Tuesday, August 12, 2014

To Liverpool With Mr Punch In A Morris and a Bentley



Spent a delightful day in Liverpool yesterday with an old friend. Thirty years ago when we both lived in Sheffield we would tour the second-hand bookshops together and then retire to a decent pub, to browse through our purchases and set the world to rights. He is now based mainly in Liverpool and therefore it was the bookshops of that city that we went in search of yesterday. There are still a few half-decent bookshops and a good number of fully decent pubs, so it was a grand day. I bought a bound copy of Punch Magazine dating from 1889 for the ridiculous sum of £2 (a little over $3) The above cartoon comes from it - the humour is still as fresh as a Morecambe Bay shrimp.


I couldn't visit Liverpool without a visit to the excellent News From Nowhere bookshop and I couldn't visit my namesake without a commemorative photograph. We both take our names from the classic book by William Morris which was published just a year after my bound copy of Punch.

And finally, in this Tuesday Morning Miscellany, my article on the life of the Halifax novelist Phyllis Bentley has now been published on the Halifax People website. If you would like to read it you can find it by following this LINK.  I will finish with a short extract from an article she wrote in the 1960s about her love for her native Halifax. She captures my home town well.

“I was a Yorkshire girl and proud of it. I loved the hills rolling away into the distance, springing out of each other in complex folds which, as it were, smiled sardonically at my efforts to find a word to describe them. I loved the purple heather and the dark rock, the russet bracken, the tumbling streams, the tough pale grass, the rough mortarless walls. Above all I loved the strong west winds, driving the great grey clouds relentlessly across the sky".

9 comments:

  1. I love that first comic...hilarious! But the photo of you in front of 'your' shop just made my day...how cool is that?! What a fun day with your friend.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Three delights in one post! At first I though’ “How the heck has Alan managed that? It must be some new app he’s playing with, to get your own slogans overlaying the original one. I now know it’s not, but I’m still impressed.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love all the window propaganda. "Real people read books." I've read a bumper sticker I like: "Real friends encourage their friends to read books."

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your blog is wonderful. I really enjoy reading it. Have a lovely rest of the week!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wonderful article, by the way!!! Wow!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like a great day out :)
    Very nice find to have Phyllis Bentley on a cigarette card.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just back from the article - very interesting. I don't remember ever seeing 'Inheritance' on tv, but it made me think of Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A splendid profile, Alan. Your last paragraph made me wish you could have shared a pint with her.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Excellent post. It's days like that we all treasure.

    ReplyDelete