Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Where's the Public Telephone Box? Part 7

A quick return call to some earlier examples of public telephone boxes spotted in old British postcards. The previous post highlighted colour cards which showcased modern cityscapes - mostly showing off shopping districts or newly constructed town centres.

This time back to the rustic and the traditional town or village landscapes - all which have a phone box placed somewhere within the composition.

Chard, Somerest

Croyde, Devon


Midlothian, Scotland

Great Cheverell, Wiltshire

Haworth, Yorkshire


Ludlow, Shropshire

Mawnan Smith, Cornwall


Swinton Post Office, Greater Manchester

Wiston Post Office, Sussex

Brasted, Kent

Monday, 20 April 2020

Where's the Public Telephone Box? Part 6

Following on from my previous posts - this time I'm presenting a collection of colour-only postcard images. From the 1960s, there was a new wave of issues which highlighted the nation's new shopping precincts or modernised high streets. 

Now the K8 boxes which arrived on the scene in 1968 can be spotted on these cards, accompanying the classic K2's and K6's which peppered the urban and country landscapes from the 1920s onwards...

the Whitgift Centre in Croydon

Fitzalan Sqquare, Sheffield

Grimsby in the 1970s

the famous Harry Ramsden's fish and chips shop empire was founded in Guisley, Yorkshire in 1928

Hitchin Town Centre, North Hertfordshire

Broadmead shopping district, Bristol

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Time Out magazine, October 1971 - A Guide to London's East End

A slice of East London nostalgia offered up courtesy of Time Out, when the publication was still in its grass roots, underground prime. Decades before listings for hipster galleries, pop-up venues and vintage clothing shops. This is a tour of the locality written by an East Londoner for readers who were more likely to be revelling in the then hip neighbourhoods of Ladbroke Grove, Soho or Islington. 

For those wondering what events were happening during the first week of October '71: playing the Roundhouse were Brinsley Schwartz & John Martyn, Stan Getz was appearing at Ronnie Scott's, Rory Gallagher at the Marquee Club, and the Velvet Underground at Kingston Polytechnic...

Late night film screenings included; Alfie at the Edmonton Regal, Masque of Red Death at the Dalston Odeon, and the Blob at the Brixton Classic...

Cover photo by Alex Agor

Friday, 28 February 2020

Radio Doom, Caribbean Centre, Liverpool

Several years ago I visited a friend's house and while we were pottering around in the basement, I couldn’t resist checking out a box of 7" singles that belonged to her soon to be ex-husband. I spotted a record that I'd never seen before, or since. In fact I can't find any mention of it online, which is extremely unusual these days. 


I wish I'd borrowed it, as since the couple have now split up, I've no chance of getting another opportunity to see the disc. But I did take a snap of the sleeve. If anyone reading this knows more about the music on the record - please let me know!

In the meantime - here is some background information that I've found online about the background to Radio Doom in Liverpool 8:

DANCE AT THE BLACKIE, Great George Street Congregational Chapel, Liverpool

In the years after WWII, the number of worshipers declined, many leaving the city centre for pastures new. In 1968, the building was bought by the Peter Moores Foundation and became home to the UK’s first community arts programme, known as the Blackie - the name derived from buildings discoloured by a century of soot from tens of thousands of domestic coal fires.

The Blackie provided a feast of community projects, mainly for the local population. Today, it's known as the Black-E staging anything from boxing to fashion shows to exhibitions and demonstrations, and appropriately a church group holding Sunday services in the building.

From the late 1960s the Blackie hosted soul discos created in partnership with Radio Doom Discotheque and Nova Express Lightshow for youngsters principally from Liverpool’s African-Caribbean communities in L8 and L1, dancing to the music of James Brown, The Temptations, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Gladys Knight and The Pips...

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

ARTI Alkmaar - Holland

My year 2020 treasure hunting began at the Waterlooplein flea market in Amsterdam, Holland. For the price of 1 Euro, I picked up LETTERING II - a lovely pocket-sized hardback book (15.5 x 11 cms) published by ARTI, and printed in the Netherlands. The edition is undated, but I'd guess it's from around the early 1960s?

The book is Number 18 of ARTI's 'Picture Encyclopedia' series. Other titles included Flags, Calligraphy, Supersonic Aircraft, Warships, Breeds of Dogs & Musical Instruments - and the contents pages and the short instructional text pages in each book are written in Dutch, French, German and English.

Most of the 64 pages are devoted to illustrations printed in Blue, Yellow, Red, Green and Black - and the following are a representative sample of the first section of LETTERING II called 'Constructed Letters'...

I wonder who actually bought this title at the time? Did they end up kicking around art schools during the 60s and 70s before being slung out in favour of Instant Lettering like Letraset, and then by computers?

Friday, 20 December 2019

Blackpool FC, Xmas Day, 1965

On 3.30pm, Saturday 25th December 1965, the very last Christmas Day football fixture was played in the Football League. The venue was Bloomfield Road, the home of Blackpool FC who by then were still on a continuous run in the English top flight since the return of competitive football after WW2.

Up to the late 1950s, the Christmas Day match was a common occurrence, where teams would meet both home and then away on Xmas Day and Boxing Day. It was part of the Xmas day ritual to watch a match, often kicking off in the late morning, and then for fans to return home for their Festive Lunch. Most likely, the reason why the games were squeezed into these two days was that they were the only holiday days off for most workers up to that time.

So this First Division match between Blackpool FC and Blackburn Rovers is an oddity - and perhaps one never to be repeated. Apart from the 'Merry Christmas' message to the supporters, no reason was given in the Official Programme as to why the match was scheduled for the 25th - in fact the two fixtures between the clubs had originally been set for the 27th at Blackburn's Ewood Park, and then at Blackpool the following day.

For the record, Blackpool won the match 4-2. Blackburn Rovers would eventually finish bottom of the First Division and were relegated at the end of the 1965/66 season. However just one season later, they would be joined by Blackpool whose long run in the top flight came to an end...

Here are some scans from the original programme, beginning with the classic cover showing Blackpool's famous Tower which had opened in the final decade of the nineteenth century. 

Monday, 14 October 2019

X-rated swearing graffiti, late 1980s

Photographers have been taking pictures of graffiti for many decades now. I've a small collection of books dedicated to the subject, many of which are themselves considered important explorations of the act of writing on walls.

The late 80s was a phase in my life when I rarely left home without my Olympus 35mm camera. My favourite subjects were old shop signs and buildings, especially in London's East End where I was living at the time. Over the years I've posted on 'After You've Gone' various other things that I have captured on film. However I've never shown these pictures before. 

They are examples of some extremely rude, crude and downright nasty swearing graffiti that I'd spotted on my travels. I took the pictures because I thought it was pretty shocking to see such bad language banded about in this way. Also, I wanted to capture this kind of graffiti as it tends to get scrubbed off or daubed over much more quickly than all the other traditional kinds of scribbles. 

To confirm, the following pictures contain offensive language. As an archivist of all sorts of transient ephemera, I see it as my role to observe and document. These images are a record of some voices of the streets from around 30 years ago...