This is a nice little film advertising Built for Britain by Peter Ashley. It sums the book up well in 4 minutes and it's nice to see the author himself making an appearance.

Speaking of which, after I mentioned The English Sunrise and its similarity to Unmitigated England (in a good way) Peter Ashley got in touch to say that he had worked with Tony Evans around that time and the book inspired him to go and do what he does now. He also pointed out that there's a book about Tony Evans called Taking His Time, which I have now purchased and can also recommend.

Tony Evans had an interesting career as a photographer working from the 60s to the early 90s, winning lots of awards for advertising and feature photography in the process - The English Sunrise won a D&AD Silver Award for Most Outstanding Book Photography in 1973. He worked for the Sunday Times and Radio Times in the 1970s, and on special issue postage stamps in the 1980s among other things. He died in 1992 and the book is full of very sweet testimonies from friends and colleagues. I couldn't find out much about him online but as soon as I opened the book I realised that I had seen his photographs everywhere.

So thank you Peter for the tip, and Philip for putting us in touch.

A little bit buried, for obvious reasons, is the sad news of Sky Saxon's death. His band The Seeds, were legendary - for their haircuts as much as their music. Mr Farmer had a regular slot on the playlist at Texas Fever, the first indie club I remember going to in Glasgow, and a number of the young men in attendance rocked that Sky Saxon look. I've noticed the odd young fella in similar garb lately. It's hard not to notice a giant bowl cut and some very tight trousers really.

More Seeds videos on YouTube:

St Peter's Seminary, Cardross

As admin of the Gillespie Kidd and Coia Flickr group, I got a lovely email from the people at Glasgow School of Art Library and Archives saying they have put lots of photos from the GKC Archives online. It's an amazing collection, including many photos of buildings that have been demolished or substantially altered. The photo above shows St Peter's Seminary in Cardross, Scotland's most famous ruin, in its original state.

BOAC offices, Buchanan Street, Glasgow

The collection is organised into sets (don't you just love librarians and Flickr together - a perfect match) so it's easy to browse. Here's another photo from the supercool BOAC Offices in Buchanan St, Glasgow which is now a branch of All Saints.

The English Sunrise by Brian Rice and Tony Evans

I've got dustysevens to thank for introducing me to The English Sunrise, a delightful book by Brian Rice and Tony Evans. Published in 1973 by Flash Books, as the name suggests it collects photos of sunrise motifs as they appear in all sorts of places - window decorations, garden gates, packaging and pub signs mostly from the south of England. Anything but a real sunrise.

The English Sunrise by Brian Rice and Tony Evans

Running to 76 pages, it's thicker than you might expect. I thought it might wear thin but no, it just becomes lovelier as it goes on and the sunrises pop up in ever more unexpected places. I did hope that this was part of a series and lo and behold, from an obituary of Anthony Mathews:

In 1970, Mathews formed a specialist publishing company with the magazine designer Peter Dunbar and the art dealer Barry Miller. The first book produced by Mathews Miller Dunbar was its most successful. The English Sunrise (1972) by Brian Rice and Tony Evans was a photographic exploration of the sunrise motif in middle England – in suburban stained glass, on garden railings, in trademarks and elsewhere. Mathews issued several more in the same format, all containing illustrations reproduced in a uniform postcard size – including Afghan Trucks by Jean-Charles Blanc (1976; exuberant personalised livery), Façade by Peter and Tony Mackertich (1976; art deco architecture), Lost Glory by Ian Logan (1977; US railroad logos) and Classy Chassy by Ian Logan and Henry Nield (1977; pin-ups on American war planes).

He also went on to publish Ed Ruscha's Nine Swimming Pools and a Small Fire, Twenty-six Gasoline Stations and Every Building on Sunset Boulevard. It made me think again of Peter Ashley and other niche titles like The Doorbells of Florence. Is this long tail stuff over? I can't tell. It feels like the way forward to me but I don't exactly have my finger on the pulse.

There are copies on Amazon for mere pennies if you fancy snapping one up.

Ball comparison

Flip Flop Flyball is a welcome new addition to the Flip Flop Flyin' family, combining Craig's love of baseball and infographics. I couldn't care less about baseball but still loved looking at these. A comparison of different sizes of sporting balls is strangely compelling, as is ballpark orientation and velodrome steepness. Factual and pretty. Excellent work.

Funland - our top seller!

Well, business got off to a slow start but I'm pleased to say you can now buy I like cards in actual shops up and down the land. New stockists are as follows (in geographical order):

Thanks to everyone in the shops above for giving them a go. If you're passing please pop in. If you don't buy some of my stuff buy someone else's as they all stock some really great things. If you can recommend anyone near you who might like to stock the cards could you let me know? I've had many knockbacks but will persevere.

For anyone not near these fine establishments, the cards are available in the shop or from Folksy. Order now for Father's Day, if your dad's into that sort of thing.

Sundae Sundays

I was at the Glasgow School of Art degree show last week, and was delighted by Sundae Sundays: a guide to Glasgow's ice cream parlours by Rosie Ferrier and Louise Lockhart in the Visual Communication Dept. As the name suggests, for their research they ate a sundae every Sunday in Glasgow's finest classic cafes and selected their top ten. The surroundings (and often the owners) are sketched and compiled into this lovely book, with a handy map included.

Queen's Cafe

Obviously, this made my heart sing, but the one thing that makes it even more amazing is my family are in it. We visited Tomasso's on Crow Road (an old haunt of mine) a few weeks ago and I did notice that the girls at the next table were sketching away. While they were surreptitiously sketching our table I was surreptitiously looking at their sketch book which is why I'm not in the picture - they finished off while I was getting up to pay in case I minded. I didn't want to pry but was intrigued and am now delighted to see where all their efforts were going.

The boys in Tomasso's

At the moment there are only two copies of this book but Rosie and Louise are keen to get it printed. Anyone fancy a copy? There are more pictures on Louise's website - tasty stuff. The degree show is on for the rest of the week (until Friday?) and there are some other great things in it so it's well worth a visit.

A trip to the airport

I'm greatly looking forward to The Secret Life of the Airport tomorrow on BBCFour. If it's anything like The Secret Life of the Motorway it'll be fantastic.

The picture shows A Trip to the Airport a lovely old children's book I got a few weeks ago. It's by Desmond Marwood, illustrated by Ben and Stephanie Manchipp for the Young Tripper series.

Notre Dame College of Education, Bearsden

The Rubble Club is a support group for bereaved architects. From the website:

The Rubble Club is an organisation to remember buildings demolished in their architect’s lifetime. The Club has three key ground rules:
  • Firstly the building’s architect must be alive and not party to its destruction
  • secondly the building must be built with the intention of permanence (exhibitions, shops and interiors are not eligible)
  • thirdly it must be deliberately destroyed or radically altered, it can’t simply burn down.

It was suggested by Isi Metzstein of Gillespie Kidd and Coia who has seen a few of his buildings disappear, including the partially demolished Notre Dame College of Education in Bearden. There's already a lively debate on most articles, from supporters who feel that more could be done to save the building in question, and detractors who point out the fatal flaw in the architect's plan. For Notre Dame it's the flat roofs, based on Moroccan architecture, transplanted to the soggy west of Scotland.


If I had my own office I would buy a set of Treaclezoo's crocheted biscuits for meetings. Everyone is on a diet anyway so it would be doing them all a favour. I love the detail on the custard cream and the inclusion of the controversial pink wafer. They come in a very pretty presentation box, available from Folksy or Etsy, where there is also some neat plush sushi and amazing tartlets for sale too.

Peter Ashley: Built for Britain On Roads: A Hidden History by Joe Moran
Two new books:

My earliest memory

My earliest memory is looking up at these horse chestnut trees on Prince Albert Road in Dowanhill (in Glasgow's leafy West End). We lived in a flat on Hyndland Road so used to pass this way going to Byres Road. Who knows why it's stuck in my head but my mind wanders back to it fairly regularly, like a mental screensaver. The thing that makes me think it's my earliest memory is that I was being wheeled along. I vividly remember looking straight up and watching the leaves roll past.

I hardly ever go there now but was there last week so stopped and looked again. I thought something magical might happen but I nope, they're just trees. What a strange picture to have stuck in my mind.

What's yours?

New Moo business cards

I've been in a few places lately where I really should have had a business card, so I treated myself to some from moo. They've come up lovely, and everything about making and ordering them is a pleasure, from sooking the photos in from Flickr to their delightful packaging. They've just opened a US office so shipping is a bit cheaper for you Yankees. Highly recommended.

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