I’ve been meaning to mention:


After writing about station bars a few weeks ago, I felt compelled to visit the one at Manchester Victoria for old times sake. The view above eye level was just how I remembered it. Below, though, I encountered the evil Pumpkin. When I asked the barman if he had any ale on draught, he rolled his eyes and pointed to the bottles of Newky Brown in the fridge. Oh dear. The Centurion this was not. Thankyou, Lisa, for the link to this article, which sums up the sad situation in this beautiful space.


Also, following on from my chat with the marvelous Mrs Sew and Sew, I had to show you this fabric design I discovered in Drucilla Cole’s 1000 Patterns book. Look closely: those ’66’s refer to the annual ration allowance of clothing coupons, and the numbers beside each garment (ostensibly) refer to their respective coupon-cost. If the design is from the ’40s (as a reference in Cole’s book suggests) then this jolly fabric would itself have carried a cost in coupons . . . Cole doesn’t say much about it (her very good book is mostly an exposition of pattern design) and I am very intrigued by this fabric. If anyone knows anything at all about it, I’d be very interested to hear.

Thanks for all your entries in the bee-bag giveaway — I was particularly excited to see the comments of those who actually keep bees. How I wish they allowed hives on the allotment . . .

10 thoughts on “just a couple of things

  1. Oh don’t get me started on Manchester Victoria. It’s the worst part of heading back home to the Dale. It’s empty and desolate with an endless wait for the train. The only good thing about it was the Cadbury’s vending machine next to the bar. If you ordered a Double Decker you’d get two! That’s long since been ripped out.


  2. what very magnificent fabric you have found! I am envisaging fetching ensembles lined with Coupons fabric! WANT!

    And the evil Pumpkin is indeed very inferior to The (wondrous) Centurion. I would have to be famished beyond the point of scraping stale raisins out of the bottom of my satchel to contemplate filling up on their disgusting, sugary, bland-tasting fare, and even then I might throw up at the grotesque typeface abuse evident in their evil branding.

    Newky Brown. Honestly. This affronts my whole sense of ale.


  3. Another beautiful station is Stoke-on-Trent, built in the “Knotty” (North Staffs Railway) style, but rendered soulless and rather nasty by poor investment and bad design decisions. Get on the platform and look up, however, the ceiling is a joy. It is nice to see someone else appreciates the cathedrals of transport *grin* I thought it was just me. In comparison, Stafford station is the epitome of badly done cod-Brutalist nastiness, and doesn’t even function terribly well as a station. There are three 20 minute car parking spaces. Three. However it is better than the Black Hole of Calcutta, otherwise known as Birmingham New Street.


  4. Yes, Pumpkin is evil. I had the vilest ever cup of hot brown liquid masquerading as hot chocolate (after one sip I put it back on the counter and left) at Wigan North Western a few weeks back. Since then I’ve been giving them a wide berth.


  5. Yes, I recognised it from the Persephone book, too! It is interesting that in ‘clothing’ a book this beautiful print has now been reworked in another kind of creative space. And from what I remember, the stories in that volume are excellent – I think there’s at least one very moving story about a knitting circle for wives and mothers of soldiers, if I remember correctly…



  6. The fabric is called ‘Coupons’, c. 1941-2 by the Calico Printers’ Association, Manchester. Persephone Books used it for the endpaper for Mollie Panter-Downes’ short stories, “Good Evening, Mrs. Craven” (which is how I know about it) and they credit Bridgeman Art Library for reproduction permission.


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