This chap spoke to me this morning at breakfast.He said "I'm one of those objects the obsession of which you can never remember the name of." He was found on Cley beach. I shall have to do a treatise on them, probably call it Face Book.
Can anyone out there help with this? We found it in the grounds of Bayfield Hall in Norfolk yesterday. It looks very much like it was specially forged and welded together for Unmitigated England, but when I enquired in the stables it was looked at in great mystification as if seen for the first time. Which may of course be the case; that opening could so easily have seen the recent evacuation of an alien crew.
And then we tipped-up at Cley-next-the-Sea down the road and lo! there was an exact copy perched up on the embanking between the salt marsh and beach. This is when the first inkling of their purpose came to me. Could they be fish smokeries? The Cley example was very conveniently placed by where the catches are landed, and this would be about as fresh as a smoked herring could possibly get. But this far from the comforts of the village? Maybe the pungent smoke was a problem, but I doubt it, particularly at the assumed time of its utility. Of course it would be now, the part time residents hastily switching on the Vent Axia's in Farrow & Balled kitchens.
So, any ideas? Before I reach for that bit about the space craft unscrewing itself on Horsell Common in War of the Worlds. And, do you know, just as I'm typing this Jeff Wayne's music for the same comes ominously out of my wireless set. Please help.
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)
"Open this book with reverence. It is a hymn to England". Clive Aslet
"Enchanting...delightful". The Bookseller "Cheekily named" We Love This Book
The Cigarette Papers
"Unexpectedly pleasing and engrossing...beautifully illustrated". The Bookseller
"Until the happy advent of Peter Ashley's Cross Country it has, ironically, been foreigners who have been best at celebrating Englishness". Christina Hardyment / The Independent
More from Unmitigated England
"Give this book to someone you know- if not everyone you know." Simon Heffer, Country Life. "When it comes to spotting the small but telling details of Englishness, Peter Ashley has no equal." Michael Prodger, Sunday Telegraph