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ÂŁFree Issue Six Spring 2012 www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Umbrella Manifesto tâ€™s been two years since Umbrella first appeared, and our hunch about providing something to read for a previously ignored, style-savvy group of men has been proved right. We always thought that there were thousands of chaps like us who loved both traditional male interests (like transport) and modern ones (er, expensive coats). What we didnâ€™t realise was just how widespread this group was. From London to Liverpool, Tehran to New York, Umbrella readers can be found the world over, using the magazine, blog, Twitter and Facebook as a way to interact with others of a similar mentality. The new issue continues this process with a brilliant selection of stories and a great spring fashion section. Enjoy it.
Anthony Teasdale and Matt Reynolds, London, spring 2012
printed Printed copies copies Beautifully bound, printed copies now available to order online here Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Issue six contents 9 Editions 10 The great persuaders Russian film posters of the 20th Century 12 News Anton Corbijn exhibition opens, new Beatles photo book, Chinese history graphic novel, London Undercover brollies 16 Column: Why Man v Food represents the very best of America by Anthony Teasdale 17 Column: Return to gender by Jim Butler 19 The simple pleasures of cheese on toast 20 Perfect recipes by Felicity Cloake 24 Cocktail recipes by Apotheca, Manchester 26 Q&A on Britain with the BBC Home Affairs Correspondent Mark Easton 28 Our favourite things Roberts Revival radio
31 Field trip 32 Big in Japan The huge and rather confusing Tokyo Metro 34 Technology and tourism Why Malaga is Spain’s most forward-looking city 38 The rough guide The ’80s on the New York Subway 40 Cycling: Rolling news
43 Stories 44 It’s a shame about Ray Sister Ray and the decline of the record shop 48 Made in Dagenham The Ford car plant – and how it defined how we worked 54 The colour of money Advertising in Mad Men-era America
61 Fashion 62 Umbrella loves Stone Island army jacket 64 Coat tales Next season’s clothes from the Jacket Required trade show 68 Jackets 72 Shirts 74 Knitwear 76 Footwear 80 Accessories 82 Outfits 84 Vintage: the John Smedley Isis polo shirt
86 Obsessions Militaria
10 Art www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Issue six’s contributors From subways to sandwiches, cocktails to culture, Umbrella’s freelancers really do bring a world of expertise to our pages
The last time he wrote for Umbrella, Jim talked about the importance of place in male identity. This issue, the subject is how the perceived differences between the sexes is more to do with selling books than working out what really sets men and women apart. Something Umbrella’s large female readership is all too aware of.
It was a trip to his family home in Japan that inspired Edward Tang to start taking photography seriously. Today, armed with his SLR, the Mancunian now documents the city’s eclectic club scene – warts and all. Ed snapped the cracking images of Apotheca, our Umbrella bar for this issue. It’s fair to say we owe him a pint.
The author of the Guardian’s How to Make the Perfect… column, Felicity also writes on food for the New Statesman, FT and Metro. Her first book, modestly titled Perfect, was published last year, shortly after she ate her first – and last – tempura pig’s eyeball. Read a selection of her brilliant recipes in our food section.
Having grown up in a Japanese household in Croydon before winding up at Oxford, Mariko has yet to find one location that accommodates her love of hot spring baths, chip-shop chips and Tom Stoppard. Now an editor in London, in this issue the former Japan Times reporter reflects on the gargantuan Tokyo metro system.
An illustrator/animator based in the north of England, Tom illustrated our piece on Sister Ray records. Graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2010 with a BA in Illustration with Animation, his favourite cheese is halloumi. We know this because we couldn’t think of anything else to ask him.
The author of our in-depth report on Malaga, Liverpool-born Mackin is never happier than when in Spain, where he finds the street life, bar culture and boisterous public communion irresistible. He also loves the NHS, Belstaff jackets, Ribera del Duero wine and the sound of his own voice.
Umbrella is published by Wool Media Ltd, © 2012 Editor Anthony Teasdale (firstname.lastname@example.org) Creative Director Matt Reynolds (email@example.com) Staff Writer Elliott Lewis-George (firstname.lastname@example.org) Technological Development Dan Nicolson (email@example.com) Advertising Manager Jon Clements (firstname.lastname@example.org) Picture Researcher John Ritchie Other contributors Justin Clack, Don G. Cornelius, Karno Guhathakurta (www.karnogt.blogspot.co.uk)
UMB018 Contact us email@example.com
Editions Photography, ideas, technology, food, amusement
10: Russian film posters 16: Why Man v Food is America at its best 26: The BBC’s Mark Easton on what makes Britain unique
Photography: © Edward Tang www.edwardtang.com
This is Apotheca, just the latest in a line of magnificent Mancunian bars – try their best cocktail recipes on page 24
The great persuaders How early Russian film posters made a country sit down and take notice e tend to associate the early days of cinema with America – silent epics featuring the likes of Rudolph Valentino or knockabout comedies with Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd or Charlie Chaplin. But cinema was gaining a toehold in other parts of the world, too – not least in Russia, where it would have a mesmerising effect on the population – one that would be employed by unscrupulous politicians throughout much of the 20th Century. Cinema not just as entertainment, but propaganda. Nowhere was this reflected more than in the posters that publicised these silent films. While American posters concentrated on extravagant boasts and retouched photos of the stars, in Russia things were done very differently, with the focus less on a literal representation of the movie, and more on the emotions that could be stirred by graphical devices and typography. A new book, Russian Film Posters by Maria-Christina Boerner documents this movement. Looking at the posters today, what’s striking is just how experimental they all are, with bold colours, stark geometric shapes and hand-painted versions of scenes from the films all to the fore. The works are more pieces of expressionist art than straight publicity shots – and no wonder, the Russian studios (and later, the state) employed its most gifted painters to work on them.
Details The poster below illustrates just how new art techniques like abstraction were used to convey emotion and push home the messages that the powerful wanted the people to get.
This was cinema as propaganda After the Russian Revolution of 1917 – and the setting up of the Soviet Union in 1922, film was perhaps the most important tool in spreading communism over this vast country. No longer was publicity about getting bums on seats, rather than changing how millions of people thought. The resulting artwork, which shows the journey from naive imagery to abstract modernism, is as startling today as it was then. These posters had a job to do and they did it beautifully – and very effectively.
Covered: Cinema, propaganda
Details Some of Russiaâ€™s greatest artists like Alexander Rodchenko, the Stenberg Brothers and Jacob Ruklevski produced posters that were both challenging and enticing to the masses.
Russian Film Posters by MariaChristina Boerner is published by Vivays, priced ÂŁ19.95 buy
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living
U-feed What Umbrella likes this issue… For gentlemen who are follically challenged, scientists at Tokyo Science University have managed to grow hair on bald mice using stem cells, which could be the death knell for hair transplants – sorry, Wayne… new Sim City out for 2013, which, says the Guardian has multiplayer functionality and fashionable tiltshift look to it… over at the University of Colorado Fred Chambers, an Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Sciences, is investigating the phenomena of ‘ghost town climatology’ which sees abandoned towns go down in temperature when humans leave in a reversal of ‘urban heat island’ effect. More at BldgBlog… The controversial MQ-9 Reaper drone, used extensively by the US military in Pakistan and Afghanistan, is getting an upgrade which means it’ll be able to fly for 42 hours in one sortie, something which will please air force bosses who are cutting back on budgets. More at Wired’s Danger Room blog… Manchester’s medieval quarter will soon have a fresh landmark – the new Chetham’s Music School building (left), a sleek, modernist construction made from over 500,000 handmade bricks, used especially to blend in with its neighbours. The £43m project will be ready for use by September… finally, for pop culture fans, the truly iconic ‘Bill Shankly’ 35 Summers T-shirt from 1990 has been re-released by 80s Casuals just in time for the 2012’s ‘summer of baggy’. Buy it from distantecho.co.uk… IMAGE MAKER
Anton Corbijn shows up Pop’s in-house snapper stages iconic ‘greatest hits’ exhibition Best known for his work with pop stars like U2, Morrissey and more recently, the likes Lucien Freud and Kate Moss, Dutch photographer Anton Corbijn’s best work is being showcased at the Camera Work gallery in Berlin until June 22. <<Inwards and Outwards>> features stark black and white portraits of some of the world’s biggest stars from the man who also directed the Ian Curtis biopic Control. The gallery says: “Corbijn understands the camera as a means to an end – ultimately, he tries to capture the personality and the character hidden deep within the person portrayed beyond any kind of superficial staging.” www.camerawork.de
Covered: Beatles, umbrellas
Beats international A beautiful new book illustrates the madness of Beatlemania from the inside out To be with The Beatles in 1964 was to be at the centre of the pop culture world – there simply hadn’t been a phenomenon like them ever before. For newspaper photographer Harry Benson, a call from his photo editor at the Daily Express telling him to go with the Fabs to Paris placed him directly at the centre of this storm. And over the following years it led to him producing some of the most evocative pics of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr ever – the results of which have been collated in a stunning new book. Harry Benson: The Beatles is crammed with beautiful, luminescent pictures of the group at their mid-’60s pomp, from the lads larking around in the Georges V Hotel in Paris to their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show and on to the encounter with Muhammad Ali. Benson really did have access all areas. The book is limited to 1,764 copies, each signed by the author, and while at £450 the clamshell-bound edition isn’t cheap, the popularity of The Beatles and the quality of images means it’ll be sold out all too soon. www.taschen.com
Rainy city London Undercover takes brollies in a whole new direction Unsurprisingly, we love a good brolly here at Umbrella, and they don’t come much better than those sold by London Undercover. Their website (which also sells beautiful bags by John Chapman, cashmere scarves and lightweight trilby hats) stocks every kind of umbrella you could wish for – from compact commuter fold-ups to majestic premium versions with carved handles made from malacca cane. Patterns range from classic tartan prints to camouflage to even beans on toast. There’s also a selection of well-chosen collaborations with Carhartt, Albam and A Continuous Lean, but it’s the London-centric versions we’re particularly fond of. Featuring prints of a vintage map, pigeons and the iconic Northern Line upholstery – they’re all ideal for the forthcoming British summer. www.londonundercover.co.uk
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living
fRESH Footwear Unlike many other shoe labels, ohw? actually manufacture their own shoes (rather than sending the designs off to a factory in the Far East), which means they can keep an eye The casual shoes from new brand ‘ohw’ aren’t on the quality control. They say: backwards in coming forwards “Each pair of ohw? shoes showcases the skills of the Without being all Imelda Marcos about it, there are few factory and the people that make them. The clean, easy things more pleasureable to own than a new pair of shoes. Whether it’s the Saha II from Pointer, Loake booted brogues design aesthetic lets the quality of the manufacturing, materials and detail shine through. Each shoe has some or just a pair of New Balance 420s, we’re never happier hand-stitching and is even individually hand-signed by the than when we’re examining box-fresh footwear. person doing the final quality check.” That’s why we’re rather excited about ohw? (pronounced We say, with prices between £95 and £125, they’re “who”), a new brand which specialises in the sort of definitely worth trying on. After all, you wouldn’t want to halfway-house footwear that gets us – and pretty much hurt the feelings of the quality-checker, would you? every other well dressed man of the moment – in a bit www.who-shoes.com of a lather.
Leather and lace
Covered: China, footwear HISTORY
China syndrome A new way of looking at the superpower hits the iPad China’s fascinating history is told in a new graphic novel made especially for the iPad. Understanding China Through Comic Books by Liu Jing covers the history of the country from 5,000 years ago to the present day. The writer, a brand consultant by day, covers themes like religion, culture and what makes the Chinese ‘Chinese’. He recently told news website Dan Wei: “There are a lot more English books about China, mostly written by westerners, reflecting western logic and rationale. There is a strong feeling that something were left unsaid, at least for a Chinese person like me, who grew up with Chinese legends, tales, arts, crafts, symbols, propaganda and tragedies. I hope my book can contribute to improving the perception of one aspect of China, which is that China has always been very busy with its own problems. It doesn’t have extra energy to either save the world, or rule the world.” Understanding China Through Comics is out on both iTunes and Kindle
ver the last 15 years, the American brand has been severely tarnished – sometimes as a result of the actions of its politicians and business leaders, but also by oh-so-superior Europeans who hate the fact that large parts of their own populations have the temerity to enjoy such gauche things as blockbuster movies and hamburgers. Residents of the old world who find it hard to reconcile their predictable dislike of the world’s biggest democracy with their love of minced beef discs in sesame seed buns neatly swerve this conundrum by spending 15 quid on burger and chips at middle-class fast food joints like Byron and GBK.
Who else would invent ‘chickenfried bacon’? God knows then what they make of Man vs Food, the Travel Channel’s homage to everything the uptight European hates about American cuisine. In it, the host – a jovial Brooklynite called Adam Richman – ventures to far-flung places around the country in search that town’s most famous dish or eating challenge. Every week it’s the same shtick: “Hi, I’m Adam Richman. This week we’re at Bobby’s in Minneapolis-St Paul, home of the quadruple-chilli-Bobby-burger, and I’m on a mission to see if I can get my fill of the biggest chow-down in the twin cities.” Richman, who eats like a bulimic in a toilet showroom, then a) meets the owner b) goes into the kitchen and gazes lovingly at the ribs/ burgers/spice mix and c) meets the slightly bemused locals who are feasting on slabs of dead animal which look like they’ve been scooped off the field at Agincourt. Then, and this is the show’s money shot, he takes the restaurant’s eating challenge – normally a vast sandwich crammed with incalculable amounts of meat, cheese, chilli… and more meat. With fries. Surrounded by cheering diners, he proceeds to eat it, quickly at first, then as the sheer enormity of the task hits him, with dogged resignation. This man never gives up. Think of Ali vs Foreman, the champ soaking up the punishment without a moan, and you’re somewhere in the right ball park. It is wonderful television.
Why Man vs Food represents the very best of America There couldn’t be a better advert for the United States than Adam Richman’s gastronomic odyssey, says Anthony Teasdale Occasionally – very occasionally – Richman is defeated, usually by something containing gallons of coagulating cheese. And it hurts. But there are no excuses, just an admission he wasn’t up to the task. We’re with him when he fails, we know he’s given it all and we love him more for it. America is a new country, one that’s built on hope and possibility – and Man vs Food is
dripping with both. Not only do we learn about the food that feeds this place – and believe me, those pit masters at barbecue restaurants are every bit as skilled and passionate as the most do-gooding, organic cook over here – but we witness that joyful American spirit in action. What other country could invent something so delicious and utterly bonkers as ‘chickenfried bacon?
Covered: Food, relationships
Return to gender Men are from Mars, women are from Venus, so we’re told. No, says Jim Butler, we’re both from Earth – and it’s about time we all acknowledged it
At a time when so many of us love nothing more than judging the eating habits of (white, working class) people who love mini-kievs and Findus crispy pancakes (both of which I utterly adore), it’s refreshing to find a programme that celebrates food for the joyful experience it should be. There is no guilt here, just dedication by restaurant owners and chefs to create food that tantalises every pleasuresensitive bud on their diners’ tongues. If this programme was made in Britain, the host would ironically eat the grub, while the director cut in shots of suitably ugly/old/ pale people eating FOOD WHICH IS BAD FOR THEM AND WE PRETEND NOT TO LIKE, so the viewers can indulge in that favourite of British pastimes: laughing at the lower orders. Richman is the polar opposite to that. A New Yorker with “years of experience in the restaurant trade”, he undoubtedly knows his 30 day-aged ribeye from his lesbian-made, Williamsburg bakery loaf. But on his odyssey, he never judges the food of Main Street, USA and more importantly, the people who enjoy it. He loves it all, and I love Man vs Food.
opinions step back for a second, you actually get to see how stupid, not to mention reductive, such a mindset is. Firstly, it assumes that men and women are one monolithic homogenous group each. And that is patently poppycock. Ask yourself this: how many of your fellow men do you truly understand, let alone like? I no more understand rugby-loving chaps from Devon as I do grown women from Manchester going crackers for Take That. And yes, I am aware that I’m generalising. It’s kind of my point. But you never see articles, or books even, that explain how men can empathise their fellow brethren. Note to self: pitch idea on how men can make friends with loaded posh blokes in bullet-point fashion. Point one: Adopt Received Pronunciation as the archetypal accent. See? It’s barmy. Secondly, it keeps the genders apart and enables this nonsensical battle of the sexes to continue. Although popular culture is often seen as this liberating force there are great swathes of it that are predicated on maintaining this divide. Magazines, even the intelligent ones, are notorious for this. Just recently I came across an article trying to explain why men are scared of women. Why are men scared of women (and for the record, I doubt that we really are, surely we’re more scared of cancer, heart disease and the like)? Because we’re told to be. It’s expedient. It’s sexism on the sly. Now I’m not for one second suggesting that we’re all alike – hopefully, that much I’ve made clear – I’m just proposing that maybe we’re not that contradictory. There will always be points of divergence between men and women and we should celebrate that. But, likewise, there will always be divergent strands between me and the bloke I stood next to on the 8.22 into work this morning. And that is fine. Just don’t go telling me women are impossible to understand, or that I should be scared of them. They’re not, and I’m not. Eating chocolates in the bath, on the other hand…
Illustration: Karno Guhathakurta www.karnogt.blogspot.com
n the name of time-honoured empirical research let’s conduct a quick straw poll. Who out there when confronted with baffling behaviour from a member of the opposite sex – eating chocolates while having a soak in the tub, I ask you – hasn’t explained away such actions by resorting to gender stereotyping? Exactly, we’re all guilty as charged. However, beneath the (I hope) light-hearted rib tickling and beyond the cul-de-sac of casual sexism lurks a more ridiculous, almost vicious, ‘truth’: the notion that men and women are somehow polar opposites. Or, to put it in rather more fanciful and supposedly humorous terms, the idea that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. Let’s be daring and turn perceived logic on its head for a change. Let’s assume that – biological (and all that jazz) factors notwithstanding – men and women are not all that different. Yes, that sound you hear is the implosion of a multi-million pound sector of the magazine and publishing industry. A lucrative segment that exists by peddling and perpetuating myths, distortions and lies about the supposed inherent differences between the genders. Come on, think about it: are we really that dissimilar? I would venture that if you were to ask all your male friends and all your female chums what they wanted from life – in the name of empirical research after all – their responses would be broadly similar. To be happy; to fall in love; have kids; travel; get a good job; be healthy, yadda, yadda, yadda. The answers might be expressed differently, there might be the odd subtle nuance, but generally, I would hazard a guess that the overriding themes would be the same from the inhabitants of both planets; Mars and Venus. But rarely does anyone mention this. It’s the 21st Century truth that dare not speak its name. We’ve been governed – culturally, environmentally, politically, conveniently – to see the opposite sex (from whichever vantage point you might be sitting) as this secretive and unfathomable mass. The eternal riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma if you will. And while its fun trying to, pardon the pun, penetrate and understand this other 50 per cent that share our streets, if you take a
The simple pleasures of…
Cheese on toast t’s the tales that make this simple dish such a comforting classic for so many of us. As soon as the school bell strikes for 3.30 I’m off: out across the all-weather pitch and down the ginnell, past the smokers. No time to stop for a sneaky drag, though, there’s a crusty white bloomer and a block of mild cheddar waiting for me at home, begging to melt together in molten matrimony under grill. Childhood in a bite.
Fast-forward a few years and the cheddar has been replaced with two squares of fluroplastic cheese, sat atop the last stale slice of a 34p loaf. The ravenous schoolboy is now an inebriated night owl, trying to convince a leggy fresher that he’s a real foodie a heart. She can’t disagree though, as the glutinous post-rave snack renders her mouth shut. Today’s slice of stringy goo tells an altogether different story. It’s not just cheese on toast anymore. It’s an open-top sandwich – ciabatta topped with a hearty spread of wholegrain mustard, two thick cut slices of bacon and toasted Gruyère – crisp and golden like the crème brûlée we tap into on client lunches. It’s served with rocket. It’s cultured, it’s pretentious. Like me. There aren’t many meals that stay with you throughout your life. Your colleagues would tear you a new one if they caught you tearing into a packet of Dairylea Lunchables (A sad state of affairs – Ed), while you’ve had to suppress those cravings for curly fries and
‘It’s the stories that keep us coming back to this dish’ www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
beans now you’re shacked up with the missus. But cheese on toast isn’t junk food, it’s different, somehow both timeless and classless. Cheese on toast can be anything you want it to be: welsh rarebit, a grilled cheese sandwich, a croque monsieur even. No matter how you garnish that slice of bread, it’ll always be a Great British classic that embodies the simplicity which defines this island’s culinary character. And no matter what you call it, or what you put between the cheese and bread, it’s the stories melted onto every slice of toasted goodness that keeps us coming back to this staple dish. When I’m older and wiser, I’ll reflect on my life as a scabby-kneed lad, a rebellious raver and a pretentious nine-to-fiver by reaching for a block of mature cheddar, firing up the grill and revelling in the years gone by with every nostalgic bite.
Pictures: © Umbrella
Elliott Lewis-George ponders an ever-changing yet never-changing snack
Taste the difference Felicity Cloake’s pursuit of culinary excellence has led to her creating nearfaultless versions of classic recipes, as this selection from her book Perfect shows
Perfect min es tron e
Until recently, I thought I didn’t like minestrone. This opinion was based solely on the strangely tangy powdered stuff, studded with suet-like strands of pasta, which was often the least-awful item on the school lunch menu. When the competition was stiffer than kidney stew, however, minestrone went out the window. Then I read Giorgio Locatelli on the subject – and discovered that, strictly speaking, minestrone isn’t a zuppa at all, it’s a kind of vegetable stew, with a few ladlefuls of broth on top, which makes it sound a lot more attractive. As Angela Hartnett observes, it should be a meal in itself. In fact, as Locatelli and others point out, minestrone is more of a concept than a recipe, using whatever vegetables and thickeners happen to be available: courgettes, broad beans and peas in the spring, potatoes, chard and carrots in the winter. Common thickeners include broken bits of pasta, potato, beans, farro and rice – having tried all of them, I like to include cubes of potato, beans and risotto rice (at home, Locatelli admits he often makes a soup so thick with rice that his daughter can stand a spoon up in it – just as his grandmother did for him). The really important thing to get right is the liquid which underpins the whole dish. Jamie comes down in favour of ham stock, while Locatelli uses vegetable stock for his light spring minestrone, and vegetables and pulses Angela says chicken stock gives the best flavour, although she concedes one can also use vegetable at a pinch. Chicken is certainly the most versatile option; more subtle than ham, and more savoury than vegetable, it’s the ideal base for most ingredients. I don’t think you need the red wine or tinned tomatoes that Mr Oliver puts into his early autumn minestrone either – they make it too rich and tomatoey, overpowering the vegetables which should be the real stars of the show. A good tip from Locatelli is to add the ingredients in the order they will cook, rather than sticking everything in together and hoping for the best. This way you should end up with soft, rather than mushy veg – and not a lump of soup powder in sight.
Serves 4 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to serve 1 onion, chopped 1 clove of garlic, crushed 2 carrots, cut into 1cm dice 2 sticks of celery, cut into 1cm dice Seasonal vegetables (e.g. autumn/ winter – ¼ of a Savoy cabbage, roughly chopped, 1 bunch of spinach, roughly chopped, 1 leek, chopped; spring/ summer – 1 courgette, diced, handful of fresh peas or broad beans, ½ a head of fennel, diced) 1.25 litres good-quality chicken stock 1 potato, peeled and cut into 2cm dice 100g drained tinned borlotti beans 200g risotto rice (optional) Salt and pepper A small bunch of basil, to serve 50g Parmesan, grated, to serve
Method: 1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan over a fairly gentle heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover and cook for 5 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the carrots and cook for a few minutes until softened, then do the same with the celery. Add the rest of the vegetables in order of cooking time – spinach or peas cook very quickly, for example, while a cabbage will take longer. (Bear in mind they don’t need to be cooked through at this point, just softened.) 2. Pour in the stock, and add the potato, beans and rice, if using. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the potato and rice are cooked. Season to taste. Serve with torn basil leaves, a scattering of Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
Covered: Food, recipes
Perfect ra gu bologn ese
To write on spag bol is to wade into a mire of controversy thicker and darker than any ragu that ever came out of nonna’s kitchen. People feel very strongly indeed about what is, basically, a meat sauce of no more particular merit than, say, a shepherd’s pie, or a chilli – and almost every cookery book has its own ‘authentic’ version. I’m all for keeping things simple, but the minimalist beef, vegetable and tomato puree version in the classic Italian recipe bible The Silver Spoon fails to deliver on flavour, and although a dollop of cream can generally be relied upon to improve any dish, Italian cookery teacher Ursula Ferrigno’s unctuous bolognese is rich but bland. I like the dark and intensely savoury ragu in Locatelli’s Made in Italy, but the mixture of red wine and tomato passata doesn’t seem to be typical of the traditional sauces of the area, unlike Marcella Hazan’s combination of milk and white wine. The ItalianAmerican food writer claims the dairy counteracts the acidic ‘bite’ of the alcohol – and it certainly adds a hint of sweetness to the end result. Bologna, in the northeast of Italy, is cow country, so this addition makes sense. Although mixing meats is quite usual in the dish’s homeland, I find adding pork overpowers the beef: chicken livers and pancetta, however, as used by Elizabeth David, add a subtle smokiness to the sauce. (She takes her recipe from one Zia Nerina, ‘a splendid meat and fish woman, titanic of proportion but angelic of face and manner’, who ran a renowned restaurant in Bologna in the 1950s, when David was researching Italian Food.) Lastly, cooking the dish very slowly and gently in the oven, in obedience to Heston Blumenthal, makes the meat meltingly tender, and wonderfully rich. It may seem a lot of faff for such a common or garden dish, so remember, this is ragù alla bolognese, not spag bol – and you certainly won’t regret it. The fact is that there is no definitive recipe for a bolognese meat sauce, but to be worthy of the name, it should respect the traditions of the area: white wine, meat and milk, rather than tomatoes or Chianti, should be the key flavours. Cook long and slow, freeze any extra for week-night suppers, and serve with anything but spaghetti; in Bologna, rich meat ragus such as this are served with fresh tagliatelle or lasagne verdi. Tag bol doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though, does it?
Serves 4 A generous knob of butter 100g dry cure smoked streaky bacon, finely diced 1 onion, finely diced 1 carrot, finely diced 2 sticks of celery, finely diced 250g coarsely minced beef, at room temperature Salt and pepper 40g chicken liver, finely chopped 150ml whole milk Nutmeg, to grate 150ml dry white wine 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes 500g homemade pasta or dried pasta of your choice 100g Parmesan or pecorino, to serve Method: 1. Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole set over a gentle heat, then add the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, until the bacon has started to melt, then add the onion and cook gently for a further 5 minutes, until softened. Tip in the carrot and cook for 5 minutes before adding the celery and cooking for a further 2 minutes. 2. Turn the heat up, crumble the beef into the pan, season generously and brown for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps. Stir in the liver, and let it cook for another 5 minutes. 3. Preheat the oven to 125°C/250°F/ gas ½. Pour in the milk, and grate a little nutmeg over the top. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 30 minutes, until almost all the milk has evaporated. 4. Pour in the wine and the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a wooden spoon, and stir well. Bring to a simmer. Put the casserole into the oven, with the lid slightly askew, and cook for at least 3 hours (4 is even better), until the meat is very tender. Check on it occasionally, and top up with a little water if it seems too dry, although this probably won’t be necessary. 5. Cook the pasta in a large pan of generously salted water and drain. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss together well to coat before serving with freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino.
Confronted by these all-American delights, the human soul crumbles into fudgey defeat, and a million eyes widen into heart-shaped pools of chocolate goo. But the dearly beloved brownie is not without its problems for the cook. For a start, there’s the divisive issue of cakey versus fudgey. The two opposing schools of thought are represented neatly by the twin deities of Nigel (Slater) and Nigella (Lawson) – the former’s method is designed to incorporate as much air as possible into the batter, giving a surprisingly light, but divinely dark result, whereas the original domestic goddess concentrates on cramming as much butter as possible into her brownies, in order to ensure something quite obscenely rich and gooey. At the risk of prompting Nigella’s many fans to toss away this book in disgust, her brownies are just too much for my taste – designed more for smearing saucily around the place than actually eating, perhaps. Replacing some of the chocolate with cocoa powder, as Nigel does, ensures a rich flavour without weighing the brownies down with too much fat, and vigorous whipping of the batter helps to give them a lovely crisp crust. Plunging them straight into cold water as soon as they leave the oven, as recommended by the American First Lady of Chocolate, Alice Medrich, stops them from continuing to cook – so they stay gorgeously moist. But definitely not gooey.
How to melt chocolate: Chocolate is very sensitive to heat, and burns easily, so it’s important to take care when melting it. You can microwave chunks of chocolate, stirring every 30 seconds until fully melted, but it is safer to break it into a heatproof glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water, so I can keep an eye on it. Don’t allow the bowl to touch the water, and be careful not to drip any liquids into the chocolate or it will solidify.
Things to add to the brownies instead of walnuts: 100g of pistachio nuts and the bruised seeds of 10 cardamom pods 100g of chopped toffee and 50g of roughly chopped pecans 100g of mini marshmallows 100g of fresh or frozen raspberries and 50g of white chocolate chips 125g of dried fruit – sour cherries or dried apricots are my favourites
Makes 12 250g chocolate (70 per cent cocoa) 250g unsalted butter, softened 300g golden caster sugar 3 large free-range eggs, plus 1 extra egg yolk, lightly beaten 60g plain fl our ½ teaspoon baking powder A pinch of salt 60g good-quality cocoa powder 100g walnuts (optional) Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ gas 4, and line the base and sides of a 23 x 23cm baking tin (a loosebottomed one won’t work here) with baking parchment, cutting slits in the corners to help it fit better. 2. Set a bowl over, but not touching, a pan of simmering water, and add 200g of the chocolate, broken into pieces. Allow to melt, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat immediately. 3. Meanwhile, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, and break the rest of the chocolate into chips. 4. With the mixer still running, gradually add the eggs, beating well between each addition to ensure it’s thoroughly incorporated before pouring in any more. Leave it mixing
on a high speed for 5 minutes, until the batter has a silky sheen and has increased in volume. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder into a large bowl and mix well. 5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the melted chocolate and chocolate chips with a metal spoon, followed by the dry ingredients and walnuts. 6. Spoon the mixture into the tin, and bake for 30 minutes. Test with a skewer; it should come out sticky, but not coated with raw mixture. If it does, put it back into the oven for another 3 minutes, then test again. Prepare a roasting tin of iced water. 7. When the brownies are ready, remove the tin from the oven and place in the cold water bath. Allow to cool for an hour before cutting into squares, and leave the tin in the water bath until cooled completely. Store in an airtight container: they’re even better the next day.
Perfect is published by Penguin, out now www.penguin.co.uk
Pictures: © Felicity Cloake
Perfect chocola te brown ies
the umbrella bar
Prescription service Apotheca serves up alcoholic antidotes to the aches of modern northern living anchester’s Northern Quarter is the city’s freeform bohemia, distanced from the ten-a-penny shopping arcades, identikit office blocks and franchised DJ bars that litter the city the world once fell in love with. Instead, the area’s eclectic cafes, boutiques and record stores have remained havens for those in search of the unique and honest. Thanks to beautiful bars like Apotheca, you can find that sauntering northern charm at the bottom of a cocktail glass too. Apotheca resides in an old pharmacy on Thomas Street, the Quarter’s main drag. Its unassuming exterior hides a magnificent island bar designed by NQ local Paul Astill, who also lent his hand to the refurbishment of Sankey’s nightclub across the block. But it’s the intriguing array of old apothecary drawers that truly define the joint – antique cabinets house the vast array of spirits and liqueurs used to create over 50 delicious tonics and potions, from the old favorites to more avantgarde elixirs. “We use unique ingredients, from lapsang souchong tea to coriander,” explains Apotheca’s bar manager Charlene Holt. “All of the Apotheca originals are made by our own mixologists and aren’t available in any other bars.” That sounds just the tonic.
Covered: Cocktails, Manchester
Enter Name Here
Method: Add the Sailor Jerry, Cointreau, raspberries, passion fruit syrup and lemon juice to a Boston glass/cocktail shaker. Give it a quick muddle, squeeze in the fresh orange wedge and add the apple juice. Shake, strain and serve in a Collins glass.
Softly, softly, Catchee Monkey Liquids: 1 shot Monkey Shoulder whisky ½ Crème de Banana ½ shot Galliano L’Autentico 20ml lemon juice 25ml white grape juice Orange bitters Garnish: Banana slice Method: In a Boston glass, add the Monkey shoulder, Crème de Banana, Galliano L’Autentico, lemon juice, 2 drops of orange bitters and the 25ml of white grape juice. Shake and strain. Serve on the rocks.
Method: Muddle together the red chili, a pea-sized blob of wasabi, lime juice, Jasmine gomme and Green tea gomme in a Boston glass. Then add the shot of Sipsmith and ½ shot of Lychee liqueur. Finally, add the Eager apple juice, shake, fine strain and serve in a Martini glass.
WORDS: ELLIOTT LEWIS-GEORGE PHOTOGRAPHY: © Edward Tang www.edwardtang.com
Enter the Dragon Liquids: ¼ shot Jasmine gomme ¼ shot Green tea gomme 1½ shot Sipsmith ½ shot Lychee liqueur 1 shot Eager apple juice Juice from one lime Solids: Red chili (to taste) Wasabi Garnish: Lime wedge Chili
Liquids: 1½ shots Sailor Jerry ½ shot Cointreau 10ml passion fruit syrup 10ml lemon juice 25ml Eager apple juice Solids: Handful of raspberries Fresh orange wedge Garnish: Lime wedge Raspberry
26 24 Editions
mark easton The BBC Home Affairs Editor Mark Easton’s new book, Britain etc is an examination of what sets the people of these islands apart through an A-Z of objects, themes and living things. Our attitude to them, he concludes, tells us everything we need to know about the country that he reports on
mbrella: Are we obsessed with the weather in this country ? Mark Easton: It’s certainly a way to break down barriers. We are obsessed with it, because it changes a lot – it’s not the weather itself, but its unpredictably. A lot of people over the years have tried to demonstrate that the climate that they and their mates lived in has produced a particularly excellent group of human beings. Right up to the 19th Century people were trying prove that our climate had made created a particular British character that made us better. Sadly, it’s nonsense.
U: What does shape us then? ME: Well, I do think the weather does have some affect. I conclude that the changeability of the British weather affects the way we see the world. It makes us more prepared for when problems occur. It’s not the umbrella that defines us but the fact we have to carry one. People imagine that you’re going to be happier if it’s sunny, that you’ll be unhappy if it’s cold and wet. There is no evidence for this. There’s this idea that Scandinavians commit suicide more than anyone else – it’s nonsense. The Swedish suicide myth comes from a speech President Eisenhower made that associated European socialism with killing yourself. The WHO data suggests the Swedish rate is in line with Hong Kong and South Africa on suicide. In fact, that nations that come out with the highest rates of
happiness time after time are the likes of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Sweden – and they’re all cold places. U: What about us and the idea of a unique ‘island race’? ME: Since the Romans, people here have always had a real dislike of foreign bureaucrats and their rulers. We do not like straight lines, we like them to be complicated. We like it that Americans can’t pronounce or spell Worcestershire. We like the fact that we’re an old and complicated nation, that things don’t make sense. We like irrationality and eccentricity.
‘new commonwealth’ (ie black people) were committing crimes. It just wasn’t true.
U: Are we as anti-immigrant as is sometimes pointed out? ME: On immigration, it’s a tricky area. I’ve had to be immensely careful. Going right back to the expulsion of the Jews in 13-whatever, the powerful have used our natural distrust of foreigners as a way of getting what they want through. Edward I needed money for his wars, so decided to get rid of the Jews which was very popular. We can now see these shocking documents from after World War II, which show that we’d allow in all the people from the Commonwealth who’d fought with us against the Nazis, but actually behind the scenes people were coming out with devious little tricks to keep blacks and Asians out. In order to justify this, they created these committees to gather evidence to show that those from the
U: Does the British left have a problem with patriotism? ME: Actually, the big divide is between traditional and progressive politics. Traditionalists will generally vote Conservative, progressives vote Liberal or Labour, though actually there’s probably a bit of both in all of us. One of the chapters in the book is called F for Family. We’re told family life is collapsing in Britain. But we did some surveys at the BBC in which we asked people about family life – the same questions as were asked in the 1950s and ’60s. And in every single case about how happy they were in family life, people think things are much better now than they’ve ever been. That’s weird. We were told the collapse in traditional families would make us more unhappy.
‘we like the fact that we’re an old complicated nation, that things don’t make sense’ www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
U: What about the monarchy and our seemingly endless love affair with it? ME: The monarchy is not rational – you wouldn’t invent it now. But would I get rid of it? No, because it’s based on this wonderful thing: magic. We like sprinkling pixie dust around. We like the fact’ it’s incomprehensible and doesn’t make
Covered: Britain, the BBC
sense. We love silly hats and bearskin costumes. We like the absurdity of it all.
U Another chapter is on swearing. Are we a nation of potty-mouths? ME: The truth is that the upper and working classes have always sworn and they’re very good at it. It was the bourgeois came up with the idea of modesty. We swear enormously, British men use the f-word 28 times more than their American counterparts. We use it like we sprinkle salt on chips, Americans use it to hurt. If you go back the middle ages swearing was about blasphemy, the church and God, because they ran the show. Fastforward and it became about sh*t, a word that was used in the King James Bible, but offended middle class sensibilities. The working and upper classes knew it got under the middle class’s skin. U: And today? ME: Swearing has reinvented itself. Swear words lose their power in our culture. It now attacks the very tolerance that allows us to swear. So it attacks those minority groups in society. The words that cause most offence are about black people, women, other ethnic minorities. So ‘n**ger’, which my parents generation would have shrugged at, is now amongst the worst terms you could use. That’s interesting. Swearing is always about the orthodoxy of the time, the church, bourgeois, and today’s liberal orthodoxy. No other country has been on that journey.
Britain etc is published by Simon & Schuster, out now www.simonandschuster.com
interview: anthony teasdale Illustration: © Matt Reynolds / Shutterstock
U: On food, you say that what we eat can change how we see it ME: Yes, like vegetables. It’s the story of the food of the poor becoming a superfood. Veg was for the poor, which you’d boil for hours as the fertiliser it was grown in was made from human waste and would kill you if the food wasn’t cooked. The rich ate meat in vast quantities, white bread, sugar. Wind your clock forward to today and it’s the other way round, the working class now eat white bread and red meat.
Old school This model, made in the early 2000s is one of the last analogue sets Roberts made â€“ the Revival is now purely a digital radio
Covered: Radios, design Our favourite things…
Box of delights The Roberts Revival is a radio that speaks for itself here was a time when we actually used to make stuff in Britain, rather than just provide financial services and television talent show templates for the rest of the world. These products, especially those from the middle part of the 20th Century never had the élan of things made in say, Italy, but they reflected everything what we British like and admire about ourselves: dependable, sturdy, unspectacular. Not going to let you down. Good value. Those sort of things. The Roberts Revival radio reflects this spirit perfectly. A wooden box covered in leatherette and boasting a gold-coloured speaker grille on the front, it defines a pre-swinging London world of plain food, rationing and make-do-and-mend. Roberts began making valve radios from their central London base in 1932, but it was only in
‘This is a radio that’s primarily made for speech’
excellent acoustics for music, but it’s primarily a radio for speech – ideally Radio 4’s Gardeners’ Question Time or even better, Test Match Special. There’s something soothing about the timbre that immediately takes the listener back to childhood and far-off days at the grandparents’. It’s a radio for kitchens and garages – something to accompany life rather than to provide a distraction from it. Like many British classics of the period, there are various twists on the Revival, but apart from the move from analogue to digital, outwardly at least, it remains the same. And while it was never meant as a fashion item, its unchanging, simple shape means that it complements the look of any room: from the messiest workshop to the most minimal apartment. A real turn-on indeed. Find our more at www.robertsradio.co.uk
photography: © Umbrella
1958 that the company made the set that would define them – the RT1. A transisitor radio, it wasn’t their first portable – the earlier R66 was the template for its instantly recognisable shape – but it was the best. With a battery life of two years and an unusually powerful speaker, it became the radio to own and a favourite with the young Queen Elizabeth II, who granted the company a Royal Charter in 1955. Say what you like about the Germans, they know quality when they see it. The Revival (an updated RT1) is the sound (and sight) of middle England at home. Of course, its satisfyingly hollow interior provides
Field trip Architecture, travel and transport
34: Malaga: much more than just an airport 38: On the NY subway 40: Why cyclists have to fight for their rights
Itâ€™s complicated With its in-station shopping centres, competing providers and white-gloved attendants, the Tokyo Metro really is a world of it own. Find out more on page 32.
32 Field trip
Big in Japan The vast Tokyo metro is every bit as unique as the city that hosts it, says Mariko Kato erving nine million people every day across nearly 300 stations in a sprawling, vast metropolis, the Tokyo subway operation is a master class in dealing with density and providing more than mere transport. Commuters are enviably satisfied customers, enjoying a clean, reliable and affordable service. At the same time, the bureaucratic complications of being run by two separate companies mean surprising inconveniences in the basic matters of fares and connections. The Tokyo metro was Asia’s first, envisioned by entrepreneur Noritsugu Hayakawa who was inspired by London Underground during his travels in the 1910s. The first trains set off in 1927 between the downtown areas of Asakusa and Ueno, now part of the Ginza line. The next line wasn’t built until after the war in 1954 – the Marunouchi, which linked the bustling towns of Ikebukuro and Shinjuku. As more tracks were laid down, technological advances and space restrictions meant that some ran very deep. Roppongi station, at the heart of one of Tokyo’s busiest entertainment districts, is buried 42 metres underground. The metro is part of a tightly woven subterranean network that takes the heat off the traffic above ground. The Yamate road tunnel that cuts through the city snakes between subway lines, at one point brushing past with only two metres of soil separating them. Meanwhile, on the subway trains,
Top: An unusually quiet day on the Metro Above: Colour-coded lines make it easy for commuters to navigate
Covered: Metros, Tokyo, Japan commuters silently endure the notorious rush hours, pushed politely but firmly into the carriages by white-gloved station attendants. Notwithstanding levels of claustrophobia that make sardines look like they’re swinging cats in a penthouse, the experience of riding the Tokyo tube is often sublimely smooth. Transition from the overground network is seamless, made using a rechargeable pass that you can sync up with your credit card. You can travel 40km across the city on £2.30, swayed gently by the hushed rhythm of the train. In fact, passengers’ main concern is falling asleep and missing their stop. As with the city’s railways, the Tokyo metro provides
‘Commuters are pushed politely onto trains by white-gloved attendants’
Get in the know about the Tokyo metro Visiting Japan’s capital? Read this
+ Fares are graded by station and
distance, starting at around £1.20 for 6km of travel Subway trains started making announcements in English in 1964 for the Tokyo Olympics Tokyo Metro and Toei’s networks together run over 300km of track, on 13 lines The clue’s in the name: some stations are called ‘-mae’, meaning ‘in front of –’, making it easier for tourists. For example, take ‘Meijijingu-mae’ for the Meiji jingo shrine, and ‘Todai-mae’ for Tokyo daigaku, or Tokyo university Don’t worry if you’re not sure which ticket to get – buy the cheapest and pay the difference at the fare adjustment machine at your destination stop If your train runs more than five minutes late, you can claim a written declaration from the operating company as proof of your innocence in arriving late to work Apart from Tokyo, an impressive 10 other cities in Japan have their own subway systems
+ + +
PHOTOGRAPHY: © Shutterstock / Natsuko Fukue acupofteaintokyo.blogspot.com
women-only carriages for protection against male gropers, or carriages with gentler air conditioning. Busier subway stations come with pristinely modern recreational venues; you can use your pass to buy a cappuccino at Starbucks or catch up on your shopping at a variety of trendy stores. The most popular stops like fashionable Omotensando have a small ‘town’ attached, complete with hair and nail salons, massage parlours, bakeries and an array of restaurants. The metro is also part of the tapestry of the city’s more troubled history. As the shells fell on Tokyo during World War II sections of the subway had to close, while flooding from burst water pipes meant it failed to shelter citizens in the way its London counterpart did. One Monday morning in March 1995, it was the stage of the devastating sarin gas attack by religious cult Aum Shinrikyo, which killed 13 passengers and made more than 6,300 ill. The incident shattered the citizens’ belief that Tokyo was safe from terrorism. And last year when the Fukushima earthquake reverberated through the capital, the metro came to a halt along with the railways, leaving 90,000 people stranded in the city. The locals’ biggest snag with their subway system is the patches of inefficiency owing to its operation by two companies. Some lines are run by Tokyo Metro, a private firm jointly owned by the Tokyo and central governments, while others are controlled by Toei, a public entity operated solely by the Tokyo administration. This means stations with the same name can have two separate entry points with no connecting walkway, and differing fare systems can lead to a doubling-up on tickets. Recent talks to merge the two have been hindered by Toei’s huge long-term debts. Even if you manage to avoid riding the subway in Tokyo – something which is almost impossible if you want to get around – you still won’t be able to miss its ubiquitous presence. Tokyo Metro promotes itself aggressively as a brand, featuring top actresses in arty TV adverts and poster campaigns. If you’re into that kind of thing, the current tagline is the more-than-usually-witty ‘Tokyo Wonderground’. www.tokyometro.jp/en
34 Field trip
Malaga: technology and tourism in harmony For years Malaga has meant just one thing to tourists: the airport where you board the coach for the Costa Del Sol. A shame, as this thriving port is using technology and culture to reflect its status as Andalucia’s second city. With much of Spain struggling with recession, John Mackin travels south to find out why Malaga is a rare beacon of hope in this proud but beleaguered nation
ominated as a Europe’s City of Culture for 2016, Malaga’s current boom – like Barcelona’s in the ’90s – won’t just be based around attracting visitors. Tourism is just part of a grand strategic plan to make Malaga an economic and technological capital. Central to this is the overhaul of the airport into a true international hub. Fifty airlines now fly from three terminals to over 120 airports worldwide, and with the opening of a second runway this spring this impressive expansion is set to continue. Regular flights to the UK, US and the Gulf – as well as joining the city to the Spanish high-speed AVE train network – were deemed essential to the growth of the Parque Malaga de Andalucia. This technology park, closely integrated with Malaga University, has mushroomed since its inauguration in 1992 into Spain’s very own Silicon Valley.
‘The city’s Moorish and medieval architecture has remained unscathed’ The park hosts over 500 companies and employs almost 15,000 people, a remarkable figure in a region notorious for high levels of unemployment. A steering group of leading companies – ‘Club Malaga Valley e-27’ – have set as their objective making this area a European centre of technical excellence. One short-term aim is make Malaga Spain’s first completely wi-fi-enabled city. However, all work and no play makes Juan a dull boy and the Spanish are certainly quick to tell you this. It’s an attitude that certainly chimes with Umbrella’s philosophy. This becomes apparent when the heat of the afternoon
subsides and the offices empty onto the streets. Malaga’s nightlife is some of Spain’s finest, centred in the old town, round Calle Marques de Larios. This ridiculously handsome shopping avenue – a dozen blocks of French colonial-style architecture – is paved with worn marble and punctuated with elegant iron lampposts. At the top, the street opens out into the Plaza de la Constitucion, the city’s centuries-old political and social epicentre. Here you’ll find one of Malaga’s most revered spots, the Cafe Central. This is the heart of Malagueno coffee-drinking culture and idling away the hours here is the perfect start to the evening. The side streets all around the square form a warren of bars, bodegas and restaurants. Bar Orellana, near the Cathedral, is one the great old haunts, barely holding a dozen people. It is classic old school Andalucia, complete with blaring TV and decades-old, flickering neon sign. Umbrella especially liked the garlicky, cumin-heavy paella that came free with a cold Cruzcampo. Whilst most of the Costa del Sol sprung up in the 1960s tourist boom, Malaga itself dates back to Roman times, and beyond. Under the Muslim rule of the Caliphate of Cordoba it grew into one the most beautiful and important towns on the Mediterranean coast. Despite heavy industrialisation in the 19th Century, and fierce Republican bombardments in the Civil War, the old city and its legacy of Moorish, medieval and renaissance architecture survives largely unscathed. Malaga’s most important monument is the cathedral: known locally as ‘the one armed lady’. As the city’s economic fortunes fluctuated so the building work ebbed and flowed – a planned second bell-tower never materialised. But the cathedral’s real appeal lies in its mixture of architectural styles: Gothic interior, Renaissance naves, and finally the Baroque facade and tower. Close by the cathedral, on Calle San Agustin, is the great new cultural hope for the city – the Picasso Museum.
Covered: Spian, cities
Transport The main budget airlines fly from numerous British cities into Malaga all year round. The airport is 5miles (7km) west of the city and trains depart for Centro-Alameda station every 20 minutes. The journey takes 12 minutes and the fare is €1.40. Buses leave from outside Terminal 3, cost €2 and take a little longer. They do, however, go further into the city, to the Alameda Principal. Taxis from the airport are €20.
Gory glory Malaga’s bullring was built in 1874, and today houses a musuem dedicated to the traditional sport. Fights are on Sunday afternoons
Once in town it’s best go by foot. Many narrow streets are pedestrianised or one-way and most places of interest are no more than a 15 minute walk from the old town. There is a €1.20 flat bus fare (www. emtsam.es). There is also a useful hop-on-hop-off Malaga Tour bus (www.malaga-tour. com), which calls at the port and stops at the cathedral, Alcazaba, Gibralfaro castle and most of the main tourist sites and points of interest. The service runs every 30 minutes and costs €15 for a day ticket. The Metro de Málaga is a light metro network currently under construction. A total of six lines are planned to eventually join the Parc Tecnologico and airport to the city centre. Trains from Madrid (AVE High-Speed) take just 2hr 40min – book via the state railway, Renfe.
36 Field trip
The greatest painter of the 20th Century was born here in the town and they hold him very dear in these parts. The museum, housed in a 16th Century palace, was inaugurated in 2007 by King Juan Carlos – a symbol of the importance of this museum in the cultural rebirth of the city. On display amongst hundreds of paintings, sketches and ceramics, there is the 1936 masterpiece The Woman With Raised Arms – Pablo’s nod to his hometown unfinished cathedral. At the eastern end the old port area of La Malagueta is the beach. Just keep going past the 15,000-seater bull ring and suddenly you’re on a wide beach made from sand imported from the Sahara. But don’t be put off. Like Malaga it has reinvented itself brilliantly. Seafood restaurants,
bars and cafes abound as well as some of Malaga’s more hardcore nightclubs. A summer Saturday night here might not wind down until 9am. Everywhere there are the tell-tale signs of regeneration: cement dust, the shreik of pneumatic drills and, inevitably, new public art turning previously anonymous street corners into ‘points of interest’. The busy main road adjacent to the harbour, currently undergoing massive refurbishment, shakes as trucks rattle past sub-tropical parkland, disturbing screeching parrots. High above this on the hill stands the majestic Arabic citadel, the Alcazaba. The city has been through all this sort of things before, though. It seems to be saying, enjoy it – we’re going nowhere.
Along with tapas and bullfighting there is also that great other Spanish obsession that a transformed Malaga is delivering in revitalised style: football. After years in the doldrums (less than a decade ago they were in the third tier) the local team, Malaga CF – known as Los Boquerones, ‘the anchovies’ – have suddenly found a new lease of life under the ownership of a Qatari Sheik, Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Thani. The sheik bought the club for €36m and his patronage has brought stars like Ruud van Nistelrooy (above) south to revitalise the club. After narrowly avoiding relegation just a few years ago the club are currently riding at an all-time high: fourth in La Liga at the time of writing. All of this is as strange as it is welcome to the club’s long-suffering support – most notably the famous English supporters club formed of ex-pats and other non-Spanish holidaymakers who follow the team whenever they can. Malaga can thus dream about becoming a weekend football destination for tourists, like Madrid and Barcelona, and with dozens of economy airlines flying here, and with qualification for European football a distinct possibility – maybe even Champions League - it can only be a matter of time (and the sheik’s millions) before this becomes a reality. Umbrella might just have a new favourite foreign team.
photography: © Shutterstock
like what Like youus see? Click here to like us on facebook and receive updates and links to things weâ€™re into. Whatâ€™s not to like? Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
38 Field trip
The rough guide A new book captures the people who rode the New York City subway of the early’80s and conveys a world of paranoia, fear and morethan-occasional wonder hirty years ago, New York was a very different place to the gleaming, hip city state of today. Crime, especially murder, had been rocketing since the late’60s and neighbourhoods like the Lower East Side and Harlem were years away from gentrification. Forget ‘yuppie ghettos’, in the early-’80s they were ghettos plain and simple. The Big Apple’s Subway was especially notorious for crime and graffiti – a form of art that would go on to change graphic design forever – but which at the time added to people’s misgivings about using the service. Into this world stepped photographer Bruce Davidson, who captured its passengers from 1980 onwards in stark colour photography that brought out the brilliant visual richness of this edgy environment. The best of this work has been captured in his glorious re-released book, Subway. The pictures convey a New York of Latinos wearing crucifixes, young women dressed to the nines on their way to dance, and lots of regular people all looking, well, scared or at least apprehensive. This isn’t necessarily a place you want to spend too much time in, it’s oppressive and claustrophobic. And yet there’s happiness, too – with smiling black couples proudly showing off their love, and kids pressing their faces against the window as they scan the world outside. A subway, a city and a time encapsulated by one snapper. Today, New York is far safer place to be, and for most residents there’s a lot to be said about not having to worry whether you’re going get knifed when you pop out for a pint of milk. But the city of 30 years ago did have something special, and its edginess helped kick-start the twin global phenomenons of hiphop and graffiti. That’s long been replaced by something blander, more uniform, less ‘Noo Yoik’ as the hip out-of-towners have moved in and the locals have been priced out. This books demonstrates what we’ve lost.
Details From Harlem to Coney Island, New Yorkers used the Subway of the ’80s as the start of their nights out, their clothes a beacon of colour against the forbidding interior of the heavily vandalised carriages.
Covered: Metros, New York
Subway by Bruce Davidson is published by Steidl, priced ÂŁ42. www.steidlville.com
40 Field trip
Rolling news Umbrella’s take on the world of cycling
Get up, get into it and get involved! Can cyclist campaigns bring the UK up to speed with our European neighbours? Yes, says Don G. Cornelius, but only if you take a stand yourself Cycling is so hot right now. So, so hot! Hotter than the latest teen idol or bikini-clad soap star. But as more people take to the roads and rediscover the joys of two wheels, so action is needed. Cycling deaths are rising, though they’re still small in relation to the total amount of cyclists (don’t believe the hype about how dangerous it is to cycle in town), and friction between cyclists and other road users is growing, as the inherent (and false) right of motorists to solely use the road is being gently eroded and threatened. For the record, there is no such thing as ‘Road Tax’ and hasn’t been since 1937 – Vehicle Excise Duty, paid by motorists is a tax on the ownership of a vehicle, not its use. A growing media backlash fuelled by ignorance, stereotyping and lazy commentators pontificating about red light jumpers, pavement cyclists and arrogant lycra-clad riders is putting the brakes on cycling’s ability to transform our urban spaces. Now is the time, to paraphrase Malcolm X, to stand for something, so we don’t fall for anything. Cycling needs you, you and you! It’s time for all riders, whatever your bike of choice to stand up and make sure that cycling is at the top of every political agenda. Change doesn’t come about without struggle, and if we want safer roads, improved infrastructure – safer junctions and permeability for cycling (maximum route choice, minimum diversion), increased numbers of cyclists and with that, healthier/happier communities, better provisions for cyclists in the workplace, more cycle racks, theft prevention, tougher penalties for those who injure or kill cyclists, reduction of CO2 emissions and better air quality – the list goes on, and we’ll have to campaign for it. Join cycling advocacy groups, like the CTC, founded in 1878 and 70,000 members strong, an independent charity that campaigns to promote cycling throughout the UK, or if you live in London, the LCC, which has 11,000 members, and strives to make the capital a city that encourages people to ride their bikes. It’s started a Love London, Go Dutch campaign to make the capital a more pleasant environment to cycle through. Both the CTC and LCC have a wide range of benefits for their members, including bike shop discounts, access to legal helplines and third party insurance. Bend the ear of your local MP, make sure they’re aware of issues that cyclists face, and if they aren’t, make them aware or vote for someone who is. Now is the time to push for councillors who are pro-cycling. Londonersonbikes.org recently focused the thoughts of the city’s mayoral candidates by mobilizing cyclists across the capital to use their votes for a mayor who’d put cycling at the heart of their term in office. Read or write blogs, like iBikeLondon, the CyclingSilk or CycleLondonCity to understand the issues that affect all cyclists, and be aware of the opportunities to join protests and flash rides, so that you become active, not just on the bike, but about the bike.
Lezyne: beautiful pumps and more One sort of inflation we’re happy about There’s nothing better than using something which is designed and engineered properly, that has that significant heft of the reassuringly well-made. This is where Lezyne come in. The company only entered into the cycling consciousness in 2007, but from the start the brushed and polished metal exteriors drew the eye and the oohs. Most cycling accessories are pretty ugly – anonymous, indentikit pieces of plastic and rubber, differentiated only by price and the size
of the manufacturers logo splashed across it. Lezyne products stand out and work well since there’s no point in having a snazzy track pump if it doesn’t inflate a soufflé. So when shopping for a new pump, I dumped my cash on a Lezyne. It now sits very shinily in my musette, ready for action. Lezyne also do a nice line of lights, pumps, tools, bottle gauges, hydration packs and luggage. Most are shiny, some even have carbon on them. www.lezyne.com
Fit but you know it fiddling with components on said bike to come to a solution that a more experienced eye could have seen in one sitting. Well, help is at hand: bike fitting, where over two hours an experienced, certified professional talks to you about what you ride, how you ride and any cycling goals you may have. Sits you on a cycling jig, takes images of you as you pedal and then adjusts your position to provide the perfect melding of your physical attributes to the new bike you’re about to purchase or old cycle you’ve rocked up on. It’s not cheap, prices for bike fittings start from £130 but for that price you’ll get impressive amounts of data, both hard copy and digital, and the information to set up any other bikes you purchase and a body that will thank you as you put the miles in, year after year.
Cycle fits available London Mosquito Bikes, £180 www.mosquito-bikes.co.uk Cyclefit, £195 cyclefit.co.uk Bike Whisperer, £165 www.thebikewhisperer.co.uk
+ + +
Milton Keynes Velomotion, £185 www.velomotion.co.uk
Leamington Spa Bike Dynamics £135 www.bikedynamics.co.uk
Plymouth Ride £130 www.rideplymouth.co.uk
PHOTOGRAPHY: © Shutterstock
Get yourself bespoke for your bike If you don’t fit your bike to you, you’ll fit yourself to the bike. And the aches, pains, niggles and injuries you feel after a day in the saddle are all too often caused by not taking the time to adjust the bike to get your own uniquely individual contact points of hands, feet and arse aligned correctly. The roll of the eyes I hide daily is at the sight of another cyclist whose seat is too low or frame too big/small as they huff away alongside me, unaware that bikes can be adjusted in a myriad ways: crank length; seat post height/layback; handlebar width; stem height/length. Eventually most people who ride will, through trial and error figure out what is best for them but… Why wait until you’re in pain to decide that maybe this bike isn’t fitting you correctly? And then expending lots of time and effort,
Journalism from the front line of the modern world
44: Sister Ray: could it be Soho’s final record shop? 48: Dagenham Ford: The plant that defined the UK car industry 54: Ads from the Mad Men era
last man standing? The story of one of the country’s best known record shops and what its plight says about the state of the music industry in Britain today www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Illustration: © Tom Bingham www.tombinghamillustration.co.uk
Itâ€™s a shame
Covered: Record shops, music
t’s Wednesday night and London’s Soho is buzzing. Market traders pack up their stalls, trendy media folk sup post-work pints curbside and shifty silhouettes dart in and out of sex shops. But the hustle and bustle of metropolis life can’t distract me as I gaze into the shop window of 34-35 Berwick Street, home to Sister Ray, the last ‘full service’ record shop in the capital. For the past six years, I’ve spent many an evening lusting over the vast array of CDs and vinyl that sprawl over Sister Ray’s shop window. From Jim Morrison to J-Dilla and James Blake, artists of all genres have basked in the glow of the window’s calmly oscillating disco ball. Needless to say, it doesn’t take long until the soul music emanating from this West End landmark coaxes me inside. Instantly seduced by the endless rows of meticulously categorised sonic gems, I’m soon stood in front of Sister Ray’s large black counter, splurging next week’s food budget on a couple of new releases – tangible records that, ironically, I downloaded a week before off some dodgy music blog. More importantly, each of my honest purchases makes me feel I’m doing my bit to keep the illustrious legacy of Sister Ray alive, one of only six record stores in an area that once boasted 20 on Berwick Street alone. Before calling Soho home, Sister Ray began life as a market stall in Camden, north London, dishing out records to rockers and punks throughout the late-’80s. Soon, its impeccable mail order service helped it establish a name for itself. “We used to have adverts in NME and Q when we first started out,” explained current owner Phil Barton to The Quietus last year. “A weekly NME advert was just a bible for people buying indie and the first wave of techno records at the time so that was all Sister Ray-led.” With a firm understanding of what made record collectors part with their cash, Sister Ray set up shop at 94 Berwick Street: a road that’s been home to a historical market since 1892, and also once to Selectadisc, a shop that featured on the cover of Oasis’ (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? album and, until 2005, the tenants of the very spot where Sister Ray stands today. And one that was intrinsically linked to Sister Ray through Phil Barton. Founded in 1966 by Brian Selby, Selectadisc started out as a market stall, not in super-cool Camden, but the Midlands town of Mansfield. Three years later, Selby moved “Sleccy” to Nottingham’s Arkwright Street, later opening a soul cellar underneath the tiny shop. He gradually monopolised the northern soul market, offering US imports and re-pressings at a bargain price to soul-crazy Midlanders – even a young Pete Waterman was known to frequent the shop. Selectadisc’s sceptical acceptance of the CD market in the 1980s led to its golden age. The decade saw Selby open stores in Market Street and Bridlesmith Gate in Nottingham. Shortly after, another store was established on London’s Berwick Street. A true entrepreneur and music fanatic, Sleccy’s owner also transformed a dilapidated reggae club into the Garage: a spot that became a regular haunt for hipsters looking for something other than easy birds and overpriced drinks. The Garage not only launched the career of house DJ Graeme Park, but also provided a young Phil Barton the opportunity launch himself into the unforgiving world of record shops: “I joined the Bridlesmith Gate shop after badgering Geoff the manager for ages. He saw me at a Milkshakes gig at the
London’s Sister Ray record shop is one of the last surviving vinyl stores left, but as Elliott Lewis-George explains, like its predecessor Selectadisc, it may well be fighting a losing battle
‘Music is a form of social glue – never underestimate its power’
However, like Selectadisc, it too became prey to the public’s new ways of procuring music. The store fell into administration in 2008, forcing Barton to dig deep into his pockets once again and buy the store outright in October that year. Today, with the likes of even HMV struggling to keep afloat, his outlook doesn’t look too positive: “We will probably sink. The landlord is after his building.” Despite the hardships faced by Sister Ray, the death of the Technics turntable and increase of (both illegal and legal) downloads, Barton – the hardened patron saint of the UK’s 300 remaining independent record stores – attests that vinyl isn’t dead: “At this moment it’s enjoying a bit of a renaissance. Vinyl is cool, the kids think so, the advertising industry thinks so and everyone realises that if you’re serious about music then a bit, or a lot, of vinyl is a necessary part of it.” Other stores in Soho, such as dance music shop Phonica have battled against extinction by putting on warehouse parties, hosting in-store DJ sets and establishing a record label. “We don’t have the mega cash behind us to do this,” says Barton. “The Sister Ray brand isn’t going to fill a nightclub.” So what, in his opinion, keeps an independent record store alive? “One: the stock. Two: the staff. Music is a form of social glue – never underestimate its power – shops are dispensers of this goodwill. Support them and society is a better place.” And it this sentiment that will echo through my mind as I stare through the shop window of 34-35 Berwick Street for many years to come. I hope.
Three resilient independent record shops Sifters, Manchester Name-dropped in Oasis’s Shakermaker, Sifters is a second-hand music store spilling with racks of dusty old vinyl and CDs. www.sifters-recordsmanchester.co.uk Spillers Records, Cardiff The oldest record shop in the world – it’s been trading for nearly 120 years. www.spillersrecords.co.uk Honest Jon’s, London Located on the famous Portobello Road, the shop’s been shifting delicious vinyl since 1974. Brilliant for left of field sounds. www.honestjons.com
Illustration: © Tom Bingham www.tombinghamillustration.co.uk
Garage, and finally relented when I went in and asked again the next day. That was probably January 1984,” recalls Barton. By the time the 2000s swung by, the increasing prominence and accessibility of digital downloads soon started to sink Selectadisc. It transpired that the iPod generation didn’t dig physical records anymore, forcing an aging Selby to sell the Soho branch of Selectadisc in 2005, to none other than its ex-employee Phil Barton and Sister Ray bod Neil Brown: “I made him [Brian] an offer for the business and Sister Ray moved from 94 to 34 Berwick Street.” With other independent shops in Nottingham such as Way Ahead and Arcade already deceased, things soon got worse for Selby and Selectadisc. By 2007, the Market Street shop was on the verge of extinction too. Barton, running Sister Ray down south, desperately tried to save Selby’s Notts empire but it was too late: “It was leaking money. The recession had hit and I wanted to see if it [Selectadisc] could ride it out – I was prepared to give it time – it couldn’t, and my pockets weren’t deep enough. Something had to give.” It was left then for Barton and Brown to ensure that Sister Ray upheld the legacy left behind by Brian Selby and – to quote the shop’s T-shirt slogan – supply “vinyl to the masses”. And for a while it had some real highs: in 2005 Sister Ray was the first shop to distribute Arctic Monkeys’ debut EP, in 2007 Music Week declared it Independent Record Store of the Year, and established artists such as Lily Allen and Richard Hawley performed in the shop.
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Made in Dagenham
Dagenham in east London was once home to the gigantic Ford factory, Europeâ€™s biggest car plant and a place that defined industrial politics in post-war Britain. Yet today, little of it remains. Using both contemporary documents and quotes from friends and family who worked there, Umbrellaâ€™s architecture correspondent Justin Clack tells the story of the factory that changed the way we worked and the cars we bought
Covered: Cars, history, politics
riving east on the A13, just past Barking, in east London, the arterial road hits a flyover. Coming into view are the two 275-feet high turbines of London’s first wind farm on the reinforced marsh of the old Ford car factory site. The smell of both the marsh and the estuary wind is pervasive. Much of the site is derelict – rusting, disused railway carriages and empty brick-built factories with their jagged, ‘north light’ roofs litter the area. Gone too is the huge 1930s neon sign that used to face the river, a lighthouse for 20th Century capitalism on an epic scale. And while mechanical production still goes on, it’s nothing compared to the time not so long ago when this place was home to one of Europe’s great car factories. A factory that helped to define how the people of this country worked. Ford was one of the world’s first multinationals, setting up in the UK as far back as 1911. Its original factory was at Trafford Park, Manchester, near the present-day Old Trafford football ground. After selling imported Model T cars in the UK, Henry Ford decided to export Detroit itself rather than the cars – and build a factory in Britain. A European ‘Motown’ could compete better with rival European manufacturers as it meant no shipping costs or export tariffs. And crucially, UK wages were lower. The fact that it would be more in touch with the tastes of the Europe, made even more sense to the Detroit management.
To Dagenham In the 1920s the bulk of steel and coal in the UK travelled by water as lorries were still relatively
small and there were no motorways. Ford’s capacity was restricted by the barges of the Manchester Ship Canal, so they decided to move their operation to the marshes of Dagenham on the north side of the Thames estuary, east of London’s docks. Previously used as plague pits, a tip for rubbish and spoil from the construction of the District Line, and a testing ground for early flying experiments, the marsh had already been home to a car body manufacturer, Briggs Body Works. Now deliveries of coal and steel from the north-east of England could be delivered by ship to Ford’s own, in-house coal power station and foundry. Most of the 2,000, mainly Irish Catholic workers of the Manchester factory were moved here on specially laid on trains overnight, settling into the Beacontree and Rylands estates. Even as recently as the 1980s, my brother recalls, whilst working as a temporary postman, he delivered Ford payslips to nearly every house in the 1920s-constructed Beacontree. Dagenham was Ford Town. The factory was huge, the largest car manufacturing plant in Europe, built on concrete ‘rafts’ that sat on 22,000 concrete piles, 80 feet deep. By the early 1960s, it was employing 36,000 people and the throb of the factory could be sensed miles away at night. My dad, living five miles away, remembers the huge glare periodically lighting up the night sky from the foundry. His father, a policeman in Dagenham, got knocked off his bike once with the rush of cycling workers exiting the front gates at the end of a shift.
‘the dagenham factory was huge, the largest car plant in europe’
The workers The foundry was perhaps the most brutal place to work, with the Irish Catholics toiling there. One, O’Flynn, who had fought in North Africa in World War II, said that “the heat and condensation when you opened a hopper made
Above: The biggest neon sign in Europe. Right: Part of the abandoned plant today
you sweat in a way the desert never did”. This was a tough place for tough men. Yet, Ford’s was also a place where people wanted to work, including members of my family. In 1955 my maternal grandfather, Bert Crampton, who had moved from scruffy, pregentrified Liverpool Road, Islington to the newly built Harold Hill council estate near Romford, was keen to get work at Ford as it was reliable and closer to home than his job in an East End tailor’s. Bert practiced on a borrowed ‘Hoffman cutter’ on the kitchen table so as to claim to have enough experience for the River Plant, where car seats were made. His inexperience soon discovered, he was lucky to be transferred to the KDP (Knock Down Price) building where forged car part kits were exported for assembly to other Ford factories. In 1966, Bert, seeing his son, Len (my uncle) working for an local engineering firm where receiving pay was unreliable, told him to “Getcha’ self into Ford’s”. For working class men, this was a place to aspire to. Doubling his wages, Len was, at first, in the basement of the engine plant, testing diesel engines in a cacophony of noise and fumes as foremen, distinguished by their white coats, looked on (ear muffs were only issued from 1981). By 1969, he was on the assembly line working what he described as the “killer shift” – one week of days, one week of nights. Often made lethargic by his work pattern, the assembly line was a constant, monotonous, conveyor belt procedure of quickly putting one car part on to another. Keith Dover, another assembly worker, described the work as a “living death between clocking on and clocking off”. On the monotony, Len said, “Very soon after the shift started, your mind could be in its own world. Sometimes you’d ‘awake’ and realise you’d been putting the wrong bit on an engine for quite a while.”
The ethnicity of Ford workers changed from being mostly white, Irish Catholic from the 1930s’60s, to 45 per cent non-white by 2000 with an influx of Afro-Caribbean, then later Indian, workers. In the late-’90s/early-’00s, high profile cases of racist discrimination by white foremen reached court and press, while the company was forced to pay compensation to black workers in 1996 after white faces were superimposed on their bodies in a sales brochure.
The cars Before World War II, Dagenham built light trucks, then during the war itself, the plant produced material such as tank tracks, Bren gun carriers and both Montgomery’s desert utility car and the caravan headquarters that he took to France. Post-war, Ford began manufacturing cars such as the Prefect saloon (that was tested at night on the A13) and the Anglia 103E. The early Anglia, later driven by Vyvyan Basterd in The Young Ones and Roland Rat was a ‘hair shirt’ of a car – the cheapest in the world at the time. By the 1950s, with the economy improving, Dagenham started building more stylish and luxurious cars, beginning with the boldly styled, tail-finned, 4-litre Consul and 6-litre Zephyr – cars that you would probably associate with Cuba now. These vehicles were about style, with Ford’s senior designers in the Briggs Body Plant wearing bow ties and having a butler, George Makepeace Casey, who wore a yellow and black striped waistcoat, to service their needs. It was all a world away from the hell of the foundry and monotony of the construction line. Inspired by the luxury Thunderbird (T-bird) from the USA, the stylists designed the 1960s Consul range, which included the Consul, Consul Corsair, the Consul Classic (billed as being suitable for the golf club car park) and later, from 1961, the Consul Capri. Based on the US Mustang or ‘muscle car’ the Capri was an affordable sports coupe aimed at the young professional. Soon, second-hand versions became accessible to the young, very ‘un professional’ male, thirsting for its sporty looks. Ford chose not to compete with the Mini (built then by the British Motor Company) during the 1960s, as each car was sold at a loss. Dagenham’s managing director rang George Harriman of BMC in 1959 and said, “Look here, George, we’ve costed your new Mini and you can’t possibly be making any money on it.” “Sell enough cars and the profits will take care of themselves,” was George’s reply. It was decades before the Mini made money though. Instead, Ford aimed at the family car market, producing the Cortina.
‘the work was seen as “living death between clocking on and off”’ Would he get in trouble? “No, there was no recourse for any worker that made mistakes, as soon as it was spotted it was sent to a repair bay. The only rules really, were no stealing and no fighting.” Later, Len used that ‘mindless’ time on assembly shifts to “do my night school electronics revision and sums in my head, and to make notes when I had a spare second”. Once qualified, he was able to move on to repairing the electronics on the various machines of the plant, which was much better, not just in terms of wages but because it was skilled and not continuous and repetitive.
Clockwise from far right: Ford’s in-house design studio; postausterity glamour with the Mark ll Consul, Zephyr and Zodiac; the factory site from the air
Dagenham’s best seller, the Consul Cortina (built from 1962-1982) was named after the 1956 Winter Olympics resort, Cortina d’Ampezzo (whose Alpine skiing slopes were filmed in both the 1963 Pink Panther movie and 1981’s Bond film For Your Eyes Only). Cortina – meaning ‘curtain’ was preferable to another name considered, Caprino, probably because it’s Italian for goat dung. By 1970, the Cortina Mk III was outselling all other cars in the UK. Inspired by the Coke bottle design, it boasted plenty of curves but was prone to rust in about five years. This was about mass sales not longevity – quality was not at the forefront of its philosophy.
Covered: Cars, history, politics
Clockwise from top: The Capri was aimed at young executives; sporty looks for the family man with the Cortina; the Fiesta provided a sleek
alternative to British Leylandâ€™s dowdy and out-of-fashion Mini; space-age design and marketing for the Sierra, Fordâ€™s classic coupe of the 1980s
Covered: Cars, history, politics
On strike The film Made In Dagenham focuses on the three-week strike in 1968 by female machinists
ran out of cars to sell. Some attempted to collect the finished cars parked outside the factories by arriving en masse in Bedford Dormobiles, wearing blue Ford anoraks. Faced with picketing Ford workers and “colourful language” they wisely let the cars be. Henry Ford’s son, Henry Ford II, arrived in the UK in the second month of the strike, announcing to the press that, “There was nothing wrong with Ford’s, just this country.” He refused to meet union leaders, instead calling on PM Ted Heath at Number 10. As he lunched with Heath, Vauxhall had just made a “first offer” of nearly double that of Ford’s to their workers, so that the Financial Times reported, “It is a source of embarrassment to Ford’s that Vauxhall management has opened its negotiations at a pay level not offered by Ford’s several weeks into this strike.” Ford spent millions on a publicity campaign during the strike, advertising offers and pronouncements to workers in the tabloid press. Striking workers and unions could only afford pamphlets, leading to the general public hearing just one side of the argument. After nine weeks the strike was settled with a compromise of an increased payment settlement (still below that of Midlands workers) together with a paid holiday for New Year’s Day and parity in pay for female workers. My uncle Len was relieved to go back after the strike. During it, he had been shifting 40 gallon barrels of tallow on a farm in Noak Hill. Like many workers, Len disliked both union leaders and management. “It was all right for shop stewards, they often earned good money and could better afford to go on strike than us.” He also despised the lack of advancement on merit and the sometimes bullying foremen The 1978 Ford strike was the opening salvo of the ‘winter of discontent’. Again the workers led the unions, with the plant emptying of employees within 15 minutes after they heard reports of the unofficial strike at Halewood (near Liverpool) and Swansea. The problem for the Labour government was that although Ford could afford to give its workers a pay rise, it would also be a benchmark for other industry pay negotiations. When Vauxhall, then Ford (after a two-month strike) agreed a rise over the Government’s five per cent limit, they were both sanctioned. The CBI and Conservatives challenged the government and overturned the sanctions by a vote. After Ford, strikes by lorry drivers (that disrupted oil supplies during a very cold winter) and then public sector workers (notably the bin men and grave diggers) helped trigger a vote of confidence in the minority
‘by 2002, the great days of car manufacturing finally came to an end’ in the River Plant disputing new gradings that put them on lower wages compared to their male colleagues. Concessions were made but it was the more general and longer 1971 strike across all Ford that achieved pay equality for women. Before the war, Dagenham Ford workers were the best paid in the industry but the defence contracts awarded to manufacturers in the Midlands had lifted car manufacturing wages there. Also, many Midlands workers were on ‘piece work’ meaning pay for each car part or car produced, giving the worker the power to earn more by working harder and for longer hours. Ford staff were paid by the hour with no reference to what was produced and no possibility of earning more by better results. By the mid-’60s, despite Ford being the most profitable manufacturer in the UK, wages were 60 per cent of the best in the industry. Demands for parity with for example the Rootes factory in Coventry (that made Hillmans, Humbers and Talbots) reached a crescendo in 1971 with unofficial workers’ walkouts when Ford’s rise was well below both Rootes and Chrysler. The unions, led by Jack Jones and Hugh Scanlon, made the strikes official a week later. This was highly politicized, because at this time Ted Heath’s Tories were already struggling with a postal strike and were trying to introduce an anti-inflationary incomes policy and the Industrial Relations Act against TUC opposition. Silcock & Colling, the car transporters were also ‘out’ so privately owned UK Ford dealers
Callaghan government. They lost, forcing the 1979 election that Mrs Thatcher’s Tories won, promising to reduce the power of the strikers and unions.
The decline of Dagenham and the future of the site Ford had built more modern plants in the 1960s with government dictating that they were to be in areas with high unemployment, such as Halewood. Other European plants were taking over assembly as well. By the 1980s the Genk plant in Belgium was also building the Sierra, while Valencia in Spain shared the Fiesta. This was to be Dagenham’s last car. In the late 1990s there was an overcapacity of car factories across Europe and Dagenham was earmarked for closure. By 2002, the great days of car manufacturing on the Thames finally came to an end. Yet, despite the empty and derelict buildings, today Dagenham Ford still employs 3,000 people, building and shipping more car parts and diesel engines than any other factory from its Thameside jetty. The engine plant is actually adding capacity which will be powered by a third wind turbine and the vicinity around Ford will remain industrial. Next door is an oil depot with 200 huge petrol and aviation fuel containers, Barking Power Station and space for the proposed Thames Gateway Power Station. Young professionals take note, this area won’t be converted to riverside flats just yet.
Dagenham Ford Spotify EP Listen via Spotify Henry Mancini Cortina From the Pink Panther film, this track is named after the ski slope that inspired the car name Dudley Moore Millionaire From the Dagenham actor’s soundtrack to the film Bedazzled Stranglers Dagenham Dave The original version of the track is actually about a drug-taking scaffolder, who drowned in the Thames Morrissey Dagenham Dave This Dagenham Dave is a womanising, pie-eating jack-the-lad with ‘I love Sharon and Karen’ on his windscreen Billy Ocean Red Light Spells Danger Billy, named after the Ocean estate in Stepney, worked at Dagenham Ford, as did Nigel Benn’s dad Morrissey Boy Racer Presumably drove a Dagenham-made Capri Sandie Shaw There’s Always Something There To Remind Me Sandie also clocked in and out at Dagenham Ford before she became famous
Pictures: © Umbrella / Shutterstock / Ford archive
From 1972, Dagenham built the Granada, the executive car with distinctive grille and square lights driven by the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad. In The Sweeney, John Thaw’s character Regan, would laconically laze in the passenger seat of a ‘poo brown’ one as a subordinate drove him about. In 1976, Ford did delve into the ‘mini’ market with the Fiesta, while in 1982 Dagenham replaced the Cortina with the aerodynamically styled, Sierra. Mostly built by robots, human error was no more. Badly received at first because of its shape and nicknamed the ‘jelly mould’ or ‘salesman spaceship’, eventually it seemed that ever other manufacturer copied this design for their family cars.
The colour of money How Madison Avenue gave birth to a brighter, better world
henever there’s an interview with an old school British rocker, you’ll find one unifying theme: an obsession with America. For the likes of Paul McCartney in Liverpool and Graham Nash in Manchester, the new world, with its music, its colour, its unbridled optimism – was about as different to the grey drudgery of austerity Britain as you could get. And looking at magazine ads from the period between the 1950s and ’70s it’s easy to see why they felt this way.
Whether they were promoting vodka, cars or even textiles, the hard-drinking copywriters and designers of the time revolutionised the advertising industry, employing new techniques in graphics, art, photography and literature to construct pieces of work that went way beyond the original remit of selling stuff. Like much of what would dominate late-20th Century culture, their works were the perfect synthesis between art and commerce. A new book, Mid-Century Ads: Advertising From The Mad Men Era details the very best that these Madison Avenue mavericks created, from a quite beautiful spot for (of all things) aluminum roofing, to Volkswagon’s legendary, and truly revolutionary, ‘Think Small’ ad. Often featuring a Don Draper-type sipping an expensive alcoholic drink or taking his family for the day out in a gigantic Pontiac or Chrysler, these ads offered a glimpse of an ideal life, and one that felt achievable – well, certainly to those affluent enough to buy that car and drink that scotch. The people who created these works lived a life every bit as reckless and exciting as the rock stars who would go on to dominate the cultural agenda of the age. And like The Beatles, Stones and Byrds, their work lives on – perhaps more relevant now than ever before, if only to see what we’ve lost. Mid Century Ads: Advertising From The Mad Men Era is published by Taschen, priced £34.99. www.taschen.com
62: Stone Island army jacket 72: Super shirts for spring from Tuk Tuk 84: John Smedley ‘Isis’ polo profile Great clothes for the new season and a preview of what’s coming after
New look Umbrella travels to the Jacket Required menswear trade show to find out what we’ll all be wearing next winter. Read the exclusive report on page 64.
62 Fashion umbrella loves…
Stone Island army jacket From www.stoneisland.co.uk, price £395 buy
A cut above
The jacket impresses most with its tailored shape, lending an air of refinement to a utilitarian garment. Ideal for both officers and ‘the men’.
Not a bit of it with jackets like this. Made of servicesspecification cotton, the garment-dyed coat has undergone a treatment called OLD, which ages the material uniquely and beautifully.
Tell us about it, stud
As ever, the piece is finished off with Stone Island’s classic compass patch. Undoubtedly one of the great design icons of the last 30 years, it remains an absolute guarantee of quality.
Fastenings are provided on the pockets by studs and at the opening by a series of buttons. The coat can be fastened up to the top or left open for a ‘blazered’ feel.
All fashion pictures: ÂŠ Umbrella
Covered: Stone Island, military wear
Covered: Fashion, London
Coat tales Next season’s menswear styles came up for inspection at the recent Jacket Required trade show, as Anthony Teasdale reports
ondon Fashion Week takes place twice a year, with designers and press people descending on the capital for seven days of posing, drinking champagne and wearing sunglasses indoors. For the uninitiated it’s all a bit confusing as the collections on show aren’t for the season immediately coming up but the one after that. Go to a show in winter expecting summer gear and you’ll be disappointed – this is all about next winter. OK? This February’s LFW was as predictable as ever. While the tabloids focused on who was or wasn’t on the front row at whatever catwalk show we didn’t go to, Umbrella, being a practical magazine that pretends to be immune to the vagaries of fly-by-night trends, had our eyes on one show only – Jacket Required. Think of a massive trade fair full of the sort of heritage brands that the likes of Oi Polloi and Weavers Door make their bucks selling and that’ll give you an idea on what was offer. Every pair of jeans had been handspun on 19th Century looms while there wasn’t a jumper in there that hadn’t been based on a design worn by Cornish/Swedish fishermen in 1679. Still, we’re suckers for that sort of thing and it’s great to see menswear bucking the ‘wear it today, throw it out tomorrow’ philosophy of its female counterpart. Not least for the fact that our clobber isn’t made by eight-year-old kids in faraway factories that double as tinderboxes. Right, ladies? So, to the clothes – and first, the shoes. Now, we like hiking boots as much as the next ex-northern casual, but every season they seem to get bigger, uglier and dafter to a point when the people who brought the look in will ditch it. Shame, as a simple pair of retro hikers really does finish off a Heroes of Telemark outfit nicely. Foot off the pedal with this one, please, gents.
This, though, doesn’t mean there wasn’t loads of great footwear on show at Jacket Required – there was. Pointer continue to manufacture simple, wearable models for the middle ground once held by Clarks’ desert boots, though this time we were also keen on the new season’s more structured, smarter efforts. This is a brand growing in both confidence and influence – keep an eye on them. Brogues also remain a staple with manufacturers like Sanders showcasing happily chunky models, while on the trainers front, Veja continue in their quest to become the Waitrose of sports footwear with a collection of organic leather pumps and retro running shoes. Their table was overflowing with goodies. On the technical sportswear side of things, MA STRUM have come up with another killer collection. Their red, rubberised cotton Harrier Field jacket was the star of the last issue of
‘A simple pair of hiking boots finishes an outfit off nicely’ Umbrella and yet again their mix of technical materials and well-thought-out design had us salivating. We were especially impressed with the royal blue outdoor coat – a potential classic if ever we saw one. And their space-age take of the CP Company Mille Miglia – with a visor instead of goggles – was well, interesting. Over in casual wear, Carhartt WIP (Work In Progress) demonstrated once again how they’ve shifted the brand from the skate park to the Ivy League library with a suitably preppy collection. Highlights for us include the sheepskin blouson (sheepskin was everywhere) and classic Klondike-fit cords. With a new shop just opened in London’s East End to join the two in Covent Garden and the outlet in Manchester’s Oldham Street, they’re developing into a permanent presence in the minds of fashion-savvy, British men. Time for branch in Glasgow, Liverpool or Leeds, we reckon. Newcomers, like Portugal’s La Paz, also impressed, winning top prize at the official Umbrella Oxford Shirt of The Year contest with a beautifully textured light blue effort. We also became fans of public school outfitters Gymphlex for their mod-meets-Chariots of Fire collection, while Danish skinhead outfitter Mikkel Rude’s selection of button-down shirts, wool cardies and air-ware boots had us yearning for someone to stick Liquidator on the soundsystem. The great man was there, too, and filled Umbrella in on his love of UK youth culture and street style. Like its
softer, older brother, mod, skinhead is a look that never dates, and for us, still underpins much of what we like in men’s clothing. From Japan, came the precise, structured formality of Edifice, with excellently cut jackets, and tailored trousers and shirts. Hard to come by, you’ll find their clothes at Liberty in London. Finally, a special word goes out to Mr Start, Shoreditch’s very own tailor of choice. Run by
60-something mod Phillip, their beautifully tailored shirts really are the only thing a smart City boy needs to complement his Lanvin or Richard James whistle. It also shows that if you make classic, well designed men’s clothes, your customers’ age range will be able to stretch from 20 to 80. And that’s really what menswear should be about.
Pictures: ÂŠ Jake Hardy / Umbrella
Covered: Fashion, London
Add visors The goggles are an homage to the ones worn by drivers of the Mille Miglia car race. The original design was by CP founder Massimo Osti.
CP Company Goggle jacket, £475 he Goggle jacket needs no introduction to Umbrella readers, so we’ll let this unlined version speak for itself. Good, close fitting hood and blouson shape make this ideal for spring – especially if you want to remain incognito. www.cpcompany.co.uk buy
Paul & Shark waterproof jacket, ÂŁ448 erfect spring mac from the Italian naval masters, just right for those who like to spend the season praying for rain so they can wear this sort of gear. A truly showering achievement from a legendary menswear label. www.harrods.com buy
Gant Rugger Waterproof mac, ÂŁ140 ant have really upped their game recently, adding a mod-ish element to their preppy collection This â€™60sstyle mac, with adjustable cuffs and hidden placket, demonstrates this perfectly. www.menofilk.com buy
MHL baker jacket, £285, Private White VC Shacket, £155, Universal Works field jacket £176 orkwear is the theme here with sturdy pieces ideal for those times when you want to look like you’ve done a hard day’s graft without, you know, actually working. Wear with jeans or elephant cords and you too will look like a real man. Or at least a fashion-y version of one. www.margarethowell.co.uk buy www.privatewhitevc.com buy www.universalworks.co.uk buy
Fred Perry micro check shirt, ÂŁ52 rithmetic may not be Umbrellaâ€™s strong point (we preferred art at school), but this shirt from Fred Perry has that maths exercise book pattern that we go mad for. With button-down collar and laurel leaf logo, everything adds up rather nicely. www.oipolloi.com buy
Tuk Tuk checked shirt, £55 There’s a lot of checked shirts about at the moment, but we’ve seen nothing that comes close to this ruthlessly mod number from Tuk Tuk. Made from stiff, starchy cotton and boasting a true slim-fit, this is a purist’s shirt. Fab. www.wearetuktuk.com buy
DS Dundee Kilmartin cardigan, £159 hen cocktail parties come up – and at Umbrella HQ that’s about twice a week – thoughts turn to appropriate clothing, such as this pima cotton ’60s-style cardigan that would look the biz on any lounge lizard. www.menofilk.com buy
Alan Paine Lenzie crew- and Albury V-neck jumpers, £83 orgeous jumpers are few and far between, which is why we’re such fans of Mr Paine’s work. Deliciously well-fitted ( just stick a white shirt underneath), these lambswool pieces in citrus colours should be one of anyone’s five-a-day. www.alanpaine.co.uk buy
Adidas BC Baltic Cup trainers, £65 ho are you supporting at the Euros? Well, if you’re tempted by these nubuck wheels from Herr Dassler then our guess will be Sweden. But as always, Germany is the real winner when Adi’s involved. Come on Deutschland! www.oipolloi.com buy
Covered: Trainers, shoes
Clip and Rope Rowdy boots, ÂŁ165 ortuguese-made chukka boot that mixes the a-la-mode rubber sole of current styles with a more retro upper. The leather is supremely soft and the shape of the shoe will be set off nicely with a pair of stiff, dark jeans. Ideal for the modern-day mod. www.menofilk.com buy
Nicholas Deakins Walsh shoe, £75 s the weather warms up, it’s hard to maintain a level of smartness when Madame Flip-Flop is enticing you. We say ignore her and instead go for these sublimely crafted airtex shoes from Leeds’ own cobbler Nicholas Deakins. nicholasdeakins.com buy
Air flow The great thing about these shoes is the weight – or lack of it. While the leather holds the shape, the airtex keeps feet cool.
Pointer Saha II shoes, ÂŁ140 emember going to France on a school exchange? Jean-Paul may have threatened you with a flick comb but it was his cool footwear that caught your eyes. These ace shoes from Pointer replicate that look, but with a little more British ĂŠlan. pointerfootwear.com buy
London Undercover umbrella, ÂŁ120 ake no mistake, this double-layer brolly is a cut above your average rain-stopper. Not only will keep it you dry, but the map of olde London printed on the underside will provide you with a handy guide should get lost in town. Pip-pip! londonundercover.co.uk buy
Chapman Despatch bag, ÂŁ139 onstructed from canvas, webbing and leather, this classically-designed bag is perfect for the growing number of chaps who take an iPad into the office/ works canteen. Seemingly indestructible, thereâ€™s quality in every fastening. www.chapmanbags.com buy
Umbrella outfit 1 ennis and yacht clubs aren’t easy places to bunk into, which is a shame, as with their abundance of unsatisfied trophy wives and top-notch grog, they’re ideal for Umbrella readers in search of larks. Fear not though, we have a solution. Simply don our ‘clubhouse Marxist’ outfit, which includes a retro Ellesse top, Paul & Shark polo, Gant chinos and Nicholas Deakins boat shoes, and you’ll barely merit a second glance. Just don’t nick the cutlery on the way out, it’s a bit of a giveaway.
Zip it up! For an absolutely killer ‘rich, ’80s Italian’ we’re loving the Tango-orange track top combined with the new polo from Paul & Shark. Ace!
Ellesse zip-up jacket, £65 buy Nicholas Deakins Pendleton deck shoes, £75 buy Gant Rugger chinos, £90 buy Paul & Shark polo shirt with blue collar, £124 buy
Comp it! Even though they’re an Italian brand, CP are harking back to a ’50s US college look with this ace sweat. Very much a modern retro style.
Umbrella outfit 2 h, to have been an American high school student. While we Brits had to make do with run-down comps full of maniacs, our transatlantic cousins would turn up for lessons in a Chevy, faff about throwing scrunched-up bits of paper at the class nerd then spend the afternoon necking hot chicks by the old paper mill. While schooldays are over, Umbrella readers can live the dream with this ‘on-trend jock’ outfit with bits from CP, Lee, Diadora and Private White VC. Party on, dude.
Private White VC Bomber jacket buy CP Company Melange sweatshirt, £185 buy Lee Daren Slim jeans, £75 buy Diadora Tokyo trainers, £50 buy
John Smedley ‘Isis’ polo ome clothing items really do speak of a particular place and time. For Umbrella, the ‘Eton-collared’ Smedley polo is especially resonant of the ’90s, particularly in London, where architects and designers pioneered a new ‘smart-casual’ look that paired a three-button suit with the Isis. Like many men’s fashion trends of this most underrated of decades it’s stayed with us ever since. Of course, the item didn’t appear from nowhere. John Smedley have been making undergarments in cotton, silk and wool since 1784, but it was only in the 1930s that, seeing the popularity of René Lacoste’s cotton pique tennis shirt, they decided to move into outerwear. The first three-button polo, the ‘C255’, appeared in 1934. From this period on, the garment was manufactured under various guises, and mostly aimed at prosperous American customers. However, in 1972, as the market for leisurewear increased in the UK, the company decided to concentrate their efforts on this most unassuming of designs. Today, marking the item’s 40th anniversary, Smedley say: “The classic polo shirt that the company designed for spring 1972 was based on a 40-year-old design that had stood the test of time and been perfected in terms of practicality, luxury and quality. Made of the finest sea island cotton, the samples, in 13 colours, were ready a year in advance. All that was needed was name. They chose ‘Isis’.” Since then, the shirt has been a staple in many a man’s wardrobe, from do-or-die mods in the early ’80s to cappuccino-supping, web designers of the 2010s. Whether worn with jeans and loafers as part of a holiday outfit or under a fitted suit for work, it exudes a feeling of softly-spoken sophistication. And like all true classics it simply cannot be improved up. A true gem. The John Smedley ‘Isis’ polo is priced at £115 www.johnsmedley.com
Covered: John Smedley, polo shirts
V i ntag e
86 And finally…
Covered: Militaria, war
Militaria ll this will probably look a bit sad,” says Jon Hilton, as we head up the stairs of his home en route to one of his bedrooms. A space now dedicated to a jawdropping collection of 19th Century militaria. From the moment we catch sight of half a dozen Winchester rifles propped up in the corner of the room, it becomes apparent that Jon doesn’t know what makes us tick at Umbrella. This collection of military ephemera would look impressive housed at the Imperial War Museum, never mind in a four-bed detached in Marlow. “This is only half of it,” explains Jon. “I own about ten rifles, 12 handguns and half a dozen machine guns, but it’s the 20 uniforms that I really treasure. They’re the ultimate examples of performance wear, and the old dress uniforms pretty much define haute couture.” Jon delicately hangs a pristine uniform from the door of an old pine wardrobe. “This Royal Artillery uniform is my most prized possession, and cost me around £1200. My oldest piece of memorabilia is a patterned sabre from 1778. But the item that sparked my interest in militaria was a leather bandolier worn by my grandfather in World War I, which I still cherish today. “I mainly buy from auctions and fairs, such as the Birmingham International – I don’t rely on ebay too much. I like building up my knowledge of imitations and sourcing trusted vendors instead.” However, Jon, a collector of many years, isn’t satisfied with just owning the objects, he wants to understand them, too. “I’d love to be a military historian,” he says. “It’s not the tangible objects that I’m passionate about, it’s the insight they give into a camaraderie and lifestyle that most of us will never understand. My collection is a macabre reminder of the perils of conflict.”
Words & PHOTOGRAPHY: © Elliott Lewis-George
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