An excerpt from Wind in the Willows

Nice? It's the ONLY thing, said the Water Rat solemnly, as he leant forward for his stroke. Believe me, my young friend, there is NOTHING - absolute nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Simply messing, he went on dreamily: messing - about - in - boats; messing----'
From 'Wind in the Willows' by Kenneth Grahame.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Shell advertising using Stoke Bruerne

During the 1960s the oil company Shell undertook an advertising campaign using various locations as their theme under the byline 'Off the beaten track'.  One of them was Stoke Bruerne.  I was having a look on EBay recently and saw the Stoke Bruerne advertisement (Illustrated London News 1968) was available to purchase but it was in Whitewater, Wisconsin.  I took the risk and bought it (£7:90 at the current exchange rate with about the same for postage).  It arrived yesterday.  I was expecting an A4 version but it seems to be much closer to A3.  It is quite delightful and 'of its period'.  Louise in the museum tells me that the sign illustrated on the building is currently stored in the museum.

The wording on the advertisement is as follows:

Take the A508 from Northampton, and after a few minutes' drive you'll see a signpost to Stoke Bruerne, home of the Waterways Museum.  In its placid canalside setting, opposite a picturesque inn much favoured by narrow boat people in the early nineteenth century, you can reminisce over colourful souvenirs from long-ago days when the canals enjoyed unrivalled supremacy over any other industrial transport.

This is canal country.  The Gand Union Canal (pictured above), joins up with the Oxford Canal some fifteen miles west of Northampton; near here you can seek out the 'Napton Flight', an intriguing flight of locks running through delightful countryside.

And while you're in the area, there are other features worth exploring.  Wellingborough's Church of St. Mary, a modern masterpiece of ecclesiastical architecture by Sir Ninian Compur, is only 15 miles from Stoke Bruerne.

If you enjoy discovering new places by car, Shell is all ready to help you. Most Shell stations can provide you with local maps; and there are many Shell books available to help you find out-of-the-way spots all over the country.  And Shell even arrange 25% discount holiday insurance to cover you against accidents, illness, theft, and breakdowns. For more details of maps of Western Europe, books or insurance, please write to Shell Touring, 11 Dingwall Avenue, Croydon, CR9 2UN.

And when you are exploring, please remember to leave the countryside as beautiful as you found it.

Bernard Carter, London-born, studied at the Goldsmith's College of Art, and now teaching.  Has exhibited with the London Group, the Royal Academy RBA and has three one-man shows at the Portrait Gallery.  Features in a Los Angeles Exhibition this year.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I do like this style of art, and the sort of things that they used to put on Batford books. I note however, that the poplar trees are not in the image. I think they have been there for some time, so artistic license probably.

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