Frederick Gibberd’s Chrisp St Market Clock Tower, Poplar, dates from 1952 and is now listed by English Heritage.



‘Colour and Pattern in the Home’ provides a vibrant view of mid-century English interior decoration. Published by Batsford in 1954, the book features texts by Noel Carrington who was the editor of Puffin Picture Books and a writer on design. It includes various black and white photographs of interiors with furnishings designed by the likes of Peggy Angus, Steven Sykes, Lucienne Day, Mary Adshead, Barbara Jones & Phoebe de Syllas. The sections reflect the wider social changes of the 1950s and the move to modern furnishing with discussions on multi-purpose rooms, such as a (now very dated) passage on how the kitchen-dining room ‘is gaining in popularity as women do their own household work and are their own cooks.’ But it is the colour lithographs by Roland Collins that make this book so special: each is a drawing of an actual interior by an interior designer of the day. They feature icons of modernist furniture design by the likes of Ernest Race, David Whitehead fabrics and Sanderson wallpapers. The lithographs have a clarity and graphic quality that transcends the period-specificity of the interiors depicted, and seem more fresh than staged black and white photographs. Collins has enjoyed something of a revival in recent months, with an exhibition at the Mascalls Gallery in Kent and a feature in World of Interiors. If the images in this book are anything to go by, this 94 year old-artist deserves this reappraisal.

This post is a couple of years old as, alas, Roland Collins died in 2015, aged 97. Wholeheartedly agree that he’s ripe for reappraisal.