Tag Archives: Oxford Tube

Sir Francis Dashwood gives us Hell

 

 

It’s a long since I’ve been to West Wycombe, it’s not very far by road, I understand,  but the Oxford Tube only seems to serve the plainly weird Lewknor Turn.

You can see Sir Francis Dashwood’s  stuff easily and  clearly from the train to Marylebone, though but.

When it’s not snowing and everything is “running”, however.

So I was very pleased last week to receive from Eamonn Loughran his beautifully produced and very finely colour illustrated Secret Symbols of the Hell Fire Club.

Eamonn is not only a producer of many very high quality books, which he bookbinds too, but has produced several rare editions of hard to get books – I’ve seen a few.  It is obviously a labour of love – but it’s certainly a labour.

I like loads of things about Eammon’s work, apart from his painstaking attention to detail.

This particular work examines very closely the symbolism of Francis Dashwood’s caves, “cabals” et al. There’s lots to say, and Eamonn says lots.

Chapter One deals of a mister called Maxwell Ashby Armfield, who, with his missus lived in West Wycombe for a while.

The whole world+dog knows about the motto of the Hellfire Club – I can’t translate it because I have neither ancient French nor modern English – but seems to go along the lines of the Sanskrit “svecchachara”, meaning be true to your own path.

Eamonn has produced many wonderful books from the past and for the future too.  This is not an uncritical review of this particular book, yet,  but as I used to be a letterpress printer myself, I’d encourage you to check out his website, Hell Fire CLUB

Lewknor: the point of no return

NO ONE KNOWS why the bus from Oxford to London, the so-called Oxford Tube, stops at Lewknor Turn. There’s a nice review of this bus service and the alternative here.

If people do know, they’re not saying.

This is a view from the top of the bus going down the High in Oxford towards St Clemens.

Stopping at Lewknor gives you a chance to look out for red kites. And it doesn’t look too bad when it’s been snowing.

Oxford Tube, Lewknor

US Embassy, London: No electronics means isolation

HAD TO HEAD out of here very early this morning to seek a visa from the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square, London.

For somewhat obvious reasons, lots of armed UK coppers patrol the queue watching carefully lest we suddenly all go bananas.

The last time I applied for a US visa was five years ago –  the rules have changed a bit since then. You are not allowed to bring any, and I mean any electronic devices into the Embassy. Understandably. Terrorism hit London on the Tube and on the Buses.

The young woman in front of me fell foul of the rules.  She had a charger for her mobile phone and the security guys told her to put it in the bin. But, she remonstrated very lightly, “that’s not electronics”. Into the bin it went. It probably didn’t rain by the time she got her visa so that’s all right then.

I “got processed” very quickly.

But during the day,  I thought long and often about the isolation I felt, unable to use my Crackberry and having to leave my PC at home.  Once the authorities had granted me a boon, I headed out and tried to make a phone call in something called a telephone box. It gratefully swallowed my money and didn’t allow me to make a call.

How did we all manage to meet for drinks before the mobile phone and the interweb made things easier? I’m sure I haven’t a clue.