Yesterday the Archive had to shuffle along the shelves to allow in six of these beautiful little boxes. Complete with everything but the oily thumb print of a garagiste, each box contains a car lightbulb wrapped in a little piece of corrugated cardboard. Five of them have '24v 44w Prefocus' on the end, the last is in 'Cadmium Yellow' and obviously meant for a big winking indicator. It's the drawing of the car that attracted me of course, the result of a designer so obviously carried away by big 40s Americana, getting away with a Packard or Chrysler for an English made bulb. When he should perhaps of been thinking of the Morris Eights we were struggling to make in post-war Britain. But maybe they wouldn't have expressed 'Splendor' in quite the same way. Each bulb has a bayonet-style fitting, but without the little prongs, and one wonders how long these have been tucked away in the dimmer recesses of a workshop, a cheapo alternative perhaps to Lucas originals. Right, so all I've got to do now is find a car in a barn somewhere ('tis the season, we are told) with just these bulbs missing.
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)