The Wipers Times

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Glad to see BBC2 is showing a drama based on the story of The Wipers Times.

For those who haven’t heard about it – it was a trench-based newspaper, started after a couple of infantry soldiers found a treddle-platten in war-torn Ypres. Go check it out (or “The Best Bits” book, from Ian Hislop and Malcolm Brown) – dark humour that’s exceptionally funny.

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The ability of the printing press to bring some happiness to people in such dire circumstances, almost brings a tear to the eye. A friend told me a similar, but more recent story; during the Sri-lankan civil war, the northern town of Jaffna was cut off by the government.. but a local paper (Uthayan) was able to continue by rediscovering letterpress printing and get information to its readership, in a country synonymous with state-censorship and misinformation.

The above work, uses Stephenson Blake 10 line Johnston woodtype circa 1916 (as used on the tube); in honour of underground presses!

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Leytonstone’s monster

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Been researching my new home- Leytonstone does have some interesting history. In addition there seem to be a fair few Blair-witch style stories associated with the green spaces around (Epping Forest, Shoulder of Mutton Pond and the like).

On a lighter note, I read this story about an unexplained creature seen at the Hollow Pond a few years ago http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/england/greater-london/cryptozoology/hollow-pond-bear.html

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a bit pub- meets silent movie inspired. Its printed on paper I recovered from a derelict printshop (Shamrock press) in the Wimbledon area, just before it was demolished. I might stick one in the local pub, and see if it inspires a few more sightings.

I imagine it was a case of mistaken identity (a giant rat? a reintroduced beaver? small child?). I saw my first otter in Wales (in the tailwater of the reservoir that supplies Birmingham), and initially was convinced it was a huge pike- so I believe anythings possible.

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