I recently cleared out the cupboard under-the-stairs to make way for some new plumbing. It meant shifting a battered portfolio from my student days and having a really good clear out – something I should have done years ago.
In amongst the awful stuff (that went straight into recycling) was something I had completely forgotten about – a measured drawing competition which I entered back in 1982. There it was – my tiny etching of Steeton Hall Gatehouse along with the full set of measured drawings. I can’t honestly remember how exactly I made the etching although I do recall it was with a small copper plate (approx 3″x 4″) and a metal point together with a pencil drawing…it is over 32 years ago, but there are my old initials to remind me.
Steeton Hall Gatehouse is in South Milford, south west of York, my former home town. It’s under the care of English Heritage and is a fine example of a small, well preserved manorial gatehouse dating from the 14th century. I entered this competition because I loved drawing old buildings – so not much has changed there though the whole setting seemed a lot more rural back then!
Another thing that is evident is my growing interest in calligraphy. I think I would have drawn these letters with Rotring pens – it would be many years before I tried my hand at a quill! At least it was one step on from ‘Letraset’ applied letters.
I will scan the measured drawings, there are six of them in total, plans sections and elevations, all drawn on A1 sheets and copied on to film. They are detailed down to every last 14th century stone. If anyone from English Heritage is reading this blog, please get in touch if you would like them for your records.
Oh, I didn’t win the competition but I did get a really good consolation prize: an A1 sized roll of tracing paper which, to a student architect, was actually worth something!
I didn’t finish clearing out the cupboard either. I got distracted further by an old envelope full of pencil, pen and ink drawings of old Arab architecture dated 1979, our last year in Bahrain. Perhaps I will post one or two of these one day, but I should be concentrating back on Burslem!
Thanks for reading.