In Dorset at the weekend, with friends who took me around some of their favourite haunts before we found ourselves inexplicably in The Stour Inn in Blandford St.Mary drinking Badger Poacher's Choice. Our last port of call as the sun dipped down behind the church was Cranborne, and we took a detailed look at buildings, brickwork and tombstones and wished we could get nearer to Cranborne Manor, Squire Allworthy's Jacobean mansion in Tony Richardson's Tom Jones (1963). And so to Castle Street, and this beautifully signwritten vets. Just perfect: the alphabets, the mixture of styles, the imaginative design of the projecting sign. I only wish it had been open and that I'd had a dog to de-distemper or something so that I could've gone in to congratulate them.
I am a 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)