Lindy's W2 (RIP) operational
base of the Style Council. xxxxxxxxxxxxxPic: Peter Anderson
Design History Research CentrexNEW
Magnificent historical project managed by the Faculty of Arts
and Architecture at the University of Brighton featuring extensive
visual material from their expanding Design History Research
Centre (DHRC) Archives and associated collections. Be sure to
check out the superb 'Oral Testimony
and the Interpretation of the Crafts' section by Matthew Partington
(Research Fellow, Applied Arts UWE/V&A, Director NEVAC).
I Like: Old Cafes xNEW
Taking up the rallying call of Classic Cafes, this wonderfully
designed Scottish site has a wealth of material: "All the
photos here are of old things. Old cafes, old bakeries, old offices,
old grocers, old art. Mostly from the 1950s and 1960s. A lot
have been taken in Glasgow, the rest all over Scotland. I just
like the old lettering, and old shapes and old terminology."
The nation needs dozens more sites like this and it needs them
Derelict London NEW
Paul Talling's superb pot-pourri of architectural abjection:
"Derelict London is an unusual photographic portrait (over
550 pics) of the nations capital... an often un-picturesque view
of everyday life in London. All pictures were taken by myself
(mainly within the last year) during many miles of walkabouts...
After years of travelling via car or public transport I realised
just how little I had seen of London."
Thou goest to Blog? Then take thy
K-punk/abstract dynamics xNEW
In Blog we trust...
British Transport Films xNEW
Following the nationalisation of transport in 1948, the British
Transport Commission set up its own in-house film production
and distribution system to cater for all the requirements of
the various undertakings, such as British Railways, London Transport,
Docks and Inland Waterways, British Transport Hotels, and certain
bus and road haulage companies. The purpose was the making of
travelogue films that promoted destinations in town, country
and seaside resorts throughout the British Isles, and promoted
rail or associated transport as the best means for people to
travel to the destinations represented on screen... The countryside
and coastline of Norfolk and Suffolk, with their historic houses,
churches, castles, seaside towns, the city of Norwich, and the
quiet, picturesque waterways of the Broads... Gentle hills, shut-in
valleys, picturesque villages and historic towns make up the
Cotswold countryside - 'the heart of England' - where William
Shakespeare spent his childhood... South Downs and the Weald,
open spaces and green woodlands - this is Sussex, a county rich
in scenic beauty. We visit the Petworth Show, Goodwood Races,
polo at Cowdray Park, Glyndebourne, and the seaside resorts...
Ruin-nation: Who took the motor outta Motor City?
An important organization for all lovers of caffs and associated
enclaves. Worth joining if only for the regular newsletters and
info on walks and tours - not to mention the excellent range
of in-house publications like the stunning Festival of Britain
book. "In November 1979 a group of architects founded The
Thirties Society, concerned that buildings of the era between
the two World Wars were not generally appreciated, and were often
threatened. The Society's prime objectives are education... conservation...
(and) extending our knowledge about those buildings or artifacts,
whether important or humble, rare or commonplace... that characterise
the Twentieth Century in Britain." Vital stuff.
Here To Modernity
"Last century, many architects believed that advances in
technology could be harnessed to produce a better quality of
life for all. For better or worse, these Modernists have changed
the British landscape forever. This is how they did it... "
(Other general architecture links...)
A useful resource pertaining to all matters psychogeographic.
"The word 'Psychogeography' comes from DeQuincey's wanderings,
slightly druggy, no pattern, mapping out the city in a dream-like
state. Then with Walter Benjamin and the Situationists the term
becomes more extreme, a matter of taking very conceptual decisions
about the walking you would do and how you would access the city
like that." (Iain Sinclair)
Flâneur is a magazine dedicated
to the celebration of urban life, the sanctification of the stroll...
In the tradition of literary flâneurs-Walt Whitman, Fran
Lebowitz, Alfred Kazin, Joseph Mitchell, Flâneur seeks
to scrutinize the city, to evoke the essence of the street. And
to encourage flaneurial behavior, whether detached observation
or decadent gadding about. From Le Flâneur newspaper
(Paris May 3 1848): "To go out strolling, these days,
while puffing one's tobacco, while dreaming of evening pleasures,
seems a century behind the times. We are not the sort to refuse
all knowledge of the customs of another age; but, in our strolling,
let us not forget our rights and our obligations as citizens.
The times are necessitous; they demand all our attention, all
"The Los Angeles Conservancy is dedicated to the recognition,
preservation, and revitalization of the architectural and cultural
heritage of greater Los Angeles. With a two-fold mission of advocacy
and education, the Conservancy works to preserve existing architectural
resources by developing preservation strategies and by raising
public awareness of the value of those resources through tours,
lectures, publications and major programs... " As fine an
alt.architecture website as you could wish for.
Time Machines NEW
"Los Angeles restaurants and
bars from the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s (movie palaces, motel
signs, and associated remnants... Musso and Frank's, the Formosa
Cafe, Miceli's and Canter's...) This website concentrates on
those bastions of a bygone era. These are the places I call
'time machines' ... a restaurant, hotel, bar or other building
interior where you can sit and feel like you've returned to the
past. Sitting in these places, one has the illusion of a time
gone by when life had a slower pace, people cared about quality
and integrity, and life's pleasures were more simple and innocent...
Surprisingly, however, there are still a wealth of places left
(and many I have yet to discover). The more interest we can collectively
generate in these places (and patronize), the more likely the
rate of destruction will at least slow..."
The oldest national organization devoted to the buildings, artifacts,
structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial
landscape/commercial built environment. Offers publications,
conferences, and tours to help preserve, document, and celebrate
the structures and architecture of the 20th century: diners,
highways, gas stations, drive-in theaters, bus stations, tourist
courts, neon signs, and more... Publications include: 'All Night
Diner Tour Massachusetts and Rhode Island', 'Delaware Valley
Diner Tour Guide' and 'Made in Ohio: Enameled Eateries, Durable
Domiciles, and Fast Food'...
'In the mid-1960s I began wandering the deserted Sunday streets
of London, photographing the offbeat, slightly surreal aspects
of a still-postwar city: bomb-sites, junkyards, doomed theatres,
greasy-spoon cafes and failed empty shops covered in torn posters...[here
is] an initial selection of over 140 colour photographs taken
in London and around the world in the last 30-odd years. Much
of what I photographed then has disappeared for ever, demolished
Christine Welch: Commonplace
'...I drove from Eastern Pennsylvania to Minneapolis and back,
stopping in small towns and poking around in empty clubs, funeral
homes, any kind of public space and making photographs, the one
final subject of which is interiors used for some public or common
purpose... I am searching for ways to use the light, color and
form to crystalize their beauty, poignancy, irony, wealth and
humanity.' This micro-site is part of the magnificent docu-arts
web resource Journale
project in New York - quite simply one of the greatest things
to be found on the Net.
'I have been shooting in this documentary style for years, including
a long-term project documenting life in San Francisco (and New
York). I started the site in december of 1995 and every week
I shot somewhere in San Francisco and then posted selected images.
I focused on places that I love. I work almost exclusively in
black and white. Bringing this project to the Web was an attempt
to share with others, on a greater scale, the city I see and
love.' A really welcome photo-project that covers a lot of ground
in fine style.
Pissed up on booze and looking for 'local' action... Not a 'good-pub'
guide, not a 'good beer' guide, just... a Pub Guide! 'Every pub
we know in London, located, rated and illustrated.' Don't be
tempted to take the weight off your trainers and retire to a
nearby All Bar One - plough through fancyapint first and do the
right thing! For instance: "For down-to-earth watering
holes, The Lord Clyde (Borough) and the Red Lion (in Crown Passage):
The Clyde is an astonishingly overlooked pub (Perhaps the pub
guides want to keep it to themselves?) Spotless, beautiful place
- more due to love and care from the family who run it, than
from a cleansing brewery makeover. The Red Lion is wall-to-wall
with suits most nights but when the cigar smoke clears you're
left with a friendly old place. Civil bar staff and a fascinating
clientele. The doorman for the block of flats Una Stubbs lives
in drinks here most nights, and the Queen's Mother chef is known
to sup here... Parental Warning: we always recommend The Phene
Arms in Chelsea but mock-rocker Keithly Richardington and soccer-sot
Georgio Bestio are bound to be collapsed in their customary corners.
Troubadour Coffee House xNEW
Web presence of the fantastic Troubadour (265 Old Brompton Road,
London SW5 9JA): 'The Troubadour was founded by Michael and Sheila
van Bloemen in 1954 in Earl's Court, the wild western frontier
of bohemian Chelsea. Through the 50s and 60s it was a key centre
of London intellectual and artistic life. It's where Private
Eye was first produced and distributed; where the early Ban the
Bomb meetings were held; where Bob Dylan first performed in London.
Paul Simon, Charlie Watts, Sammy Davis jnr and Jimi Hendrix all
played here. Richard Harris fell in love with his wife Elizabeth
here (she was doing the washing up). Ken Russell recruited staff
for his first shorts here and became friends with Oliver Reed.
Led Zeppelin used to come and jam here after their Earl's Court
gigs." Bring own beard, sandals and bongos!
of Britain Society
'In 1951 an austere Britain tried its hardest to shake off the
post-Second World War blues by mounting a nation wide festival
to show who the British people were, what the Land of Britain
was and British achievements, past and present, with a preview
of their continuing future. The centrepiece of the Festival of
Britain was the South Bank Exhibition in London, in sight of
the Houses of Parliament, a collection of modern buildings housing
displays relating to all aspects of British life. In over 2,000
towns and villages through Britain, special events were put on
to celebrate the Festival. (See this Festival
Excellent personal portfolio site that includes a collection
of odd signs, packaging and printed instructions found with various
products. Emerald - the editor - has a particular obsession with
milk logos. Don't miss the toilet-paper and tampon instruction
leaflets: "At college I got a bit obsessed about launderettes
...the signage, the old advertising, the mechanics of the machines
...even the smell and warmth of the places ... why the milk thing?
I'm not sure - it kind of crept up on me. I just love the imagery,
the packaging, the whole idea that milk is this cool, fresh,
'every thing you could possibly want' from a drink thing. And
then, pow, I ended up with this collection of stuff that just
50s UK site
Another UK site covering useful
Award winning site upholding the proper London pub experience.
"In many ways London's suburbs are where some of the most
interesting socio-architectural experiments have taken place
- drool at descriptions of leafy-green Georgian Barnsbury and
lap up idyllic pictures of Betjeman's Metroland."
Campaign site of the famous bikers cafe
in North London - they've now rebuilt and re-opened the original
Useful starting point for exploring
the: 'De Quincey of contemporary English letters' Mr Psychogeography
himself. He's: 'the demented Magus of the sentence' you know!
Tiki Bars of the USA
A great site detailing many lost Polynesian bars of America.
The original Tiki fanzine of living populuxe legend Otto Von
Colin Wilson Page.
Britain's greatest crypto-existentialist
and conceptual exoticist. Author of cult cafe novel 'Adrift In
The British Invasion
Part of the online Encyclopedia Britannica website. It's an excellent
resource for the British music and fashions of the Sixties. It
includes a study guide just for students, and a quicktime video
of a 1966 Carnaby Street fashion show. Fab!
British Pop Culture
'Digger's amazing site of British bands, stars, films, and television
shows of the Sixties. Includes links to pages about almost every
Sixties band ever!'
If Classic Cafes has brought out the Hornby in you, this
soccer site may well add to the malaise: 'Launched by the makers
of When Saturday Comes OTF has become a magnet for all
those souls interested in the sort of intelligent, amusing, informative,
emotional, facile, educated, hilarious, trivial and surreal football
and non-football chat that simply doesnt exist anywhere else
on the net.' True.
UK roadside nosheries for truck drivin' guys with fries on their
New Zealand Cafe Invasion
The impact of design and technology on Wellington New Zealand
café culture, from the 1930s milk bar to the 1960s coffee
New Zealand Coffee Houses
'A continental touch': international and national influences
on the development of coffee houses in Wellington New Zealand
from the 1940s to the present day.
History of the Tea Shop
Tea shops dominated the daytime, supplied mainly by two large
companies, the Aerated Bread Co and J Lyon's & Co, which
opened the first tea shop in 1894 in Piccadilly.
Milk Bar Revolution
By 1995 around 20 per cent of all drinks bought in Britain were
soft drinks. According to John Burnett, this trend represents
a 'cold drinks revolution', a transformation in our Liquid Pleasures
comparable in scale to the 'hot beverages revolution' of the
The postwar migrants left the poverty and strife of the Old World
to make new lives, and in the process revitalized Australia...
and the UK.
50s Coffee Bar Culture
'Ex-skifflers' birthed a coffee bar culture. Coffee bars had
sprouted up all over Britain in the 1950s, becoming social centres
for many of the country's younger teenagers. The focal point
of the coffee bar could be a juke box and/or a 'do-it-yourself'
music culture. 'Strumming away to a few chords on guitar to a
rock, skiffle, folk or calypso tune was commonplace.'
'Chock-full of odd and hilarious travel destinations, ready for
you to explore. This Welcome Center is designed to help you understand
Roadside America and more easily navigate 2,000+ pages of interstate
adventure: 'Roadside geneticists Doug, Ken and Mike attempt to
unravel the massively complex code that comprises the tourism
Road Trippin USA
'Celebrates the icons of the
roadside... Diners, Motels, Drive-in Movie Theaters, Gas Stations
and Cafes... will take you back on a blue suede cruise of Gutbombs,
Paradise by the Dashboard Light, Ponytails and Ducktails, Carhops,
Street Rods, Muscle Cars and Fins...'
Every year at least a dozen vintage diners in New Jersey and
other diner-rich states such as Massachusetts are being junked,
moved, or given hideous makeovers: 'The quintessential diner
is a small, family-owned and operated establishment which serves
no more than about 50 people at one time. Counter seating is
an essential element and this configuration makes the diner more
than just a place to eat...
A permanent home for the American Diner Museum is being established
in Providence, Rhode Island to preserve the colorful history
of this unique American institution. The Museum's reference library
will provide access to manufacturers' literature and records,
a registry of diners and a collection of photographs and artifacts.
Other planned activities include a diner restoration worksho,
diner tours and a working vintage diner at Heritage Harbor. (Diner-Rama
is an annual event sponsored by the Museum, attracts diner enthusiasts,
historians and diner owners to three days of talks, tours and
Dave's Diner Homepage
'Everything humanity knows about diners or is willing to admit...
There are a number of characteristics which many diners share.
Most are open 24 hours a day, or at least extremely late, and
serve breakfast for the whole time. Most serve coffee as a staple.
Diners can be roughly divided into two types: The Suburban, and
the Highway. The former is usually a restaurant which is open
late (if not 24 hours), which caters to the old folks, or the
high school kids, and, late at night, to the worst elements (such
as my friends)... If in doubt, look for speckled formica, linoleum,
stainless steel and moldy wood. Chances are, if you find all
of them in the same eating establishment, you've found yourself
a genuine diner.'
Rosie's Diner - a deluxe, streamlined
diner built by the Paramount company in 1946 - was owned and
operated by the Corrado family (Tex, Ralph and Arnie) in Little
Ferry, NJ until 1990 when it was moved and restored to its original
Host Phil Paleologos serves
up a blue-plate daily special of stimulating conversation with
callers and diner patrons broadcasting live from an authentic1950's
classic stainless steel diner. 'This award winning radio program
gives a voice and a forum to middle America.'
Celebrates an American phenomenon which reflects an important
part of US history and culture. Motels offered an inexpensive
way to travel the country and expand horizons: 'So many folks
are rushing to discover the Next Big Thing and ignoring so much
of what's in front of us. Motel Americana is our attempt to slow
down and look carefully at the world just beyond the interstate
where so many people live their lives.'
London photojournals and much else... keep clicking on the images
to see more. Other archives also at 1),
Vespa-reclamation centre in Waterloo with
an espresso bar. There's a 1950's machine and some interesting
original music posters from the 1930-40's on the walls.
Lyons & Company
Superb historical resource packed with treasures: "J. Lyons
& Co. became one of the largest catering and food manufacturing
companies in the world. Lyons became a household name and the
'Joe Lyons' Corner Houses and teashops, with their 'Nippy' waitresses,
caught the public imagination and passed into history. Always
innovative and with an acute awareness of popular taste, Lyons
brought a unique blend of showmanship, style and spectacle to
its aim of combining high quality with value for money. The first
Lyons teashop opened in 1894 at 213 Piccadilly. It was the forerunner
of some 250 white and gold fronted teashops which occupied prominent
positions in many of London's high streets and suburban towns
and cities; corner sites with two entrances were preferred...
The Lyons company survived for over 100-years. During this whole
period it did not feel it wanted to change its name and from
1887 until 1998 it proudly traded as J. Lyons & Company."
Paul Secular's lateral London listing site with a focus on happenings/places
with a Mod slant: "Modernism, my friends, is more than a
religion - it's tied in to the very fabric of human existence
- it represents man reaching for existence in the ONLY way really
- it represents total FREEDOM... Being a modernist is about wanting
to experience the best life has to offer, and not being bound
in by artificial boundaries, shackles, confines. Modernists are
artists - their lives the 'canvas'..."
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