Friday, 31 December 2010

The Philosophy of Ethel Mannin

Ethel Mannin created a sensation when she published Confessions and Impressions (1930). Aged only 29, it was the first volume of her memoirs and included a detailed account of her early life.

“I have always in the end got what I set out to get. Though keeping it may be another matter. But I have always believed profoundly in the magnetism of desire. There is no superstition about it - if one wants a thing intensely enough one must finally achieve it, for the simple reason that all one's thoughts and actions are directed towards that end, both consciously and unconsciously, and there is tremendous power in that unconscious propulsion towards the objective. The trouble with the majority of people is that they do not know what they want from life, and even when they have some idea, there is no passion in their wanting…. The lives of the majority of people are fundamentally wrong; wrong at the core; nothing but a series of recurrent appetites, the gratification of which fulfils no profound organic satisfaction. In all this fussing with a myriad things there is a missing of fundamental satisfaction all along the line. One observes it in the faces of men and women in the streets, hears it in their voices, observes it in their taboo-ridden, convention-bound conduct. They are the slaves of fear and superstition and fetish.”

Friday, 17 December 2010

Sash Repairs: The Sash Window Experts

You can find some fascinating historical resources about the history of the sash window at Sash Repairs website:

These Articles have been written by Architect and Writer David Wrightson, who provides a series of informative notes on the subject of all types of sliding sash and casement windows.

The Duke of Monmouth and Moor Park House: An Interesting Seventeenth–Century Sash Window Contract tells the story behind the contract order by the Duke of Monmouth for the sash windows and shutters for the stately home Moor Park.

Windows, Wind, and Weather
Part 1: A Short History of Weather Exclusion: Advice from the Past

Windows, Wind, and Weather
Part 2: A Short History of Weather Exclusion: advice for today

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Interested in researching the fanlight above your front door. This page shows you all about the different Georgian and Victorian period styles.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

My Recent Purchase

I spend so much time reaseaching new products to buy for my own home that I thought I would share my new found knowledge with you.

Guinea Pigs: Care for and buying the hutch and accessories

Monday, 15 November 2010

Renovating the front of your house? Remember to create a sympathetic porch to the style of your house.

A canopy or porch can provide protection and shelter from the weather as well as create a decorative feature that draws the eye to the main entrance of the house. The porch can be inside the main front wall or protrude from the building.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Period Doors

Thinking about changing an external or internal door? Have you considered finding the right style of door for the period style of your home. Find out more about which door might be right for your house at these below links:

External period doors

Internal period doors

Monday, 11 October 2010

Stained Glass

If you are interested in Stained Glass or are thinking of adding some to your home, you may find this page useful:

Leaded glass generally refers to glass held together by lead and then secured within timber, metal or stone framework.

Early leading designers were the Pre-Raphaelites, William Morris (1834-1898) and Edward Burne-Jones who set up their own glass works. In America, John LaFarge and Louis Comfort Tiffany, who were part of the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements, popularized stained glass by using opalescent glass and produced glass windows, lamps and mosaics.

After the First World War glass designs became mass produced and less intricate. Scene would depict galleons, flowers and sun bursts.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Herringbone brickwork

Are you interested in herringbone brickwork?

Herringbone brickwork is where bricks are laid at an angle with each course alternating its direction. This is primarily seen as a decorative feature and not suitable for load bearing walls. Herringbone brickwork has been most popularly seen in fireplaces, porch entrances, floors and chimneys.

Herringbone brickwork was a popular decorative feature that was part of the Tudorbethan and Jacobethan style used in the 1920's and 1930's. Builders were imitating the look of Tudor and Jacobean houses which used a mixture of half timbering with herringbone brickwork.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Tle Hung Walls

Do you have a period house and want to know more about tile hung walls? See this page:

Decorative external features such as Tile Hung Walls were popular on the Arts & Crafts home and then continued into the 1920's and 1930's traditional homes. The clay tiles could be produced in different shapes and colours and hung from wooden battens to create a pattern on gables, bays and roofs of porches.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Pebble dashing and rough casting on houses

Pebble dashing was introduced as a design feature that was popular with Arts & Crafts and Tudorbethan style homes. External walls were red brick at the lower end and pebble dashed above. The wall surface was often left unpainted.

Pebble dashing obtained a poor image after it was over used in post war housing. Rather than a design feature it was used to covering up poor brickwork as there was a shortage of skilled bricklayers. After the second world war pebble dashing was a very common feature on council estate houses.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Interested in Art Deco design?

Art Deco was one of the most dominant styles of the 1920's & 30's. It started as a high art luxurious style but soon became mass produced. Art Deco is often recognised by its repetitive use of zigzags, fan and chevron motifs.

Furniture shapes were influenced by industry and technology. Strong geometric patterns could be found on soft furnishings, wallpapers and home ware. Clarice Cliff ceramics is an example of a popular home ware that used patterns of diamonds and triangles in bold contrasting colours.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Between 1905 and 1914 a large number of WSPU members agreed to take actions that would result in them being sent to prison. Here are some biographies

Charlotte Despard

Elsie Duval

Helen Fraser

Mary Gawthorpe

Margaret Haig Thomas

Vera Holme

Mary Phillips

Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Mary Richardson

Elizabeth Robins

Elsie Howey

Edith How-Martyn

Gladice Keevil

Annie Kenney

Jessie Kenney

Aeta Lamb

Mary Leigh

Victoria Lidiard

Grace Roe

Evelyn Sharp

Ethel Smyth

Marion Wallace-Dunlop

Helen Kirkpatrick Watts

Vera Wentworth

Constance Lytton

Edith Mansell Moullin

Kitty Marion

Dora Marsden

Charlotte Marsh

Christabel Marshall

Hannah Mitchell

Dora Montefiore

Flora Murray

Adela Pankhurst

Christabel Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst

Sylvia Pankhurst

Hilda Brackenbury

Georgina Brackenbury

Marie Brackenbury

Laura Ainsworth

Louisa Garrett Anderson

Rachel Barrett

Jane Brailsford

Mary Clarke

Clara Codd

Helen Crawfurd

Emily Wilding Davison

Friday, 24 September 2010


In 1894 the Building Act changed the regulations, so that windows no longer had to be flush with the exterior wall. This enabled windows to stand proud from the facade. The late Victorian and Edwardian period took advantage of the change in new building regulations and now presented their windows in bays. Medium and larger houses would often display double bay or bow windows.

A bay window creates the illusion of a larger room. It also maximizes the amount of light entering a room and offers a dryer alternative to a balcony.

Friday, 17 September 2010

1920's & 1930's Tiled Fireplaces

The traditional home owner may still have had a wooden surround but with a simple ceramic insert, the romantic floral decoration was out and chevrons and zig zags were used as motifs. The true Art Deco follower would of chosen a complete ceramic unit, machine made. Shapes were reflective of architecture and geometric forms.

Set up the TV by the fireplace so you can choose cable versus direct tv, then watch your dish network cable tv with one of the satellite tv antennas from Visit today to learn the difference between direct tv and dish network!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The WSPU Hierarchy

In the early days of socialism in Britain, several attractive young women, helped their political careers by having affairs with older men who were also senior figures in the Labour Party. It is disturbing that some of my political heroes abused their position by seducing young followers. These women were often extremely talented and in the cases of Barbara Castle, Ellen Wilkinson and Jennie Lee, they would have had no trouble getting to the top if they had been men.

Is it possible that the same thing happened with the women’s movement? In 1907 some leading members of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) began to question the leadership of Emmeline Pankhurst and Christabel Pankhurst. These women objected to the way that the Pankhursts were making decisions without consulting members. They also felt that a small group of wealthy women like Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Mary Blathwayt and Clare Mordan were having too much influence over the organisation. In the autumn of 1907, about seventy members of the WSPU left to form the Women's Freedom League (WFL).

After women’s suffrage was achieved, some members of the breakaway group began to argue that there were other factors in this decision. For example, Teresa Billington-Greig, spoke of how some leaders of the WSPU had unhealthy emotional attachments with other members. She named Christabel Pankhurst, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Annie Kenny as members who suffered from this tendency. It is assumed that Billington-Greig was referring to the fact that these three women were lesbians. Although she does not mention it, the other two main financial supporters of the WSPU, Mary Blathwayt and Clare Mordan, were also lesbians.

Emmeline Pankhurst was also involved in a lesbian relationship with Ethel Smythe, at the time of the breakaway (her husband had died in 1898). Throughout her life Christabel Pankhurst never had a sexual relationship with a man. According to her biographer, Martin Pugh, Christabel first became involved in the struggle for women’s suffrage after becoming very close to the lesbian lovers, Eva Gore-Booth and Esther Roper, while studying at Manchester University in 1901.

The WSPU was not formed until 1903. Two years later Annie Kenney, a factory worker from Oldham, heard Christabel Pankhurst speak on the subject of women's rights. They fell in love almost immediately and Christabel arranged for Annie to live with her in London. Over the next couple of years they were inseparable. In 1905 they became the first members of the WSPU to go to prison.

Annie Kenney appears to have an amazing impact on other women. Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Mary Blathwayt and Clare Mordan all spoke of falling in love with her the first time they met her. Teresa Billington-Greig claimed that Annie was "emotionally possessed by Christabel". However, Mary Blathwayt, who spent a lot of time with Annie during this period argued that it was Annie who was the dominating personality as she had a "wonderful influence over people".

Teresa Billington-Greig has argued that Annie was also very close to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence. "It is true that there was an immediate and strong emotional attraction between Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence and Annie Kenney... indeed so emotional and so openly paraded that it frightened me. I saw it as something unbalanced and primitive and possibly dangerous to the movement."

Fran Abrams the author of Freedom's Cause: Lives of the Suffragettes (2003), has argued that Annie Kenney had a series of romantic attachments with other suffragettes: "The relationship (with Christabel Pankhurst) would be mirrored, though never matched in its intensity, by a number of later relationships between Annie and other suffragettes. The extent of their physical nature has never been revealed, but it is certain that in some sense these were romantic attachments. One historian who argues that Annie must have had sexual feelings for other women adds that lesbianism was barely recognised at the time. Such relationships, even when they involved sharing beds, excited little comment."

However, a recently discovered diary has shown that these were sexual relationship. This unpublished diary belonged to Mary Blathwayt, a leading financial backer of the WSPU and up to now, someone who has been virtually ignored by historians. Blathwayt, used her home, Eagle House near Batheaston, as a retreat for suffragettes recovering from being in prison.

Mary Blathwayt recorded in her diary that Annie Kenney had intimate relationships with at least ten members of the WSPU. Blathwayt records in her diary that she slept with Annie in July 1908. Soon afterwards she exhibits jealousy with the comments that "Miss Browne is sleeping in Annie's room now." The diary suggests that Annie was sexually involved with both Christabel Pankhurst and Clara Codd. Blathwayt wrote on 7th September 1910 that "Miss Codd has come to stay, she is sleeping with Annie." Codd's autobiography, So Rich a Life (1951) confirms this account. The historian, Martin Pugh, points out that "In the diary Kenney appears frequently and with different women. Almost day by day Mary says she is sleeping with someone else."

Clare Mordan, who never went to prison, but who was one of the WSPU main financial backers, also spent a lot of time at Eagle House. It seems that some women could buy themselves into what appears to have become a “love nest”. Mary’s father, Colonel Linley Blathwayt, a retired army officer, motivation for allowing these women to live in his house, also raises interesting questions. He built a summer-house in the grounds of the estate that was called the "Suffragette Rest". He was an amateur photographer and took portrait photographs of the women. These were then signed and sold at WSPU bazaars. Maybe he also took some other kinds of photographs. According to historians of pornography, photographs of women together were in great demand and could be sold at a very high price.

Annie Kenney admitted in her autobiography that suffragettes developed a different set of values to other women at the time: "The changed life into which most of us entered was a revolution in itself. No home life, no one to say what we should do or what we should not do, no family ties, we were free and alone in a great brilliant city, scores of young women scarcely out of their teens met together in a revolutionary movement, outlaws or breakers of laws, independent of everything and everybody, fearless and self-confident."

The reason why Teresa Billington-Greig complained about these lesbian relationships was that she felt it was damaging the movement. It was argued that women were promoted to the leadership of the WSPU because of their lesbianism. For example, when Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst escaped to France, Annie Kenney was put in charge of operations in England. When Kenney was imprisoned the post went to her lover and flat-mate, Rachael Barrett. She was replaced by Grace Roe, who had been the lover of both Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney.

After the First World War the WSPU women became more open about their sexuality. After the war Rachel Barrett lived with her lover Ida Wylie, a novelist and short story writer. Both women were close friends of Radclyffe Hall and gave her support during the obscenity trial following the publication of her lesbian novel, The Well of Loneliness (1928). Hall lost the case and all copies of the novel were destroyed.

Two other members of the WSPU, Edith Craig (the daughter of the actress Helen Terry) and Christabel Marshall, had lived together for fifteen years. In 1916 they were joined by Clare Atwood where they formed a permanent ménage à trois. Her biographer, Katharine Cockin, has pointed out that Marshall wrote they "achieved independence within their intimate relationships... working respectively in the theatre, art, and literature, drew creative inspiration and support from each other."

Friday, 2 July 2010

Sardinia Travel Guide

Sardinia (Sardegna), Italy is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. A stunning island with much to admire, from outstanding coastlines, granite formations, caves and grottoes. Inland there are forests and moutains, marshes, lagoons and rivers.

An island rich with history, dating back to the Palaeolithic period. There are many archaelogical sites to visit such as castles, tombs and temples. Prehistoric contructions from the bronze age can be found all over Sardinia with the Nuraghi. At least 7,000 circular dry stoned towers remain to visit.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Building Services in Worthing

J.S. Trangmar Building Services is run by John Trangmar, a builder with over 20 years experience. They are based in Worthing and able to undertake jobs in the Sussex area.

J.S. Trangmar builders specialises in both residential and commercial properties. They are able to carry out small building work or can provide a whole team of specialist for larger projects.

John Trangmar is happy to discuss your ideas and provide free building quotations. J.S. Trangmar Building Services pride themselves in their ability to offer excellent value for money without compromising on quality.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Renovation of Sash & Casement Windows

Original windows in a period property can often make a big aesthetical difference in the appearance of the house by adding value and character.

Since the introduction of uPVC there has been a trend to rip out wooden windows and replace them with a plastic version in an attempt to improve the insulation of the house. Home owners are under a constant pressure to make their homes as energy efficient as possible. Replacing the original wooden windows does not have to be your only option. New methods of draft proofing can be used on sash windows very successfully.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Sash Repairs

If you care about the period detail of your home, always consider renovating your sash windows rather than replacing them with uPVC. Plastic windows always look out of place on a period property. Sash Repairs Limited (based in London) offers the complete service for sash windows with window replacements to renovation and repair work.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Georgian Iron Work

The Georgian home would often have iron foot scrapers, lanterns, flame snuffer and later towards the Regency period a desirable feature would have been an iron balcony or window guard.

I have added more images to my Iron work page:

Thursday, 4 February 2010

How to renovate or install guide

Changing your home can be a daunting task. You can constantly ask yourself whether you are making the right decisions or wonder if you are ruining the character of the house. Looking at other people's home changes can help you visualize how your ideas might work.

The "How to guide" shows projects that have been done with links to further advice and sources.

If you would like to send in your own home projects to show on this site, please send them to subject: How to guide. Alternately you could add your own images and contribute to the Period House Style Archive Group on Flickr