We think now of plumbers as those chaps who turn up the day after you were expecting them and who are very adept at sharp but meaningful intakes of breath. Perhaps it was ever thus, but at least our friendly local pipeman doesn't generally scratch his name on your boiler. Robert Morris didn't waste any time in advertising his services to the handful of people who live in Stockerston on the Leicestershire Rutland border. Or perhaps he wanted to deeply impress the folk at the big hall next door to the church he was working in, not only as to his glazing prowess, but perhaps with the thought that he had a diamond ring with which to leave his mark. There are quite a few other bold statements made on other panes, and I expect that if we look closely at our local church we may find it was a common practice. I like the way he tells us he was a plumber (more plombe as in leadwork, rather than conjuring tricks with copper pipes) and glazer [sic], but adds '&C' to leave the job opportunities open. And also how the whole thing fits in very nicely with the leaded glass still up above the windows of an ironmonger in Mr.Morris's Uppingham, proclaiming them to once have been the Pinteresque 'Gasfitters' and 'Bellhangers'.
Philip Roth: End of a chapter
1 day ago