Longleat, From 1566 to the present time

This little treasure is another charity shop purchase. It tells a short history of Longleat and was first published in 1949 by The Longleat Estate and was obviously available to purchase by visitors to the great house as I came across an old ticket in the book.

What raises this little hardback book from a normal guide are the terrific little illustrations by Leonard Huskinson particularly the cover drawing that is a rather fierce and frightening portrait of the builder of Longleat Sir John Thynne.


The Little Red Engine Goes to Town

I picked this little book up at my local Oxfam book shop and it’s a real delight. The story is written by Diana Ross (not the singer!) and illustrated by Leslie Wood. Published in this edition in 1969. It’s the illustrations that attracted me. I have to admit that I’d never heard of Leslie Wood before but I must have seen his work on the cover of other books.

The story is about a little locomotive that is invited to appear at an important exhibition in London (for important exhibition read The Festival of Britain!) The story is charming and the illustrations, some in black and white and some in colour are wonderful. They are very atmospheric, full of life, detail and movement, managing to show the  contrast between the rural life that the little engine is used to and the big modern city where the exhibition is being held.

I’ll certainly be looking out for the other Little Red Engine books and the wonderful illustrations of Leslie Wood.




A walk along the esplanade

With a break in the horrible weather we took a walk along the esplanade. Apart from a small cliff fall which has pushed some beach huts onto the revetment path Shanklin seems to have managed to survive the winter pretty unscathed!

The surfers were out in out in full force…..they must be mad!

shanklinsurfers shanklinseafront


My pen and ink drawing of the same view