Often on this blog and elsewhere I have mentioned in passing the 'fat Austin Somerset', but not until today do I have a good picture of one to show you. Gliding through a very stylised Windermere, here it is; a 1952 Somerset in a paint finish I don't remember seeing, but with that fabulous flying 'A' badge above the radiator grille and four tweeds-and-pearls passengers. The woman in the front passenger seat is saying to her husband through gritted teeth "I wish Brian'd stop waving that bloody pipe about". 'Austin' is somehow such a homely English name for a car, even more so with a list of model names that included not only the Somerset, but also the Austin Dorset, Devon, Hampshire and Hereford. "Darling if you don't mind awfully I'll drive you to the station in the Hampshire".
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)