One and Other

February 27, 2009


tf  Acknowledgement: London Mist © Getty Images.

The Fouth Plinth in Trafalgar Square will host a live sculpture project this summer.  The One and Other project will been spread over 100 days, from 6 July – 14 October 2009, inviting applicants from the public [aged 16 years or over and staying in the UK]  to occupy the Fourth Plinth for an hour. 

The fouth plinth was originally planned to hold an equestrian statue of King William IV.   Full length statues in bronze were often erected to commemorate monarchs, generals, writers, artists and politicians throughout the country.  In 1831  Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle had noted that …

‘an historical statue of King William the Fourth seated in a triumphal car, chiseled by an eminent sculptor, will be placed on the pediment over the great gate, at the entrance to Hyde Park from Picadilly.’  Bell’s Life in London and Sporting Chronicle (London, England), Sunday, May 22, 1831; Issue 478.New Readerships

On 30th June 1837 William IV died at Windsor, but no equestrian statue was made for the king to stand on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.  Two years later, in 1839 the sub-committee appointed to accellerate the plans to erect a monument to Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square, designed by William Railton [who also built the National School and St Paul’s church, Woodhouse Eaves , Leicestershire], included in the plans four corner plinths, for four lion statues by Landseer , years later a fountain was constructed in 1845, and on the four peripheral plinths stood bronze statues – one for General Napier, one for Major General Havelock, and one for King George IV

Nineteenth century plans for an equestrian statue of the late King William IV, to stand on the fourth plinth, came to nothing [as no money was made available], and there were many humourous specualtions as to the future use of the square and its bronzes statues.  Punch ran an article in January 1844 advertising the use of the statues in the square in a…

  ‘Bold Specualtion!…The Cabinet has come to the determination of converting this extensive area into a place of public amusement – namely, an Ampitheatre,  to be entitled The Royal Trafalgar Circus….The seats, it has been calculated, will accomodate a least one million spectators.  A huge tarpauling, consisting of two acres of canvas, will be extended over the building in wet weather.’ Punch (London, England), Saturday, January 13, 1844.

Punch invisaged that the statue of Nelson would dance the hornpipe, a statute of George III, in his debut, would play a piece as Timour the Tartar ‘he will condescend to wear his own pigtail’plus a statue of William IV, taken from the site of the Boar’s Head in East Cheap, representing the British Tar along with the services of other statues from Westminster Abbey, such as Elizabeth I.  ‘Admittance 1s, reserved seats, 2s 6d’.  The proceeds were envisaged to help The State abolish income tax and reduce the national debt.

Today Trafalgar Square and Fourth Plinth are a place of public entertainment,  for artists and performers, displaying a wide range of modern sculpture such as Bill Woodrow’s Regardless of History and Rachel Whiteread’s Monument, as well as  becoming a showcase for events such as thousands of tea cups laid out as part of the 2007 Channel 4 programme Genius; Human footprint

At present the fourth plinth is home to Thomas Shutte’s red, yellow and blue glass sculpture Model for a Hotel 2007, however in July 2009 a new project for the Fourth Plinth by Antony Gormley plans to create a ‘living’ monument on the Fourth Plinth.

You can register your interest in the One and Other project at  [Applications begin at the beginning of April 2009 and will close at the end of May 2009.

Loughborough University Library have a number of books on Anthony Gormley’s art, which are located on Level 2, at 730.942 and journal articles are available via MetaLib, using databases such as Art Full text, ArtBibliographies Modern and Art Retrospective.

To find out more about Antony Gormley and the 2009 One and Another project for the Fourth Plinth at Trafagar Square, please see the links below.

Antony Gormley

Fourth Plinth

One & Other

Nelson’s Column Restoration

History of Trafalgar Square

Royal British Society of Sculptors

Loughborough University School of Art & Design


The National Trust growing spaces

February 19, 2009


The National Trust has launched a project which will create 1000 allotments for gardeners, on 40 existing National Trust properties.   The National Trust has carried out serveral allotement case-studies, one of which is a Hughenden Manor in Buckinghamshire, where the walled garden has been restored as a full working kitchen garden.

Batty Langley [1696-1751 ], architect and garden designer, observed in his book New Principles of Gardening, published in 1728, that ‘The End and Design of a good Garden is to be both Profitable and Delightful…’  .  A little after Langley’s time, in the 1760s  small parcels of land were available for rent  at a farthing per square meter [average agricultural wages ranged from from 6d to 1 shilling a day, and a farthing worth a quater of a penny]. Urban and rural areas alike relied heavily in the ancient common rights to access and make use of ‘common land’ , dating back to the Statute of Merton in 1235, which helped supplement meagre wages and home grown produce.   However the general Enclosure Acts of 1836, 1840 and 1845 robbed the people of access to the common land on which they grazed their stock, collect fuel etc.   A writer in the North Star and Leeds General Advertiser in November 1839 observed that …

Session after session has poured upon the country “Common field enclosure bills”  – ” Waste enclosure bills” … they only wish to destroy the poor man’s waste..[used for grazing and gathering wood and fuel] .Scarcely any evidence was heard upon the subject; hardly any compensation offered; the most reckless and unthinking depredations were committed….It has been asserted that this Bill will confer a benefit on the poor, whose lands are to be enclosed.  Now, on the contrary, it will add to the property of the rich without protecting the rights  of the poor…

Taken from: The Northern Star and Leeds General Advertiser (Leeds, England), Saturday, November 9, 1839; Issue 104

Years later, in 1887, the Allotments and Cottage Gardens Compensation for Crops Act, and later the Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908 were passed,..

 ‘outlining that If the council of any borough, urban district, or parish are of opinion that there is a demand for allotments . . . in the borough, urban district, or parish, . the council shall provide a sufficient number of allotments, and shall let such allotments to persons . .  resident in the borough, district, or parish, and desiring to take the same..’

The twentieth century world wars and economic depressions resulted in periodic food shortages, promting both national and public interest to grow their own food.  Since then the interest in ‘grow your own’ has increased, reflected in televison programmes on gardening such as BBC comedy series of the 1970s The Good Life , and the BBC’s Gardener’s World.  There is now approximately 297,000 allotment plots in England and their popularity has risen greatly.

Loughborough University Library subscribes to a number of online agriculture, horticulture and garden history journals such as Garden History  Agriculture, ecosystems & environment,  Agriculture and Human Values,  Floriculture CropsHorticulture Week and  Scientia HorticulturaeGarden History Newsletter, all available via MetaLib and accessible off campus using Athens username and password or by logging in to the Remote Working Portal


If you would like to learn more about the recent development of allotments in the UK, please visit the web sites below.

National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners Ltd (NSALG)

Landshare website

Batty Langley’s New Principles of Gardening

Poetry, Enclosure, and the Vernacular Landscape, 1700-1830  By Rachel Crawford

Allotments and Cottage Gardens Compensation for Crops Act 1887

Small Holdings and Allotments Act 1908

Allotments Act 1950

Trends in Provision and Types of Allotment Site 1943 – 1996

Allotments 4 All

BBC Leicester Radio’s own allotment

As Slow As Possible

February 17, 2009


The longest concert was recorded in Japan in 2007, lasting 182 hours.   La Monte Young, a pupil of John Cage, wrote a minimalist piano piece in 1964,  entitled The Well-Tuned Piano, which takes over 5 hours to play and in December 1999 Jem Finer’s composition Longplayer began to be played, and is set to continue for 1000 years.

On a more modest scale, a project in Halberstadt, Germany celebrates John Cage’s 89th birthday by performing his composition A Slow as Possible,  or “Organ2/ASLSP” an organ piece adapted from the piano in 1987 [lasting just over 29 minutes], playing it as slow as possible, and hoping that the music will last 639 years.  The project began on 5 September 2000 and aims to finish  in 2639.  As the music began in 2000 with a rest [which lasted 18 months] nothing could be heard until 5 February 2003, until the first chord was struck.  Notes are now sounded twice a year, on the fifth day of the month, muffled so as not to disturb residents of the town.

The current organ in the cathedral in Halberstadt was built by Christoph Jesse between 1785 and 1787,  the original organ, with a moden-style keyborad, having been being buit around 1361 by Nikolaus Faber, was repaired or rebuit in 1495, and said to have had twenty-two keys with wind power supplied by twenty bellows, operated by 10 men.  One of the most accomplised organists to use the instrument was  Michael Praetorius, who worked for the Bishop of Halberstadt as organist.  Take 1361 from the year 2000 and the result is 639 – the length of the the Halberstadt project.

If you would like to learn more about John Cage and the Halberstadt project, please see the links below.


John Cage Orgalprojekt

First notes for 639-year composition  – BBC

The Evolution of The Well-Tuned Piano

Restoration of the Organ in Moritzkirche, Halberstadt

 Music at Loughborough University

New newspaper archives available via MetaLib

February 5, 2009


 Hereunto my Lord immediately returned this Anfwer:


If you like to march away with those under your Command, with their Armies, Bag, and Baggage, and with Drums and Colours, and fhall deliver up the Towne to me, I fhall caution to performe thefe conditions, expecting the like from you, as to the Inhabitants, they fhall be permitted to live peaceably, free from the injury and violence of the Soldiers: If you like hereof, you can tell me how to let me know your mind, nowithftanding my refufall of the Ceffation: By thefe you will fee the reality of my intentions to  fave blood, and to preferve the place from ruine,   I reft,              Your Servant        

               O: Cromwell

Taken from : Briefe Relation of Some Affaires and Transactions (London, England), Tuesday, November 13, 1649; Issue 9

Loughborough University Library offers two new online newspaper archives and news services available via MetaLib

17th and 18th century Burney Collection Newspapers – the largest single collection of 17th and 18th century pamphlets, broadsides and newspapers, gathered together by the classical scholar the Reverend Charles Burney (1757-1817). The 700 or so bound volumes of newspapers and news pamphlets were published mostly in London, however there are also some English provincial, Irish and Scottish papers, and a few examples from the American colonies, Europe and India

Off-campus access requires your Athens username and password. If you do not have your Athens username and password please contact Ask a Librarian.

British newspapers 1600-1900 –   British Newspapers 1600-1900 is the most significant digital collection of British historic newspapers. New conservation and imaging techniques and a new cross-searchable platform adopted by the British Library offers unparalleled access and discoverability to this valuable historical and cultural archive.

Off-campus access requires your Athens username and password. If you do not have your Athens username and password please contact Ask a Librarian.

19th Century British Library Newspapers and British Newspapers 1600 -1900 will be freely available until at least December 2010, the Burney Collection to December 2013.