The Historic Houses Association has been rebranded as Historic Houses. Our Historic Houses Handbook arrived this week in its new format, perhaps reminiscent in style of the handbook for Historic Scotland.
The handbook is arranged around regions: London and the South East; South West and Channel Islands; East, West Midlands; East Midlands; Yorkshire; North West; North East; Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland. Entries are in numerical order and provide postcode (useful for the SatNav, though there is a mention of ‘good-old-fashioned map reading’ in the section on ‘Using this book’), location and opening information. There is a subtle colour theme for each section but perhaps a footer or header would help with the navigation.
There is a marked improvement in the guide and I look forward to using it to explore ‘new’ properties during the coming year.
The 1937 Office of Works Official Guide for The Palace of Holyroodhouse, Abbey and Environs contained a number of advertisements which paint a picture of Edinburgh at the time.
Apart from the Motor Coach Tours and Edinburgh Rock confectionery already referred to in a previous post, a double page spread contains advertisements for Government Publications produced by His Majesty’s Stationery Office, Scotch oatmeal, and antiques.
The most interesting advertisement is for James Gray & Son, Ironmonger, which features Battleship Teakwood garden seats for sale. These would have been sourced from specialist manufacturers which produced lines which effectively ‘upcycled’ materials from the military. Grace’s Guide to British Industrial History provides the example of Hughes, Bolckow and Co. Battleship Breakers as a potential source for this heritage garden furniture.
HMSO, which for many years was the main provider of Government agency heritage site guides, used an advertising slot on this page, and also the inside back page (full page) to advertise its range of publications. The language of the advert is itself interesting, flagging the ‘authoritative’ credentials of the publisher.