Tag Archives: Royal Festival Hall

Chooing Over The Year

So 2011 was Pennychoo’s first full year of trading (we’ll be 2 in May!) so I thought I’d do a quick visual summary of the year – just some random images showing where we went, what we saw, what we liked, who inspired us etc.  Where possible, I’ve put images alongside the designs they helped inspire. No doubt I’ll have missed some credit where it’s due so apologies now if that’s the case – feel free to fill in any gaps. Click on a picture to enlarge, and here’s to a creative 2012!
(La Terre by Double Merrick) 


Table doting…

I’m hoping that by starting off with an appalling pun, you might actually be reasonably relieved that I haven’t posted here for so long. I had thought that my new-found status as a full-time cardie would afford me lots more time for this kind of thing but not a bit of it. Tsk.

Anyway, a shortish one today:  I’ve been meaning to do it for a while and a visit to Habitat today reminded me, hence the sudden engagement of boot with bum.

On a recent trip to the Royal Festival Hall, I stopped by the Terrace shop to, um, have a look at the new items and not to straighten my cards up (ah-hem), and while I was there I had a good old nose around the newly-expanded shop. It’s full of lots of truly lovely things but my eye was nearly yanked out of its socket by this nest of  Ercol tables:

Arrrgh! Have you never heard of coasters??

Probably most famous for perfecting the steam bending of wood, Ercol exhibited at the Britain Can Make It exhibition of 1946 at the V&A Museum, and then again at the Festival of Britain at the Royal Festival Hall in 1951. According to Wikipedia, ‘Ercol’s mass-produced furniture found a ready market in post-war Britain, which demanded smaller pieces with simpler lines than their chunky pre-war counterparts.’

So were these cheeky walnut beauties original 1950s Ercol pieces I wondered, as I caressed their organic curves and wondered if I could reasonably fit the small one under a cardi in a Bag For Life? Well I can tell you, dear readers, that they are not! By happy coincidence, the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain coincides with the 90th anniversary of Ercol who are (happily for us) reissueing a range of their most iconic designs, a lot of which are available from the new retro renaissance shop of choice, John Lewis. Here are just a few pieces – click for a better look:

Ercol for John Lewis – Butterfly Chair

Ercol for John Lewis - Studio Couch

Ercol for John Lewis - Chiltern Coffee Table

Ercol have also reissued the iconic nest of tables in ‘a contemporary mix of rainbow hues’ but I’d quite like to have words with whoever picked them … from the top, the peach one must look like some kind of gland (*shudder*)

Ercol nest of tables, painted

And as if all this retro furniture loveliness wasn’t enough, Habitat have only gone and jumped on the 1950s  nest-of-tables bandwagon with their ‘Wilf’ range. They’ve chosen their colours a little more carefully than Ercol, and I like the fact that they’ve varied the shapes. The tapered legs and black edging really makes for a nice retro feel.

Habitat 'Wilf' table, large

Habitat 'Wilf' table, medium

Habitat 'Wilf' table, small

So there you go – I’ll gladly accept any of them as gifts, but remember, if it’s the Ercol you go for next Christmas, I prefer the plan walnut ones. You’ve been told. It’s Progressive Greetings Live next week so hopefully I’ll be back with tales of trade show shenanigans sometime after that. Adios!

PS. I completely forgot to post this lovely picture of another Ercol piece in the Royal Festival Hall shop, adorned with lovely cushions in limited edition Festival of Britain fabric designed for the anniversary. There’s anniversay wallpaper behind it too.

A busy week in the land of Choo…

This gallery contains 22 photos.

Greetings dear reader! It’s been a busy week or two… where to begin…? Well, last weekend I took part in my second Vintage and Handmade Fair in deepest South Gloucestershire. Organised and promoted for several years now by the tireless … Continue reading


All the fun of the Festival…

This gallery contains 8 photos.

So The Royal Festival Hall has featured in my life for two extremely good reasons just lately. First off, I got a call from the buyer at the South Bank Centre asking if she could place an order so Pennychoo … Continue reading

Stop Press!

I’ve received an email from the Pallant House Gallery who saw my last post and informed  me that they have an upcoming exhibition featuring the work of Robin and Lucienne Day. Definitely one to try and get to.


The Days thou gavest…

This gallery contains 14 photos.

I have to admit to being one of those people who has a morbid fascination with going through those end-of-year obituaries to find out exactly who’s pegged out over the past 12 months, and was amazed to see that both … Continue reading

Be gentle – I’m new here…

Oh! And so are you, so that’s okay then. Welcome to the brand new Pennychoo blog!

Well, first off, I’m not entirely sure yet what this is going to be about, but like all the blogs I enjoy, I expect it will probably just be about things I see and like, and which give me ideas for my own work (design, illustration and greetings cards).

This probably means that a lot of it will either be things that are old, or else new things that reference the past in an interesting way.

I’m hoping it will also chart the development of new ranges of Pennychoo cards so I have something to look back on when I’m sat in The Kath Kidston Home for Infirm and Decrepit Creatives somewhere…

There might just be a load of old nonsense in here too, but I’ll keep the posts short and regular and the images plentiful, so at least it’ll be visually arresting nonsense. Hope you stick around!