Found, among some papers at Jot HQ is this very long and thin flier for The Beauchamp Bookshop of 15a Harrington Road, which was once located by South Kensington station in SW London. Its most striking quality is the boldness of the two colours ( red and black) used for the various period typefaces on display. To someone who grew up in the Swinging Sixties, when designers took inspiration from Victorian (and even older) typefaces and decorative flourishes, it could date from that time. However, the telephone number featured (KEN 6904) might quite equally suggest a slightly earlier date, though the fact that the all-number system began in London in 1966 doesn’t help us much. Some specialist magazines devoted to design, such as Signatureand the Penrose Magazine, were experimenting with typefaces in the forties and fifties. Indeed, the fact that the Beauchamp Bookshop wished to buy books on bibliography and printing suggests that the owner, Mr Philip Pearce, had an active interest in book design. It is telling too that his special need to acquire ‘ late 18thand early 19thcentury books ‘ betrayed a fondness for well printed and well designed books from this pioneering era of fine printing.
As to the bookshop owner, we at Jot 101 must confess an ignorance of Mr Philip Pearce and his shop. South Kensington has always been a haven for book collectors of large and small purses, but the Beauchamp Bookshop has long gone. Nor does the Net record anything about it or its owner, who seems not to have made a mark on the world outside of selling books. We at Jot HQ have asked a leading rare bookseller in the district, but he cannot remember Mr Pearce. Perhaps some collectors in the Jottosphere might recall bookshop and/or owner. If they do, we’d like to hear from them. [RR]
Found – a one page leaflet from the Fabian Society urging people to vote no matter what political party or candidate they supported :
‘…be sure you use your vote somehow. The right to vote was won for you, not by the great statesman whose names are connected with reform bills… but by the persistent agitation of generations of poor political workers who gave up all their spare time and faced loss of employment, imprisonment and sometimes worse, in order to get you a share of the government of the country. Now is your chance to use what cost so much to win. A political battle is about to begin. Choose your side according to your conscience; strike the one blow that the law allows you. There is no excuse for not voting. Even when there is no candidate worth voting for, there is always a candidate worth voting against. Even if you think that both candidates are fools, make the best of it by voting for the opponent of the bigger fool of the two. Whatever you do, don’t stay at home and waste your vote.
…If you want to be protected from unjust legislation use your vote. You owe it to your fellow citizens and to yourself not to lose your opportunity. It is the selfish, indifferent, the shortsighted, the lazy manwho cannot see why he should trouble himself to vote. No sensible man throws away a weapon which has won so much for those who’ve learned how to use it. For all you know, the election maybe decided by your vote alone. How will you feel if you neglect to vote, and find, the day after the poll, the candidate who best represents your interest is beaten by one vote?’
Although the message is ‘just get out there and vote’ it is likely that Fabian backed radical candidates would profit from a higher turnout as the middle classes, traditionally conservative, were more likely to vote anyway. In an era of gentleman MP’s, some very silly indeed, the advice to vote for the least foolish candidate would have been useful too. Note the way it assumes the voter is a man. Nothing sexist here – the leaflet dates from 1893 and it was not until 1918 that women (over 30) got the vote. Full voting rights came in 1928.
From a collection of political ephemera. A note attached to an ordinary paper bag which was intended as a sick bag. A protest at a performance at the Royal Festival Hall in 1968 The arts and censorship : a Gala Evening concerning depravity and corruption. Put on by 'The National Council for Civil Liberties and Defence of Literature and the Arts Society', this was a performance involving, among others, Alexander Trocchi and Samuel Beckett. It was compered by George Melly and with contributions, performance, material or both by John Mortimer, Roger McGough, The Scaffold, Larry Adler, Fritz Spiegl, Edward Bond, Willie Rushton, Marty Feldman, Barry Took, Billie Whitelaw, Christopher Logue, Adrian Mitchell, Sheila Hancock, Tom Lehrer, Ann Firbank, Paul Jones, William Burroughs, Bertolt Brecht & Dame Peggy Ashcroft.
Copies of the programme are to be found in distinguished American libraries with the vomit bag and statement laid in. The cover for the night's programme was by Alan Aldridge and his poster for the event is shown below.
The National Front is a far right UK political party. In the 2010 general election they garnered 0.6% of the vote.
VOMIT IS VALID!
This paper bag is presented to you with the compliments of