I had a sharp reminder today that I am ancient, and practically deserve the honourable title of Dinosaur.
It happened like this – I wanted to check who had decorated the Drawing Room in Britannia House; I thought that Colefax and Fowler had been responsible, but I wasn’t sure.
So I Googled Britannia House – and was amazed that I could not find a single reference to it ANYWHERE …
I was perplexed – we are talking about a Kevin Mulvany house here – surely it was documented SOMEWHERE …
But, no it wasn’t – at least if it was, it was so well hidden that I could not find it.
So I had to go to our bookcase and find a catalogue !
An actual paper catalogue !!!
Which, I discovered, had been produced in the 1980s – long before the advent of home computers – over twenty years ago now…
And yet I vividly remember standing (at the end of a very long day) in a very cold, draughty, deserted hall looking at Britannia House, and thinking, ‘What a lot of work!’
How I wanted the fat, comfy armchair that is tucked away in the corner of The Pink Bedroom, how I admired the exquisite needlework carpets, how I wanted to live in a house that had a real life version of the Drawing Room.
I didn’t give it a thought at a the time, but now I wish that a record had been made of all the little miniatures that give the rooms their air of being lived in – but as this was An Exhibition of British Interior Design in Miniature and not a Dolls’ House Show, and the individual makers are not credited in the catalogue.
(All I can say for certain is that none of my work is there ! )
I hope you enjoy looking at this piece of ancient history. Some of the photographs are distorted at the edge: this is how they are in the catalogue – they were taken in the days before the handy little computer button that corrected ‘fisheye’ had been invented.
Britannia House was commissioned in order to raise funds for the African Medical and Research Foundation. The East African Flying Doctors Service is still in operation – please visit their site if you would like to know more about their work, or to donate funds.