It seems to be New Year, new everything in our house, including the latest addition to our walls:
It’s an old London transport map that Mr E rescued from the bin several years ago when he worked in the Foreign Office. He packed it carefully in a cardboard tube, brought it home on his bike, showed it to me, then put it under our bed for safe keeping. It has travelled with us through various house moves since.
Now we have a bit more space we decided it was time to give the old map a proper new home where people can see it. So we took it along to Altered Images, our local framers, to see what they could do.
Drawn in the Cartographic Department of Cook, Hammond & Kell Ltd and printed by Leonard Ripley Ltd in 1975, this old map had quite a life. It hung on an office wall in the days when civil servants smoked pipes and drank pints of beer at their desks and the coffee stains and frayed edges tell their own tales of office life. But, despite the damage, it is still a beautiful thing; the parks are a confident shade of green and the roads a pillar box red, giving it a much more graphic look than modern maps of London. And the 176 on the Strand marks a winding route home from the bustle of London to our old flat in the suburbs.
Visitor’s London is a real mix of memories and history for us. Now cared for and framed to keep it looking good for a few more years, it looks right at home on our living room wall.