The Journey’s End

Today I scanned the last dozen tipped in colour plate illustrations by Frank Reynolds from Hodder & Stoughton’s 1913 limited edition of Charles Dickens’s ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ Details about the artist feature in my post ‘Not Done With Pickwick’

As I did yesterday I have included the lines of text that each of the following paintings depicts with the gallery image that can be accessed by clicking on each one individually. With the titles below I have indicated the three exceptions that carry no such references.



‘SALLY BRASS’ (No lines of text)


‘FLIGHT’ (No lines of text)



‘THE MARCHIONESS’ (No lines of text)




‘NEAR THE JOURNEY’S END’ (No lines of text)

This evening we dined on lamb roasted slowly enough to provide crisp skin while retaining tender meat; equally crisp Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, and parsnips; carrots, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Home For Dinner?

In my post ‘Not Done With Pickwick’ I featured Frank Reynolds’s colour plates from Hodder & Stoughton’s publication. For a similar reason I scanned a batch of this artist’s work on ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’.

My copy is the limited edition of 1913, signed by the artist: No. 112 of 350. This is not what booksellers would call a fine example.

Although it is vellum bound, it lacks its silk ties and is rather grubby and a bit warped on the outside. These end-papers would probably have been repeated at the back of the book, but seem to have been replaced by blank sheets at a later date. The illustrations are pristine and remain protected by the original tissue.










Frank Reynolds’s exquisite paintings speak for themselves. Clicking on each of these individual illustrations will reveal the lines of text to which they apply.

I paused here so that we could go for a forest drive, and will take up the task again tomorrow.

We began with a visit to Shallowmead Garden Centre where Jackie had seen an owl on her last visit that she could not resist. She just had to go back and buy it. For some reason she came out of the shop with three.

Cattle on the road slightly impeded our departure from Norleywood.

Several calves crossed a stream to join the adults and they all set off down the road, making me hope any driver coming round the bend would have their wits about them.

Donkeys on the road approaching East End tempted me out of the car.

This enabled me to investigate the woodland with its reflective pools;

its mossy banks, fallen trees, and fungus on a mossy stump.

Bare branches were silhouetted against the changing skies;

catkins swung from others.

While I was occupied with this, Jackie noticed that the donkeys may have been returning home for dinner.

The skies, constantly changing, beamed over Beaulieu.

This evening we dined on more of Jackie’s flavoursome sausages in red wine; creamy mashed potatoes; crunchy carrots, and firm Brussels sprouts, with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Malbec.

Mounting The Verge

With a penultimate scanning session today ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ is almost closing for Charles Keeping’s exquisite illustrations

‘They descended the narrow steps which led into the crypt’. Was the old man here based on Alastair Sim, even though he never made a film about this novel? Here is the trailer for his Scrooge:

‘Mr Swiveller took another pull at the tankard, and waited for her lead’

‘Kit suffered them to lead him off’

‘During this melancholy pause, the turnkey read his news-paper

‘The gentleman who was against him had to speak first’

‘The pony reared up on his hind legs’

Although the strong winds began somewhat to subside during the day, we were treated to frequent changes of light as sunny periods alternated with violent precipitation; dark clouds with blue skies.

After a shopping trip to Ferndene Farm Shop this afternoon we drove around the lanes for a while.

Sometimes we experienced the changes described above all together.

I only had to swivel on the spot in Thatchers Lane for a very few minutes to acquire these images.

On London Lane Jackie began backing up when coming nose to nose with a monster. Quick as a flash the very young man in the driving seat mounted the verge to allow her space to pass. The tractor’s rear wheels were higher than the Modus.

Most verges sport a proliferation of daffodils, like these on

Charles’s Lane.

This evening we reprised yesterday’s delicious steak pie meal with more of the same beverages.


On this wet, windy, Wednesday morning I passed four more of Charles Keeping’s splendid illustrations on my visit to ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ by Charles Dickens.

‘Kit’s mother and the single gentleman, speeding onward in the post-chaise-and-four’ occupies a double page spread.

‘ ‘Aquiline!’ cried Quilp, thrusting in his head, and striking the feature with his fist’, follows with another.

‘ ‘Mr Quilp, elevating his glass, drank to their next merry-meeting in that jovial spot’. Here Mr Keeping produces three recognisable characters, depicting the scene described with sarcasm by Mr Dickens.

‘Nell went out alone to visit the old church’

Having reached this point on such a day, I was prompted to return to my cemeteries project after lunch.

My next batch of colour slides was produced at West Norwood Cemetery in May 2008.

Perhaps the most splendid memorials in Victorian London were those erected here by the Greek shipping community.

An example is the Mortuary Chapel, C1872, attributed to ‘J Oldrid Scott, to the memory of Augustus Ralli. Small Doric temple with tetrastyle portico at each end, all of fossiliferous limestone white for the stylobate and golden for rest of building. In front, pediment and metopes are marble sculptures of religious subjects although compositions are based on Parthenon models. Set back lower side wings with rusticated ends, angle pilasters, plain metopes and narrow windows. Double door with fanlight of fishscale glazing. Handsome painted ceiling inside.’ in 2019 the National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the Local Authority [Lambeth] a grant under the Parks for People programme which secured funding for the repair of priority monuments. Work is currently progressing on surveys and statutory approvals prior to starting the repair works, which are now anticipated to start in 2021.’ ( The young man was at Eton College when he died.

There is much skilful statuary. Perhaps a reader may be able to translate the inscription on the child’s plinth.

Yes. I found this mother and son mesmerising from almost any angle.

With the gale winds picking up by mid afternoon, and the sun having spent the day in hiding, we nipped down to

the coast at Milford on sea for some comparison shots with yesterday. The woman had left the shingle and Hurst lighthouse was no longer visible; the Isle of Wight had been towed away.

Colourless rocks and waves had lost their sparkle and breakwaters were largely obscured.

Spray had turned to flying spume-balls carpeting steps to the sea wall over which they sped sailing across the road.

Black headed gulls hung almost stationary on the wind. From the safety of the car

Jackie photographed me failing to focus on them yet having a little more success with the sea.

This evening we dined on firm pork chops topped with sage and onion stuffing; crisp Yorkshire pudding; boiled new potatoes, crunchy carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Primitivo Salento.

The March Garden

Bluebell is the young lady I photographed yesterday between her partner, Aaron, and the Shetland pony he was photographing.

She photographed me photographing them from beside my trusty steed, and has e-mailed me a copy of it, for which I am very grateful.

This morning I made a further five illustrations into ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’. Regular readers will know that these are by the inimitable Charles Keeping.

‘Messrs Codlin and Short’ were extremely uncomfortable in their unaccustomed environment. Keeping has depicted this just as Dickens described it, even to the extent of their perching on the edges of their seats.

In the theatre ‘Everything was delightful, splendid, and surprising’. The artist has captured the whole gamut of audience reactions.

‘ ‘Stay, Satan, stay !’ roared the preacher again’. Charles Keeping leaves us in no doubt as to the kind of cleric he was.

‘The boat was towed by a couple of horses who were resting on the path’ of a most evocative waterside scene presented as a double page spread.

‘Tall chimneys poured out their plague of smoke and made foul the melancholy air’ subtly depicted in the wavy lines across the background.

This afternoon I gathered

a few garden views, each of which is identified in the gallery which can be accessed by clicking on any image.

This evening we dined on boned chicken thighs marinaded in mango and lime sauce; boiled new potatoes; and tender green beans, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon.

A Tryst

Today I scanned Charles Keeping’s next seven illustrations to ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ by Charles Dickens.

‘ ‘Go, sir,’ returned Dick, leaning against a post and waving his hand’. He is quite clearly drunk.

‘The boy threw his wasted arms around the schoolmaster’s neck’ is a typically tender scene.

‘They drew up there for the night, near to another caravan’

‘The game commenced’ leaves us in no doubt that these are three rogues and the un-pictured gentleman facing them will lose his money.

‘One young lady sprung forward and put the handkerchief in her hand’ pictures a rare act of kindness.

‘Miss Brass went scratching on, working like a steam engine’

‘ ‘Hallo there! Hallo, hallo!’ ‘ faithfully depicts the author’s description of a scene in which two characters are now clearly recognisable.

This afternoon we drove to Everton Garden Centre the where we purchased a garden water feature which we hope to set up tomorrow, and continued with a short trip to the east of Lymington.

We stopped at Saint John the Baptist Boldre Parish Church, in order to photograph

the clusters of daffodils on the bank and around the grounds. The first two of these images are mine; the rest Jackie’s.

While I was wandering around the side my Assistant Photographer featured in her third picture,

a horse, protected against our currently cold nights by a rug, trotted over to the fence between the field and the church. I thought perhaps it was interested in me.

No such luck. I had noticed a gentleman take up a seat in the churchyard. His equine friend had found a way to get to the church fence where her gentleman friend was waiting to continue the conversation that ensued. It was clearly a regular occurrence.

I comforted myself over the rejection by communing with a bay pony on the verge further along the road.

My next conversation was with a family of donkeys;

then alpacas at East End where stands

one of the three mimosa trees was saw blooming today, and numerous gnarled oaks awaiting their own plumage;

a lone thatcher exercised his craft.

Variously coloured crocuses are bursting through the soil before the war memorial on South Baddersley Road.

Jackie’s final offering is a rook she photographed from Hightown Lane yesterday.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s savoury egg fried rice; tempura prawns; and a rack of pork ribs in barbecue sauce with which she drank Hoegaarden and I drank Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2020. This was followed by Bakewell tart and New Forest Rhubarb and Ginger ice cream.

Keeping A Safe Distance

For most of a dull yet warm day I watched the Channel 4 broadcast of the soporific third Test Match between India and England.

Later, I scanned the next three of Charles Keeping’s illustrations to ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’.

‘Grinder’s lot’ are stilt walkers, who were popular entertainers during Dickens’s time. There are a number of modern agencies on the internet, such as who provide costumed performers to recreate the experience.

The page was barely broad enough for the ‘Vagabond groups assembled to see the stroller woman dance’

In ‘The dwarf remained upon his back in perfect safety, taunting the dog with hideous faces’, Keeping has ensured that the taut chain restraining the frantic animal keeps it on a different page from its tormentor.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s wholesome cottage pie; bright Brussels sprouts, broccoli and carrots, with tasty gravy. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Shiraz. New Forest rhubarb and ginger, and salted caramel ice creams were our desserts.

“So I Could Get A Photograph Like That”

By lunchtime today I had passed six more of Charles Keeping’s characteristic illustrations on my visit to ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’.

‘Quilp’s Wharf’ is an accurate depiction of such Thames-side area of the period.

‘Richard Swiveller’s companion addressed him with great energy and earnestness of manner’ as we can see.

‘Here, then he sat, his ugly features twisted into a complacent grimace. I once encountered a man who adopted exactly the same position.

‘Before Mr Brass had completed his enquiry, Mr Quilp emerged from the same door’. We certainly recognise Mr Keeping’s portrait by now.

‘A shower of buffets rained upon his person’. as so well presented by the artist.

‘The mean houses told of the populous poverty that sheltered there’. Note the residents in the background, and the dog.

Early this afternoon we drove to Puttles Bridge car park where Jackie waited for me to wander along Ober Water.

In fact the following gallery will show why I decided the bridge was as far as I could go. I was incidentally half way across when these ladies approached. I speeded up so I could step aside for them.

They stepped off the path for me, and we exchanged friendly greetings as I turned my back on them so they could pass.

I hadn’t stayed long, so we drove around a bit more. Many of the

Lanes, like Cadnam, where I disembarked and watched Jackie making waves, were also waterlogged. Because she had two other vehicles in her wake she drove on, since our rule is that that is what she will do in the circumstances and either I will catch up or she will come back for me.

In these particular circumstances I was left pondering the fact that I wouldn’t be able to walk on water. when along came a joyful little boy whose wheels would spray nicely. He was followed by his mother with a pillion passenger. I explained my predicament just as the little lad set off. My voice became shriller as I finished my sentence with “so that I could get a picture like that” as I grabbed the shot, rivalling my subject in joy.

This evening we dined on our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away’s excellent dishes with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Dao.

Up West


This morning I scanned another dozen colour slides from my Streets of London series. These are from May 2005.

Sussex Place W2 5.05

Sussex Place W2 leads into Hyde Park Gardens Mews where these two young girls enjoy the company of a small pony. Ross Nye and Hyde Park Stables are two nearby riding schools, so such scenes are commonplace in this street just minutes from the park.

Oxford Street W1 1 5.05 1

Oxford Street W1 is a famous shopping street. Accessorize is part of the Monsoon Accessorize empire started in London in 1973 by Peter Simon, a market-stall trader. As suggested by its name this outlet specialises in accessories considered to blend well with the feminine styles that remain popular to this day.

Jessica and Ann are both wearing Monsoon garments in this photograph produced in France in September 1982. I’m not sure about Sam.

Oxford Street W1 5.05 2

There are probably not many periods when there are no maintenance works going on along the street. Here the pavement is receiving attention. The shop on this corner is The Body Shop, like many others, no longer British.

According to Wikipedia: ‘The Body Shop International plc, trading as The Body Shop, is a British cosmetics, skin care and perfume company that was founded in 1976 by Dame Anita Roddick. It currently has a range of 1,000 products which it sells in 3,000 franchised stores internationally in 66 countries.[2] The company is based in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

The company had been owned by the French cosmetics company L’Oréal between 2006 and 2017. In June 2017, L’Oréal agreed to sell the company to the Brazilian cosmetics company Natura for £880 million, subject to Brazilian and US regulatory approval.[3]’

Woodstock Street W1 5.05

A less ambitious trader sells fruit at the corner with Woodstock Street.

Parker Street W1 5.05

Bill Kenwright’s revival of the musical pictured showing at the New London Theatre at the corner of Parker Street and Drury Lane ran for two and a half years from 2003-2005.

Wikipedia tells us that ‘The modern theatre’ completed in 1973, ‘is built on the site of previous taverns and music hall theatres, where a place of entertainment has been located since Elizabethan times. Nell Gwynn was associated with the tavern, which became known as the Great Mogul by the end of the 17th century, and presented entertainments in an adjoining hall, including “glee clubs” and “sing-songs”. The Mogul Saloon was built on the site in 1847, which was sometimes known as the “Turkish Saloon or the “Mogul Music Hall.” In 1851, it became the Middlesex Music Hall, known as The Old Mo. This in turn was rebuilt as the New Middlesex Theatre of Varieties, in 1911 by Frank Matcham for Oswald Stoll.[1]

In 1919, the theatre was sold to George Grossmith, Jr. and Edward Laurillard, refurbished and reopened as the Winter Garden Theatre.’

Greek Street/Old Compton Street W1 5.05

Mary Poppins ran from December 2004 to January 2008 at The Prince Edward Theatre on the corner of Old Compton Street and Garrick Street W1.

Old Brewers Yard WC2 5.05

In December 1967 and January 1968, Shelton Street, just outside Old Brewer’s Yard, was one of the locations for the Doctor Who series ‘Web of Fear’.

Earlham Street WC2 5.05

This window in Earlham Street, Seven Dials, has the look of a fairground hall of mirrors.

Wardour Mews W1 5.05

It was clearly break time in Wardour Mews W1;

D'Arblay Street W1 5.05

people chose to eat in at the Café Roma in D’Arblay Street. Gypsy Stables, the tattoo parlour at 37 Berwick Street, with its entrance on D’Arblay Street, must have been in the vanguard of our contemporary passion for permanent pellicular pigmentation.

Pollen Street W1 5.05 is an on-line art dealer selling a wide range of works. Having moved from Pollen Street, its physical gallery is now in Clerkenwell Road, EC1.

Warwick Avenue W9 5.05

Scattered throughout London remain a number of small green huts. They are cabmen’s shelters introduced in 1875 to offer drivers of horse drawn hackney carriages an alternative to pubs in an effort to ensure they would not be drunk in charge. Captain George Armstrong, editor of The Globe newspaper, enlisted the help of the 7th Earl of Shaftesbury and several other philanthropists in order to form the Cabmen’s Shelter Fund which provided these. Today’s black cab drivers can still avail themselves of them. This one, in Warwick Avenue, W9, is in Little Venice, near my former counselling room.

“Up West” is a phrase indicating a trip to the West End of London, which is where most of today’s streets are located.

Paniza 2000 is an extremely good Spanish wine that was one of the contents of Ian’s Christmas case. It was an excellent accompaniment to Jackie’s lamb jalfrezi and onion rice with Tesco’s pakoras, onion bahjis, and vegetable samosas. The Culinary Queen was content with her customary Hoegaarden.