London Town in fact.
The National Literacy Trust is working with Wild in Art to bring Books about Town to the streets of London in summer 2014. Trails of benches shaped as open books, decorated by professional illustrators and local artists, will appear for the public to enjoy. It will be a unique opportunity to explore the capital’s literary connections, to enjoy art from some of the country’s top artists and to celebrate reading for enjoyment.
At the end of summer 2014, all the benches will be auctioned at an exclusive event in the Southbank Centre to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust’s vital work to raise literacy levels in the UK.
This is such a wonderful idea and I thought that as I had some time off during August and with the bonus of a special offer on the train (that is now a real expensive way to travel to London for me) I wanted to seek out some of the benches. There was no way I was going to see all 50 of them but thought the ones of some of my favourite books and authors would be a great!
The ones I wanted to see were
P G Wodehouse – Jeeves & Wooster
Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot and the Greenshore Folly
Mary Poppins (that is me in the background eating an apple!)
So that is a mere 4, not much to ask really was it.
However it turned into even more. First of all there is one of these benches at Waterloo Station which my mum who accompanied me, spotted as we ascend the stairs from the loo. That is one we did not get a picture of, it was being used all the time. Though I am not sure if people realised just what they were sitting on. Only the Mary Poppins one was damaged, whether by accident or design (why begs the question) I don’t know but I have seen in recent days on Twitter that they do go round and touch up the art work.
Then when we were on our way to the Bond/Poirot bench we came across the Pride and Prejudice one
And of course you could not think about that D’Arcy without thinking of Bridget’s version (Bridget Jones Diary)
And in the most tenuous link I could think of we go to the Fever Pitch bench. (Colin Firth is the link here)
St Paul’s was a good place to spot a lot more
Then there was the Peter Pan, which when you have a mum called Wendy should really have been on my original list
The artwork is superb and if I had the money (and somewhere to put one), I would love to purchase one of these unique bits of art.
Above is a close up – not that you would think that – the Wind in the Willows bench.
Of course that should read Jo in London but you can’t have everything I suppose
There was also the Stormbreaker bench, outside the Bank of England but someone was sat on it reading which sums up the whole idea!
The auction for these benches is on 7 October and I wait to see how much some of these benches go for. I hope whoever purchases them perhaps still lets everyone share them.
Discussion was about the Hercule Poirot bench and the story The Greenshore Folly, neither Mum and I or could place the story and if we did then we related it to Miss Marple. But then that could be where television adaptations blur the true literary pieces. All benches have information attached to them and so we read the information on the bench discovered it was an unpublished book (until recently) and so we had to head to Waterstones Piccadilly (Hatchard’s further down the road did not have it) to buy it! Does the cover look familiar?
More about the book in coming days.