Tuesday, 24 January 2012
I rediscovered this detail from a map in the archive, and can't remember where it came from. Except it must have been from a 50s holiday brochure for someone like British Railways. I've always loved picture maps of England; their simplicity and naivety have a particular resonance in reducing the country to the barest essentials. This one of the south east keeps it very basic: An immense Canterbury Cathedral and a pair of oast houses cipher Kent, in Brighton the Prince Regent spies a Norman conqueror splashing into the English Channel and Chaucer resolutely approaches Penshurst wondering if it wouldn't be quicker by rail on the Pilgrim Express. And Morris Dancing seems to be the only thing going on in Essex, although I do worry about the swimsuited girl on her inflatable spotted duck being so far out to sea. Picture maps were (and sometimes still are) seen on posters and postcards, and Esso once did a whole, much more detailed, set of maps in a bound book. Which is also around here somewhere. Perhaps there should be one for Unmitigated England that's just our sort of pubs indicated on rusty signposts being looked at from Austin Somersets.