Search this blog
- Table Sale! Sellers can hire a table, buyers come along and grab a bargain. Sat 4 Mar, 10.30am-4.30pm Fulham Librar… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 1 day ago
- RT @Marstons1895: @LBHFLibraries - Lions in Hammersmith & Fulham lbhflibraries.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/lio… Did you know some of our properties have lions? #T… 3 days ago
- Fill in a survey in any LBHF library before 3 Mar & you could win Ruth Galloway books by @ellygriffiths! More info:… twitter.com/i/web/status/8… 3 days ago
Tags1953 anniversary architecture archives artists arts Askew Road Askew Road Library author books Chatterbooks Children children's crafts Children's events Cityread London community crafts Creepy House Edible Askew Road Encyclopaedia Britannica Events exhibition First World War Fulham Fulham Library Hammersmith Hammersmith & Fulham Hammersmith library health history Illustrated London News LBHFLibraries literature local history local studies mental health Online Resources Putney reading Reading Agency Record Breakers Reference material refurbishment research Roald Dahl Shepherds Bush Library Summer Reading Challenge Times Digital Archive World Book Night WWI
Have you seen…?
Many of the Hammersmith & Fulham archives are still in Lilla Huset in Talgarth Road where they were housed before we moved to Hammersmith Library. I was looking through some of the old volumes and came across John Leech’s Pictures of Life & Character from the collection of ‘Mr Punch’.
John Leach (1817-1864) was a popular Victorian illustrator and caricaturist but I was not aware of any links to Hammersmith or Fulham. He was born in the City of London in 1817 and rather than follow his father and uncle into the restaurant business he was determined to become an artist. A little research, however, revealed that he had lived for some years in Brook Green.
Leech was a good friend of Charles Dickens and illustrated some of his novels. In the winter of 1843 he produced four illustrations, etched on steel and coloured by hand, as well as wood text engravings for A Christmas Carol:
Another book he illustrated for Dickens was Cricket on the Hearth published two years later:
Another author he worked with was Gilbert à Beckett whom he had met in 1832 when they were both medical students and who later became a writer at Punch. He wrote A Comic History of Britain for which Leech provided both colour prints and text illustrations:
Early in 1845, John Leech and his wife, Annie, moved from Bloomsbury to 10 Brook Green, next door to their friend, Mark Lemon, at no 12 in “the quiet suburb” of Hammersmith. He obviously enjoyed being a “villa dweller” as is described in the following letter to Hohn Foster:
Leech’s move to Hammersmith coincided with the order to call out the militia in early 1846. Leech joined and had fun with the over-domesticated, amateur soldiers in “The Brook Green Militia Man”. In the drawing of Militia Man being presented with colours (an old shirt tied to a stick) can be seen Leech’s house in the background.
John Leech is best known for are his illustrations for Punch magazine, a connection that started in 1841 and continued until his death. He was not one for the original engravers but he was asked to do some work a few weeks later. Unfortunately, he sent in his drawings on wood block so late that the magazine could not appear in time, distribution failed and there was a serious fall in the week’s circulation. Not surprisingly, it was some time before he was offered more work and he was much helped in this by his old school friend, W M Thackeray, joining the staff.
Leech contributed more than 3000 illustrations to the magazine and was soon a popular illustrator. It was felt he reflected the views and attitudes of much of the magazine’s readership. He was seen as a family man, unpretentious, patriotic, championing the underdog and standing up for the common sense view. His social observations often highlighted the plight of the poor and forgotten or concerned the daily humour of family life and leisure in Victorian England.
Much of his drawing is considered autobiographical. During his early marriage when he was living in Brook Green he produced the series ‘Domestic Bliss’:
In 1948, he moved to the more affluent Notting Hill Terrace, Kensington and this was reflected in his drawings:
Later Leech discovered the country and a new series was developed about Mr Briggs and the pleasures of horse-keeping. He became a well known sporting illustrator and in the 1850s he contributed numerous etchings of sporting scenes, together with woodcuts, to the novels of by Robert Smith Surtees, including to the Handley Cross novels featuring the character of Mr Jorrocks. Hopefully this later material will be in a future blog.
[Fiona Fowler, volunteer Local History Room and Archives]
[Except for the first book which you need to request, the books are available on the shelves in the Local History Room].
Leech, John Pictures of Life & Character from the collection of ‘Mr Punch’ 1887, H927.4 LEE
à Beckett, G A A Comic History of Britain, 1st ed 1850, H&F Library ed 1897, H928.7 ABE
Brown, John John Leech & other papers, 1882, H920 LEE
Houfe, Simon John Leech & the Victorian Scene 1984, H920 LEE
Speilmann, M H History of Punch, 1895, H920.08 PUN
We had lots of fun creating these cute baby owl pictures at the Shepherds Bush Library Tuesday Craft Club. The children used cotton wool balls for the fluffy little baby owls and added lots of details to make a night time owl picture.
Shepherds Bush Library craft Club runs every Tuesday (term-time) 3.45 to 4.45pm and is aimed at children aged 3-11. There is a small voluntary fee of 50p towards craft materials. come and join in!
Have you always wanted to write but are not sure where to start?
Have stories that you want to tell on paper but don’t know how?
Joy Rhoades’ recent creative writing workshop at Hammersmith Library helped 25 budding writers with these questions and more.
A graduate of the Creative Writing Master’s program at the New School University in New York, Joy has published a number of short stories in the United States. Her debut novel, The Woolgrower’s Companion, is forthcoming from Penguin in early 2017 in Australia and the UK.
Joy began the session by introducing the basics of fiction-writing, including:
- What to write about?
- Why ‘write what you know’?
- Why writers are readers
- The writing process: writing, reading, editing, sharing
- When you have something polished, what then?
Attendees also had some fun putting words on paper, and were given a chance to read out and discuss their work in a supportive and inclusive atmosphere.
Don’t worry if you missed out; Joy will be repeating this FREE workshop on Thursday 28 February, 6pm at Shepherds Bush Library. Please contact the library on 020 8753 3842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
Edward Johnston was born on 11 February 1872 and is often regarded, with Rudolf Koch, as the father of modern calligraphy.
Johnston has been credited with reviving the art of modern penmanship and lettering through his books and teachings. His book Writing & Illuminating & Lettering, 1906, sparked a renewed interest in the art of calligraphy. Inspired by William Morris’s admiration of medieval manuscripts, he studied historic calligraphic scripts and devised the simply crafted round calligraphic handwriting style, written with a broad pen, known today as the foundational hand.
He is probably most famous for designing the London Underground typeface. In 1913, Frank Pick commissioned him to design a typeface for the Underground, and the simple and clear sans-serif Johnston typeface was the result. It was used throughout the London Underground system until it was re-designed in the 1980s.
Not all his students were happy with his decision to create a sans-serif design for the Underground, in a style thought of as modernist and industrial. His pupil Graily Hewitt privately wrote to a friend:
In Johnston I have lost confidence. Despite all he did for us…he has undone too much by forsaking his standard of the Roman alphabet, giving the world, without safeguard or explanation, his block letters which disfigure our modern life. His prestige has obscured their vulgarity and commercialism.
As well as the typeface, Edward Johnston also designed the famous roundel symbol used throughout the system:
Both practitioner and teacher, Johnston mentored many famous calligraphers and type designers including Eric Gill and Anna Simons. His link with Hammersmith and why he is included in the Hammersmith & Fulham Archives is that he lived at 3 Hammersmith Terrace from 1905 to 1912. Near neighbours were Emery Walker and Douglas Pepler.
Note that the font used on this plaque is not “English Heritage’s own unique font” to quote English Heritage but London Underground’s New Johnston sans serif, the 1979 version of the font designed by Johnston and introduced in 1916. Three other Underground-related blue plaques use this font: Frank Pick, Lord Ashfield and Harry Beck.
Volunteer, Archives & Local History Room