Sunday, April 13, 2008

Home and Thanks

15 November 2007

Well I made it home to Catherine (and flower) and Truffle (with a new blanket). It's been several months now since I was in London and thought I should make a final entry. I have many people to thank for this project:


On the morning of January 28, 2005, a copy of Caroline Alexander’s extraordinary book Bounty: The True Story of Mutiny on the Bounty arrived at the London residence of Dr. Cuillin Bantock. This was the beginning of the exhibition Bounty: A Case of Preposterous Optimism ( which was to open on October 4, 2007.

An exhibition of this size and complexity does not just fall into place. The keystone to the project has certainly been Cuillin Bantock (, whose focus, energy and determination, especially around fund raising made it happen. I owe him an inordinate amount of thanks not only for his leadership on this project but also for his extraordinary friendship. I wish to extend this thanks to his wife and son, Helen and Tristan Bantock, who also helped me with this project and whose support and friendship greatly helped my completion of it.

A project of this size requires the energy and involvement of many people. I wish to thank Liz May, APT Studio Manager and Charity Administrator, for her help and assistance in managing this project, and the 11 other artists involved in the project. I would like to give special thanks to Mr. Hugh Jenkins, Volunteer, Museum of Garden History ( , Lambeth Palace Road, London, UK, whose passion for and involvement in the Bounty saga contributed to my greater understanding of the story, especially as concerns William Bligh.

I wish to acknowledge the financial support for the exhibition by several British organizations:

The Art in Perpetuity Trust (

The Arts Council of England

The National Lottery/Awards for All

London Borough of Lewisham and

The Ernest Cook Trust

Trinity College of Music (

Laban Dance Centre (

I would like to thank the British Library for their help in my research.

My home away from home was the Arran House Hotel, 77-79 Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London ( This would include Mr. John Richards, Managing Director, Carrol- Anne, Tamlyn and Vicky, his administrative staff, and John's very kind Portuguese housekeeping staff.

I would like to give special thanks for my personal support in this project to Langara College ( The college provided me with both the finances and time to fully engage in this work by awarding me an Education Leave. Without this tremendous support, my involvement would have been a fraction of what was possible. I would like to thank Linda Holmes, President and CEO of Langara College, who approved this leave; Members of the Education Leave Selection Committee; Linda Arnold, Dean of Instruction; Lynn Carter, Vice-President Langara Faculty Association; Wendy Low, Division Chair Representative; and Maureen Maloney, Member-at-Large, Langara Faculty Association.

I would also like to thank and express my deep love for my wife, Catherine Plear, whose immense editing skills kept my painful writing coherent and whose love and support were, as always, constant, especially during my prolonged absence from her while in London.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Chelsea Pensioners - Rememberance Day, 11 Nov 2007

It only took me five months to figure out how to edit this. Never, never, never give up!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rememerance Day - Whitehall, London

I was able to be part of this years Remembrance Day ceremony in Whitehall. The closest I could get was Parliament Square but found a good spot to see the bands and veterans march past at the end of the ceremony.

These officers are from a Guards Division. Regretablly I do not know whether they were from the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, or even a Household Division.

I do have some video for this posting. Blogger is having some technical problems posting video at the moment, but I will post it as soon as possible.

The Bantock Room - Trinity Music College, Greenwich

While I was in London I was honoured to be invited to the opening of the Sir Granville Bantock Room at Trinity Music College now located at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich by the Bantock Family.

The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich.

The Sir Granville Bantock Room at Trinity Music College is located in the extreme right side of the college in the corner room on the ground level in the photograph above. The buildings were designed by Christopher Wren.

Sir Granville Bantock

To find out about Sir Granville Bantock go to:

Photos from the opening of the Bantock Room, Greenwich:

Posters from performances of Granville Bantock on display at Trinity Music College, Greenwich.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

English Food Part III

Great English Food Experiences:

Tea is as much an institution in England as beer. One of the several dozen great 'High Tea' experiences is at Fortnum and Mason of Piccadilly. It is an afternoon must.

The Savoy

Another great 'High Tea' experience is at the Savoy. While expensive it is a wonderful London tradition. I recommend the 'Champagne Tea.'

Afternoon Tea has been served at The Savoy throughout its entire history. Served in the famous Thames Foyer and accompanied by the sounds of the resident pianist, Afternoon Tea consists of a mouth-watering array of sandwiches with a variety of fresh fillings, delicate pastries, teacakes and scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve.

Petrus at the Berkeley Hotel

The Petrus Restaurant in the Berkeley (pronounced Barkeley) Hotel is operated by Marcus Wareing under the umbrella of the the Gordon Ramsey Group.

Marcus Wareing - Petrus Chef

Gordon Ramsey

Catherine and I had the 'tasting menu' at Petrus which I've listed below. Foams are big right now in the world of haute cuisine. For example, the carrot soup is put in a tall shot glass (orange in colour) with the coriander foam floating on top (green in colour). To drink the soup you must pass the carrot soup through the coriander foam giving a perfect combination of flavours to the palette. An extraordinary culinary experience and that was just the beginning.

Petrus Tasting Menu

Amuse bouche *

Carrot soup with a coriander foam


Pan fried foie grad with fig compote,

spiced pears, almond purée


Scottish scallop, carrot a l`orange,

toasted sesame seeds


Roasted partridge, sweetcorn,

fresh cobnuts, tarragon jus


Pan fried halibut with scallop ragout,

parsnip puree


Best end of salt marsh lamb

braised shoulder, carmelised shallot and fennel

pommery mustard


Entrecote veal

green aspragus, courgette flower salad,

veal vinigrette


Cheese from the trolley

(£10.00 supplement)

Pre dessert


Vanilla crème, honey poached plums,

Spiced plum sorbet

* Amuses-bouche, also called amuses-gueule, are tiny bite-sized morsels served before the hors d'œuvre or first course of a meal. These, often accompanied by a proper complementing wine, are served as an excitement of taste buds to both prepare the guest for the meal and to offer a glimpse into the chef's approach to cooking.

The word is French, literally translated to "mouth amuser" [for bouche = mouth; amuser = to amuse, to please]. The original French word, more frequently employed, is amuse-

Friday, November 9, 2007

Deptford Potteries

In the late eighteenth century there were three different potteries on the west bank of Deptford Creek, the largest being on land now occupied by APT. The extra large* flowerpots that were taken out on the Bounty for the breadfruit plants were made at Mr. Dalton’s Pottery on Creekside* but we have as yet been unable to determine which of the three this was, even though they persisted into the next century.

The shards were found locally in the Creek itself and are probably Victorian.

* Caroline Alexander: Bounty: The True story of the Mutiny on the Bounty.

The map below gives the details of buildings on Creekside just north of Deptford Bridge in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. APT is on land that was then shared between the pottery and the King’s Slaughterhouse.