In many ways it was the high spot of the day. After all, it could only go down hill after this lot. We have this annual beano in London that actually takes place in everything but every year, and after being summarily ejected from the Walmer Castle in Ledbury Road because it didn't open until midday (well keep the door locked then) we ended up in Colville Mews at this museum. I'd seen it before, many years ago when it graced an old canal warehouse in Gloucester Docks, but was still totally unprepared for just how utterly brilliant it is. As the Daily Telegraph quite rightly said, this is 'a place of worship'. I had to be restrained from continually dropping to my knees in front of the most superb examples of commercial art to be seen anywhere. If you call yourself a graphic designer (or whatever) and haven't been in, or made a promise to visit the mews as soon as you can, I shall send the Violent Brothers round to your studios in their big black Maybach limo. If you're as old as I am, you may simply enjoy it just for the nostalgia kick, (my pal said he remembered standing on two Watney's Party Seven cans to watch a stripper in a pub), but if you care about the craft of illustration, hand drawn lettering and classic typography, come down here and see just how good it got. All credit to Robert Opie for starting it off with a Munchies wrapper, and credit to the Gold pub in Portobello Road for being there for us at 11.15 with a warm welcome and excellent pints of Harvey's Bitter.
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)