don't want to know about transactions, other than how much an ink cartridge is (criminal). "Thankyou. Please Call Again" they say, or in the case of Sainsbury's "Try something new today". Hmm. Think I will, thanks. I'll put the gas on and not bother to light it. So I unearthed this for you, just to show how much better these items of print were, equally how much time there apparently was to do a job properly. B.C.Tipper & Sons were veterinary chemical manufacturers in Balsall Heath, and in March 1900 took four pounds four shillings and ten pence from Mr.E.H.Roberts for unspecified 'goods'. What could they have been? Once in November 1899 and again the following February. Flea powder? Artificial insemination lubricant? We shall never know, but we can see that Mr.Roberts got a receipt for it, and Tippers endorsed the slip with two Queen Victoria halfpenny stamps. Right, why have I got a receipt for £9.40 from Ely Cathedral?
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)