Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Scratching A Living


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'.

11 comments:

Philip Wilkinson said...

Excellent. I like an old graffito. I bet not all plumbers could write so neatly - or write at all - in 1839. Government grants to schools only came in in 1833, and full primary education had to wait until the Education Act of 1870.

Jon Dudley said...

And a very stylish ampersand it is too.

Affer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Affer said...

(spelling!!)
A local pub (The Mason's Arms at Eastby) has a window on which one, Trooper Mason, scratched both his name and his true love's name in 1887 prior to his departure for some war or another. This shows that vandalism was alive over 100 years ago, and predates Kilroy by some decades.

Diplomat said...

Bus stop scribblings, Glencoe 1974: "I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous........."

Diplomat said...

It's good to see Lord Ashley's got himself back in the picture

Peter Ashley said...

This is an occupational hazard Diplo, accidentally appearing in one's own photographs. Particularly in print, someone has just reported me lurking behind a Southdown bus logo. Still, could be worse.

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

Lovely.

In my favourite building, Carlisle cathedral, there's some graffiti written in runic by a chap called Leofric.

uphilldowndale said...

It was obviously very fashionable.
http://uphilldowndale.wordpress.com/2008/04/13/hatch-match-and-dispatch/

ChrisP said...

The librarian of St Pauls once told me they had a book with the following grafitto in the margin:
My name is Willy Mays, Willy Mays is my name 1452.
They sent the book to be rebound and the binder guillotined the edge and neatly cut off the date. The librarian was still incandescent several decades later.

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