You know how it is. You have an hour to kill between Nottingham and Derby so you start wandering aimlessly about hoping that something will grab your attention. That's what happened to me this morning and I found this, first as an enormous silhouette against the sun across the fields, and then on arriving in Derby Road Draycott I discovered this deeply impressive frontage to Jardine's Victoria Mill. Built between 1888 and 1907 it was started by E. Terah Hooley, a wealthy local industrialist, but finished by Ernest Jardine who stuck his name up below the clock face. It's all here- cream coloured rock-faced stone at the base and then red brick, blue brick, stone dressings and then that fishscale roof topping it out. And the clock still works and does Westminster chimes. They reckon this was the largest lace factory in the world and I'm not surprised, it appears to endlessly march down Elvaston Street at the side. I must come back when the sun lights the western elevation where there are four huge bow-fronted staircase turrets. What do you think? I ran about snapping away like a madman.
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)