Monday, 3 October 2011

Guest Blogger: David Gilston of Once Was England on 'Yesterday's Best'

Bounding forth from the past into the present, from the refreshingly chilly concrete bunker of the Churchill War Rooms, back into this unseasonally foreign, October sunshine, one bagged the wisp of a thought as it wafted through the rippling green haze of London's St. James's Park. It was this: since time immemorial, ever since our nocky, loin-clothed ancestors scratched their charcoaled fingernails across the musty cave walls of Cheddar Gorge, we Englanders have been driven to record, to pot and to pickle history, our history; for today and tomorrow, for ourselves and Johnny Foreigner.

One deduced that this habit was as English as tuppence, that it should be branded the 'Tiptree Syndrome'and that our nation's most favourite blend is called ‘Nostalgia’; a sugary, thick cut conserve that is each and every Englishman's relish. Instantly recognisable by its sturdy, rose-tinted jar, it is best spread thick when one feels all colly-molly, with its invigorating flavours of better times past. Now is an especially good time to twist open its lid.

These days it would seem, the world is rather fond too of the taste of ‘olde’ and what once was England. This fashion season, from Hoxton to Harajuku, one can see legions of Tricker-booted, Barbour-jacketed young buffers swagging the sidewalks; fellows for whom all things English are now most proper and champion. What a bit of jam!

Dam silly, you might say. I say, it’s a jolly kick up the collective corybungus for those who’ve forgotten from whence they came from. To paraphrase old Winnie, a country that knoweth not its history simply has no future. Here, here.

David Gilston is a British designer and brand developer whose blog Once Was England "harks back to a disappearing age in our history - the time of the gentleman - when people ate faggots and tripe, drove Rolls Royces and Bentleys, had their clothes made with their tailor and holidayed by the sea." Read the full GWG review of his blog.

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