Tom Phillips - 20 Slideshows

20 Slideshows

05. The Marlborough. c. 11.40 am.

  • 1973

  • 1974

  • 1975

  • 1976

  • 1977

  • 1978

  • 1979

  • 1980

  • 1981

  • 1982

  • 1983

  • 1984

  • 1985

  • 1986

  • 1987

  • 1988

  • 1989

  • 1990

  • 1991

  • 1992

  • 1993

  • 1994

  • 1995

  • 1996

  • 1997

  • 1998

  • 1999

  • 2000

  • 2001

  • 2002

  • 2003

  • 2004

  • 2005

  • 2006

  • 2007

  • 2008

  • 2009

  • 2010

  • 2011

  • 2012

  • 2013

  • 2014

  • 2015

  • 2016

  • 2017

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This is the first site on the circuit proper and was chosen because at that time I was attached to the Marlborough Gallery. As so often in 20 Sites the original motif is not always the main focus of action: in this case the first six years see, in the little courtyard, a battleground of mindless municipal creativity as perfectly good paving gets replaced by cobbles to be in turn replaced by new paving in the following year. In 1976 corrugated iron hides further construction work, revealed in 1977 as a totally re-reconstructed courtyard with brick shrub-holders one of which gets the large (and still not quite faded) CF sign of the National Front painted on it. After this flurry of baffling effort and expenditure the courtyard calms down and resigns itself to growing grass. Meanwhile the pub has started on a sequence of 'improvements', shifting back and forth in time and taste, with a new antiquarian signboard and a revising and disrevising of its frontage lettering together with a change of light fitments, from round to square to more antiquely round. In 1987 the phone-box falls victim to the great phone-box purge of the late eighties and is replaced by a skimpy new 'facility'.

The position of the lady in the first slide is used as a cue for the rest of the series though a strange tendency in 1986 for people to cut across the courtyard seemed to threaten the continuity.  In 1985 the message of the NF sign was reinforced by the Nazi salute given by a passing youth.

In 1991 in the manner of the first announcement, on muted horns, of a motif in a symphony that is later to become the basis of resounding variations at other sites (13, 17), a small section of the wall is breached. The rest of the brass takes up the theme in 1992 when a huge tract disappears.