Friday, 15 June 2012

Diamond Geezer Jubilations

From out of the attic, Pa Butler produced his original Coronation Coach containing the miniature Queen-to-be (or post anointing, depending on which way you imagine it to be travelling) and her consort with full accompaniment of lead soldiers. Ma Butler assembled them carefully so that they duly processed across our Jubilee window display. The arms of the horn players are even articulated to raise their bugles for a blast - working parts, it's the way forward.

Pa Butler then inspected the parade to make sure it passed muster. Meanwhile, down in the basement, Mr Wesley and the Boy Wonder Donny Slack were screen printing their ultra limited edition t-shirts to commemorate the national event as if their ennoblement depended on it.

Ma and Pa Butler in front of Bedlam's Jubilee window

First screen prepared

Lock eyes

Baste generously with scarlet ink

Pop under the grill for browning

Sprinkle liberally with diamonds
Next our client Robert Peel, of whom we are fast becoming fond, popped in and bought #1 of the 30 "Last Punk Standing" that Donny himself designed. Also on display was Pa Butler's souvenir edition of the Coronation Day "Daily Mail". Robert clocked it and exclaimed, "That's my father!" And indeed it was for Peel Pere acted as page to the Queen Mother during the ceremony. There he is, peering across the shoulder of his new monarch directly at the viewer, a self-assured ephebe. It reminded me of Renaissance master Raphael's guest-spot self-portrait in his painting "The School of Athens" (you can look that up).

Robert models #1 "Last Punk Standing" while Donny points out Peel pere on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Mr Wesley is wearing Bedlam cashmere in sunshine yellow with choccie brown suede elbow patches
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her coronation with Robert's father at her shoulder. Bedlam's nifty new straw boater with red and blue grosgrain ribbon (£45) is visible top right
All this flag waving gave us the nudge we needed to expand upon our core staples of white, black and taupe t-shirts. We got a little crazy and added midnight blue:
Elizabeth, by the Grace of God, Queen of England, France (it can happen again) and Scotland (£45 in midnight blue viscose or white, see below)

We donated a bunch of those to the raffle at the Offley Road Street Party, across the road from the shop, where we erected our stall on the Monday of the long weekend. Some people objected to the national celebrations, found it all distasteful or anachronistic, but anything that creates a reason for communities to come together and raise a little cheer is surely a Good Thing, whatever the cypher used as the projection for that. We have maintained our business largely on the support of the locals and it felt good to be a part of the events in the streets around us. Three hips and a "HURRAH!" to all those who put in the time and effort and dough (our favourite landlord, Noel at the Brown Derby, was a hefty sponsor of the Offley Road do; as was our neighbour the Oval Lounge; and my old friend Daniel Letts was the firm shoulder behind the lovely Big Lunch on Claylands Green, plus many more who made it all happen).

Bedlam's stall at the Offley Road street party on Monday June 4th, 2012. Our new "Drunken Disorderly" tee is on the left,  which only half described the way the day developed - it became gently tipsy and tottered into a comedy cricket match that vaguely maintained the rules

Wesley von Evans (I kid you not), one of the team behind the Offley Road Jubilee Jamboree draws the winning ticket for the Bedlam tee. Lucky lady on the right raises her arm to claim her prize

Ellie Letts wearing #1 of 1 children's versions of Donny's tee at the Claylands Green Big Lunch

The Big Lunch on Claylands Green, Saturday June 2nd 2012

The patriotic bake-off at the Offley Road Street Party including David Colton's certificate winning "Elizabeth Sponge"

These were so tasty I had TWO (the lady of the van was so kind she gave me one free)

Jake & Clive of the Brown Derby rocked the Offley Road crowd

Being residents of the Oval, a cricket match was the only way to end the day