Iford Manor

We went to the most wonderful Manor House last week in Wiltshire. It is called Iford Manor. Not owned by the National Trust so a family still live in it. The house is only open by special arrangment as is the very beautiful walled garden. The house was once owned by Harold Ainsworth Peto who was an architect,he worked with Lutyen’s. Any way Peto bought the house in about 1892 and transformed the garden into an amazing space of old buildings and fragments of masonry that he had collected from around the Continent. It is a place to visit but not easy to find. It is not far from Bath and close to the beautiful weaving town of Bradford On Avon.

take a look at their website   wwwifordmanor.co.uk  and at their website for concerts   www.ifordarts.co.uk

a view of the walled garden from the river bridge

one of the many statues in the garden

A view accross the valley from the garden

Iford Manor from the river bridge

from the other half of the manor

Part of the 'Peto' garden

The Cloisters in the garden where they stage concerts

A river of wild garlic

The beautiful garden house

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Sam Windett Show

Sam Windett’s new show opens at The Approach this coming Thursday until May 18th.

Big canvasses and dramatic colour.

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Signs, Architecture and more LA Feb 2014

Down Town LA

An LA 'cathederal'

Painting on a building Los Angeles

Magnificent signs on the old HELMS bread factory

More of Helms

Another sign on the Helms building

A wonderful motel sign

I love these signs!

A fine illuminated garage clock

The magnificent Los Angeles railway station

information stand

To the trains!

1930s seats in the station

This is a must place for breakfast, it's great


The door to Philippe's

One of the wonderful signs inside Philippe's

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Lots of packaging from Flea markets in California

Number 2 in this mini series! We went to lots of ‘flea markets’ in California looking for anything interesting to do with labels,toys ephemera, letters,Americana etc etc. I am just going to put lots of photos of anything I think will be visually interesting. Around Los Angeles there are lots of regular Antique and flea markets. The more regular you go you will often see the same traders at each market but as it is always sunny and mostly warm for anyone in Europe it’s bliss and I am sure you will always find something of interest. The Markets I went to were  The Rose Bowl, every Sunday – Pasadena City College 1st Sunday of the month- Long Beach 3rd Sunday of the month and Santa Monica. You can Google them all. Hope you enjoy the photos. I have tried to keep it of interest to Graphic designers.

Packaging at the Rose Bowl

Rose Bowl

Letters are very popular

America produced mountains of wonderful pressed steel toys!

There are many makes Hubbly, Marx , Hafner etc, etc

This is a beautiful bus, very heavy pressed steel

The bus,i wanted it!

Genuine American Indian jacket

A lovely old cowboy saddle

A great 40s children's tractor

A great enamel sign

This trader had the most amazing ephemera and comics etc.

One of the traders van a 50s/60s Ford

A great 'Tom Mix' coffee tin

A wonderful early soap box

how's that for weighing your baby

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One month in Feb 2014 California and Baja Mexico

As I have so many photos this is going to be a serial of different places, restaurants, stores, beaches and flea markets. Oh and some great art deco architecture. We spent almost a month in the sun in LA plus other parts of California and then down to Cabo, Baja. I find The United States a visual feast, I love the signage the ads the 30s architecture and the museums. My favourite museum in LA is the Gene Autry in Griffith Park. Just in case you don’t know who Gene Autry is, well he was one of the film cowboys in the 30s and 40s along with Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers, great Saturday morning serials! The Autry Museum is full of the most beautiful American Indian Art along with film ephemera from the early films. It is well worth a visit. The first few days in LA were spent getting over jet lag and just lazing in the sunshine but we did pay a visit to our friend Stephen Young’s showroom (www.stephenyoung.net) and there happened to be a vintage fair on one of the exhibition floors. Below are a series of photos from the fair! For anyone interested here are a few websites from exhibitors at the fair.

www.facebook.com/relicvintage  www.ascaribicycles.com   www.vintagepostersdirect.com  www.vintageproductions.com  www.swellegantvintage.com  www.misslfire.com  www.americanbluestrading.com

It was a great fair to see.

One of the food trucks outside the Vintage Fair

A couple of the Hot Rods outside the Vintage show

Interesting,but not sure what it is!

The logo for the Hot Rods

A part view of the fair

An old sign for overalls

A 1940s/50s original pair of jeans


Great 50s ties

Interesting packaging


A nice Osh Kosh thermometer

A very nice 'toy' tent with a lead cowboy

An original Levi's T shirt

More old signs

There were lots of these metal signs

1940s converse packs with the trainers

one of the exhibitors in vintage clothes

wonderful vintage boots

A lovely ad for Knife sharpener

All these companies now gone,a great sign

A great vintage jacket

Another exhibitor with great clothes

These were the most incredible hand made bicycles.

Detail of the Bicycle

Another of the bikes

An ad for the wonderful Indian Motorcycle

And last but not least a great 50s needle pack!



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Back to France for the Antique Fairs

I went back to the South of France a week ago to go to the big antique fairs in Avignon and Montpellier. They were very good this time and the weather ,although very cold, was kind as it was very sunny. The 2 fairs had mounds of interesting things,a lot that i would have liked to buy but as we were on Ryan Air i could not bring it back. I did buy some very nice vintage (1930s Dinky toys) which are now on Ebay as i could bring them back in my pocket! There were lots of nice shop signs, letters and clocks plus lots of great ephemera some of which i have shown below. Hope you like the pictures and do let us know if you enjoy our blogs and do take a good look at the design work we do. WE are VERY good. Look at  www.lrwdesign.com

I really wanted this clock,and it worked.

A great 30s oil can

A beautiful zinc shopsign

More very nice zinc letters

A logo on an old French wooden propeller

And another

A child's tin pedal car from the 30s/40s

A great 'one armed bandit'

another 'one armed bandit

a 19th century game


Ian Logan

a very interesting 19th century 'theatre'

A very nice antique sign

An interesting stand at Avignon

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LRW does stained glass work as well!

(From Ian Logan) My partner Gail Moss and her sister Kim own a family hotel in Halifax, Yorkshire, famed for being in “Last Tango in Halifax”. It is, this year,50 years since they have owned it. To commemorate they decided to have a stained glass window designed and made for the bar area and asked me to do it! Having never worked in stained glass before but excited by the idea i went to a wonderful company in Brighouse Yorkshire called ‘Design Glass’ where i was allowed to experiment after some instruction by the owner Dave Morris. Having designed and drawn the ideas i was then thrown into the deep end and with the help of the guys in the company, namely Chris, James and Alex i started to paint the glass panels.It took me about 6 days to paint and fire the various panels and although i am pleased with the result i would have liked more practise but that is always the case. Design Glass and its sister company ‘Touchstone’ are both very impressive. A great deal of their work centres around the antique trade restoring old stained glass while a lot is for listed buildings where they incorporate double glazing with stained glass between. A great company.

Design Glass and Touchstones Factory

Leading a window

Me painting on the glass before firing

An example of old stained glass before restoration

in the kiln for first firing

laying out the panels

The finished windows before going into the stone mullions

Part of the Factory


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As you have probably realised i have a total fascination of engineering! The UK seems to be full of small specialist engineering companies building and rebuilding all kinds of things,mostly vintage items such as Cars,Aeroplanes,boats etc. There is a wealth of amazing and wonderful skills in some of these places. My BIG worry is that without apprentices the skills are going to die. As was announced today ,once shipbuilding goes from Portsmouth the skills will also go. I really believe if politicians want to really do something constructive they should pay these niche companies to take on at least one apprentice to learn skills such as panel beating,understanding Vintage engines and construction of vintage aircraft fuselages as well as carpentry etc etc. i was privileged to join a visit to Hawker Restorations last week. Owned by a dedicated and passionate man called Tony Ditheridge it is truly awe inspiring. Tony is not only building 3 Hawker Hurricanes, having already built 6, but is also building replicas of 1930s and 1950s road racing cars. His work shops are a  dream to anyone interested in engineering and design perfection. I know that a lot of what Tony is doing is for a very rich clientele all i can say is thank goodness there are enough rich people around to keep this company in work!

A 50s Cooper racing car being worked on

More vintage racing cars which are still raced

What a sight!

Tony describing the carpentry in a Hurricane cockpit

Hurricane rebuild showing how complicated the airframe is

The woodwork around the monocoque fuselage before it is covered in Irish Linen

Nearing completion

Waiting for it's wings

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Well it’s august and we are back in France,getting the sun and Antique markets. Just been to the enormous antique market in Barjac, a small beautiful town in the Gard. Twice a year they have a market which literally takes over the whole town. It’s full of wonderful junk and incredibly interesting items that no body needs but as most of us are collectors of ephemera we all buy something.

In the next little village (2 K away) they hold a car and  autojumble at the same time. I found this really interesting as ,of course it’s full of French autojumble.  Have a look at the photos.

Beautiful illustrated seed packs from Barjac market

A nice counter card from the 30s complete with biscuit box

always time for lunch!

This beauty was at the autojumble

as was this,for sale!

A 1925 Citroen

at the autojumble

A beautiful collection of cycle pendants

on an old petrol tank

an old French motorcycle

and if you want dinky toys!!

and last but not least

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Serpentine Gallery and Fortnum & Mason

The Serpentine Gallery have a wonderful new pavilion by Japanese architect  Sou Fujimoto. It is an intriguing  structure that you can climb on or drink tea/coffee in, and  it is waterproof! Food and drinks are provided by Fortnum & Mason. The tea caddies are new and designed by Peter Windett and Sue Camplin. See the whole F & M range of teas at; http://www.fortnumandmason.com/c-10-tea-black-tea-rare-tea-fortnum-and-mason.aspx

Architect Sou Fujimoto's wonderful structure

Fortnum's through the structure

some of the tins designed by Peter and Sue

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