Retro Stuff

Golden Hands Monthly

got this stack of 70s craft magazines in a junk shop in Devizes a few years ago. That place was amazing, a multi-floored cavern of junk. It's gone now, I think. Here's some photos.There's the usual ultra-cheesy raffia work projects and crocheted plant holders and so on, but the clothes patterns are actually mostly pretty nice, which is why I bought the magazines. What I've scanned is a mix of nice things and weird stuff though. I also couldn't scan double page spreads very easily, because the binding on the magazines is dodgy, and I didn't want to pull them about too much in case they broke. These issues are from 1972 and 1973. I have another issue from 1976, but it's printed on much cheaper paper (the paper quality wasn't sterling to begin with) and the contents are pretty dull.... Read More...

Abandoned school science lab

I was doing some residential teaching for the last 2 weeks. A group of year 9s from Chile came on a school trip, and I gave them lessons about English and British History/Culture and took them to various historical places like Cambridge and Canterbury. I was working in the middle of nowhere, in this old manor house in the middle of a national park. The house had been a boarding school from the 1920s to 2005, and the company I worked for was only using part of the building.  We were the last school tour to be there before it was going to be handed over to the new owners, who no-one knew much about, but didn't seem to be using it as a school. There were lots of locked up rooms that had been used by the boarding school, but weren't used for the language holidays, like the science lab, and they had piles of school stuff lying everywhere. The attitude was pretty much feel free to explore, just make sure the kids don't get into anywhere that could be dangerous.... Read More...

Museum of 51

I went to see the Museum of 51 exhibition at the Royal Festival Hall a while back, which is about the Festival of Britain. Basically it was a festival in 1951 to celebrate 100 years since the Great Exhibition and cheer people up in grey, rationed post-war London. As well as films, shows, fairs and so on, there were shows of housing and interiors, to show people what they could look forward to after rebuilding and the end of rationing (everything available for sale in WWII was simple and utilitarian and rationed). My dad went to pretty much all the events, seeing as they were mostly around the corner from him in Battersea.... Read More...

Don’t Put Out

The other week I was in Brighton to see Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, a forgotten film from the 80s about a fictional all-girl punk band with Diane Lane, Ray Winstone (yes, really), Paul Simonon and half of the Sex Pistols. They've started doing a cinema club at the West Hill Hall showing cult films with bands playing afterwards. This time the bands were Trash Kit and Woolf. I found out about it when I was at the copiers and the guy in front of me was copying flyers and we got chatting and swapped zines and flyers. I wish that kind of thing happened to me more often. A good evening filled with friends and good feelings. Bands and film recommended. I want to be back in Brighton. ( I decided to go not via London to see if the cheaper ticket was worth the bother- it wasn't, it took me 4 hours and between 4-7 trains each way)... Read More...

Sewing

I've got a box full of unfinished sewing projects and a huge fabric stash, and as I'm unemployed at the moment, I decided to get them all finished/used. Here's the first thing I finished, a dress made from a 1960s pattern... Read More...