Youngest Boy started a new school this morning, and he now resides at Ashley Towers. Whilst he is quite content to sleep under a table in the scullery, I do feel obliged to shove everything up a bit so that he can stretch out a little. This means sorting through a stack of boxes to make his straw paillasse easier to access. One contained an enormous pile of photographs unseen for many years, the above being a prime example. The thing is, where is it? Not a quiz question, I've totally forgotten.
The date would be sometime in the late 80s, the very approximate location Somewhere on The Fens in either Cambridgeshire or, more likely, Norfolk. That's it really; all I can add is that Bullards is a now defunct Norwich brewer, and Eric De Maré’s photograph of the Coslany Street brewery can be found on page 102 of English Allsorts. And that it was almost certainly shot on my little Minox 35ML which fitted as neatly into my shirt pocket as a packet of Gold Flake.
Of course there are even more questions when you come to think about it. Who drank here? Is the absence of a roadside window an indication of the covert drinking practices of the past? What was kept in the rickety lean-to? Whose are those cars peeping out from the back? (I certainly saw no one else near.)
Right, back to moving, rummaging, and dividing the bathroom in half.
Everyone can now relax. Thanks to the exceedingly thoughtful Roger Porter the location is no longer lost. It's the Butchers' Arms at Terrington St.Clement near to Walpole Cross Keys in Norfolk. Apparently it could look much the same and folk still live at one end. Thank you Roger!
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