Samlesbury Hall and Ancestral What-Might-Have-Beens

Many years ago, and I’m talking decades, like, last century dude when everything was in black and white, my Uncle George convinced himself we, the Harrisons, were related to another set of Harrisons at Samlesbury Hall in Lancashire. His proof, which probably wouldn’t hold much water in court, relied on the portrait of a man … More Samlesbury Hall and Ancestral What-Might-Have-Beens

Mr Turner

Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey Dir. Mike Leigh If you’re going to make a film about the life of JMW Turner you’re under pressure to get the cinematography right. (How else will you do justice to the art of the subject.) In this respect Ken Loach’s Mr Turner delivers. And it’s not … More Mr Turner

The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruikshank

What must it be like to have so much money you can build your own fantasy world? I suppose the people who come closest to this dream are film directors like Peter Jackson or George Lucas who spend most of their adult lives immersed in a green screen universe of robots and goblins. In the … More The Fairytale Castles of King Ludwig II with Dan Cruikshank

Simon Armitage – Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

I first came across Simon Armitage on Radio 4 discussing his translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a medieval epic poem written by an unknown poet possibly from Derbyshire. Armitage allows me to boast about one of my two claims to fame: In the 1980s I worked with Norbert Hannett, father of Factory … More Simon Armitage – Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Vampires: The Twilight World – Sir Simon Marsden

I can’t remember when I first came across the eery photographs of Sir Simon Marsden. Black and white, whispy images, light as a feather in appearance, dark and sinister in effect, Marsden used infra red film to capture a world that somehow seemed to exist between this one and the next. His website, the Simon … More Vampires: The Twilight World – Sir Simon Marsden