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  • Nicola

Primrose Hill: month eight…

It's a beautiful spring day in Primrose Hill and this month we're going to be leaning on a lamp post as we consider whether to buy an ice cream or a bouquet. Or both.

But first, let's take a look at that lamp post: the first public street light was installed in London’s Pall Mall in 1807 as part of King George III's 70th birthday celebrations and it's flame was fuelled by gas. By the 1820s, many towns and cities had installed cast-iron lamp posts, their warm glow bringing illumination and safety to the streets, indeed gas lamps continued to be installed until the mid-20th century, long after the introduction of electric street lights in the 1870s.

Gas street lamps had to be lit every evening and put out every morning by teams of lamplighters, who wended their way through the city streets on bicycles, using long poles to spark the gas. The lamplighter soon entered popular culture and in the recent Disney film, Mary Poppins Returns, Mary and her charges are joined in their adventures by Jack the lamplighter.

Lin Manuel Miranda as Jack, tripping the light fantastic in Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Even though they were superseded by electric lighting, many of those handsome cast-iron street lamps were retained and converted in historic locations.

Now I've illuminated you about lamp posts (sorry!) we can take a look at the two accompanying blocks for this month: the Bouquet and the Tutti-Frutti Ice Cream. Both are perfect for using up the trimmings from earlier months and I have a simple method for creating the wrapper/cone portion of the blocks, which you can find in issue 88 of Today's Quilter.

I'm sure you'll be humming 'Trip a Little Light Fantastic' as you sew...

Nicola xx


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