I have been struggling with the name of this post, trying to make it sound like a famous film for some reason. Its funny the way the mind works, you get a “good” idea in your head or what you perceive to be a good idea and you can’t shake it. Anyway back to business, I said I would report back on the events of Friday evening, the Wellfield Centre Streatham and the lecture Imperial Blue to Denim Blue given by Dr Susan Kay-Williams Chief Executive of the Royal School of Needlework . A fascinating evening charting the use of natural dyes, Madder, Indigo etc through the years and how the dyes fit into the political and class struggles of the time. It seems that dyes could almost be considered the currency of their time, if you could afford a fabric dyed with Madder then you were something in society etc. The lecture is illustrated with art works and information that show how the use of colour fitted into all our social and political history’s. A very pleasant and informative 90 minutes. Having listened to the lecture and thought about some of the dyeing techniques it got me wondering how skilled some of these people living in these times must have been to produce the highest quality products with the most basic resources. You must also think ” what our ancestors would make of us today in the dyeing and finishing world” seeing technology, both chemical and mechanical that would look like the worst kind of magic or witchcraft and seeing that in some cases we still cannot produce a good product. It really does make you humble.
But why the train in the title I hear you cry, well I don’t but I have to put a link to the title somehow. Well the journey from Coloursmith Towers to Streatham involved two train journeys and a bit of a walk, all very pleasant on a barmy summers evening and all very well while it works. However on the return the driver announced that the train would be stopping at Crystal Palace for an indeterminate amount of time due to an incident ahead. So everyone duly got off the train to go and find that most elusive of creatures the late night station personnel. They are very rare and scare very easily, they like to hide in their white boxes and only respond in short muffled tones to the tickling of their bodies in the Green Information and Red Emergency zones. After 15 – 20 minutes of nothing much only a chance walk across to our original train and hearing that the train was now leaving but would be going via Madagascar instead meant that the journey could be continued back to Coloursmith Towers. It proved a most exciting end to a very enjoyable evening and if nothing else an experience of a train station never before visited and the chance to communicate with the elusive creature. I only wish I had taken pictures.