A trip on the motorway

When it’s all silent on the blog front you know that one half of TheBigForest has been travelling. I’ll write a longer post on my travels soon but I thought you might enjoy a couple of illustrations and a vintage postcard on the theme of travel.

We were passing a second hand book shop a couple of weeks ago, the kind with a window full of Mills and Boon rather than antique Proust, when we spotted a lovely children’s book with clear bright 1970’s illustrations. This is a work of fiction. We say this with authority because firstly Uncle George takes Anne and Tony (Tony?) on the motorway in his Ford Model T. This is too scary to imagine in real life.

The second, and even more compelling indicator of fiction is that they visit a motorway service station where ‘they all sat down in the restaurant and ate a delicious meal’. We are positive, absolutely and completely, that at no time in the past 35 years have ‘delicious meals’ been served in any British motorway service station. Even in the illustration the Virginia Woolf look-alike, who is having tea on the left, looks a little queasy and the poor woman on the right has her plastic fork stuck to her chin, probably glued there by the lethal chemical sauce on her meal.

The book put me in mind of two other images of motorways. One is from the Ladybird book, Motorways from the early 1960’s which cheerfully illustrates the destruction of  a great swathe of countryside and forest to build a new road without a mention in the accompanying text that this may not be a totally great thing to do. A world when modernity wasn’t complicated by any of that silly environmental nonsense.

The other is an image from Martin Parr’s Boring Postcards – a collection of, well what it sounds like actually. Our favourite images are of motorway service stations when they were the last word in sophistication. I’m unsure if they were every populated by chic ladies with Dusty Springfield-ish hair but I would like to think they were. Perhaps she is meeting a man called Roy or Barry in a Vauxhall Victor FB and being whisked off to an evening of unbearable sophistication in Wigan or Preston?

Anyway I’ve just pressed delete on the several lines of narrative about the lady in Charnock Richard Service Station circa 1963 and will pull myself back to reality….. a pile of washing which we need to deal with before my trip away next week, a rapidly developing cowl in a beautiful silk Malabrigo yarn and particularly wonderful new designs for TheBigForest Benjamin has been making during the week.

I feel I should write ‘if you have any interesting stories of Charnock Richard service station or the M6 motorway we would love to hear them’ but I have a hunch that I, indeed all of us might live to regret it. But hey, write, surprise me!

About TheBigForest

We are TheBigForest. Two silly artist makers creating in felt and paper construction. Like us on Facebook: TheBigForest. Find us at Twitter : twitter/TheBigForestuk

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