Christmas in Harrogate is a bit posh!
OK, these windows do belong to OKA and, OK, I did recently acquire a lovely wrought iron fire screen like the one just visible in this photo, but, needs must, our latest grandchild is very adventurous and this screen is very sturdy as well as pretty. Actually we try to follow William Morris's maxim "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful," not at all an excuse for needless extravagance...
...but Harrogate is proud of its money. Pictured above is Ogden of Harrogate, a long-established purveyor of fine jewellery and precious knick-knackery. It is located on James Street and once upon a time the hoi polloi were not allowed to walk along its pavements. Mr N's father remembered being chased from James Street when he was a boy in the 1930s. It was an oik-free zone.
So, we were surprised to be given this...
...in a Harrogate town centre supermarket (Waitrose, naturally.) We were happy to donate, but it was a sobering reminder that superficial prosperity can hide as great a divide in society these days as it did a hundred years ago.
We also called in at the town's art gallery, The Mercer, to look for a few late Christmas cards and were surprised to find a moving and timely exhibition had opened since we last visited - Frank Holl: Emerging from the Shadows.
Holl, 1845 - 1888, was notable for his tragic social realism and strong empathy with the hardships suffered by poor women and children.
The Song of the Shirt
Newgate - Committed for Trial
Faces in the Fire