Author: Kit Ward

Gethsemane and Eden

Derek said: ‘There’s a beautiful fisherman’s cottage here, and if it was ever for sale, I think I’d buy it.’ As we neared the cottage, black varnished with bright yellow window frames , we saw the green-and-white ‘For Sale’ sign – the improbability of it made the purchase of it inescapable. (Derek Jarman’s Garden – Derek Jarman & Howard Sooley, from the foreword by Keith Collins)

Dodgson and his sisters

In August 1868, the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, took a lease on a house called ‘The Chestnuts’ in Guildford, close by the town’s castle. His seven sisters were about to be made homeless.

Tokens of love and loss

Hard is my Lot in Deep Distress To have no help where Most should find Sure Nature meant her sacred Laws Should men as strong as Women bind. (Verse by the mother of a child left at the Foundling Hospital in 1759)

The evil in Milner Square

Not to be missed, in the sense that you ought to try Fernet-Branca at least once. A violent, deliberate reaction to the placid Georgian squares around, with the windows laced together in vertical bands. What plain brickwork is left is then carved up by sinister thin pilasters. It is as near to expressing evil as a design can be. (Nairn’s London – Ian Nairn)

Something changed on Leather Lane

The clothes designer has a fierce attachment to her mannequins. ‘They are pure form, you see. No thoughts, no emotions, no self-consciousness. No minds, no souls. Nothing to detract from the garments, nothing to spoil the look, the silhouette.

Of earthquakes and Zeppelins

Ordinary, unremarkable life is the norm for most places and most people. But sometimes stuff happens, even in remote villages like Little Wigborough, a habitation on the salt marshes of the Blackwater estuary in Essex.

Stonehenge 1

The Druidic origins of Association football

I was browsing through January’s issue of the Journal of Sporting Archaeology when a notice caught my eye: ‘Professor Allison’s lecture on “The Druidic Origins of Association Football” scheduled for the 20th March has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.’ When I contacted the journal’s editor he was unable to explain what those ‘circumstances’ were but he did put me in touch with Professor Allison.