Riceyman Steps – a Clerkenwell Tour in the footsteps of Arnold Bennett

Riceyman Steps - Hanslip Fletcher

I doubt that Riceyman Steps would be the first title you thought of if I challenged you to name something by Arnold Bennett, even though it won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1923. You’d be more likely to come up with one of his stories set in the Five Towns, and to think of him as a Northern writer. Riceyman Steps, though, is a London novel, set in a specific and still recognisable part of Clerkenwell. But how much of it still stands? Join Arnold and me on a little tour and we’ll find out. Continue reading

Winter Fair at Clerkenwell Studios

Craft Central, Clerkenwell

It’s December so it’s officially okay to mention Christmas (and it’s snowing on my blog, did you notice?). I’ve just been to my first Christmas fair of the season (well, strictly speaking, it’s billed as a winter fair but they do suggest it would be a good place to buy your Christmas presents), Made in Clerkenwell at Craft Centre Studios. It’s on for four days and today is the last day so if you’re interested get down there this afternoon. Here’s a heads up on what you’ll find, focusing, as ever, on the Japanese designers in the show. Continue reading