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Reflections

Ah, the very word Broadway. To me it brings immediately to mind my times in New York's Theatre Land, buying tiny cowboy boots for my three and four year old sons in a shop called Tepee Town and being allowed to watch the Woody Herman Big Band rehearse in the afternoon before their Top of the Bill concert at Radio City.  The beginning of this theatrical legendary area began in the 1750's when Walter Murray and Thomas Kean opened a theatre on Nassau Street. So it is comparatively new compared to the other Broadway which holds equally fond memories for me. That's the one in the Cotswolds. For it was there that I first travelled with my father to visit  antique furniture dealers in that most beautiful and ancient town.  Dating back to the Mesolithic period (9,600 -4000 BC) Broadway in Worcestershire is now equally known for its charm as its centre for the Arts and Crafts movement. In the town itself is the Gordon Russell Museum, where the history of Sir Gordon Russell and his work is most fittingly displayed, while in nearby Chipping Camden one of the original artisan workshops, Harts Silver, is still being run by the founder's family. Currently they have a truly inspirational Exhibition in the Aylesbury Museum, on display until December. An absolute must visit for silver of the period enthusiasts. But nearby Broadway  is an architectural Folly. A structure that my father took me to see as a lesson on the inspiration of Capability Brown and the designs of James Wyatt for the Countess  of Coventry which was built for her in 1798 – 9 as a tower from which she could view her vast estate. The mirror illustrated is a great example of how architecture influenced some of the more avant garde patrons of the English Regency period in their quest for novelty in their furniture. Amongst their favourite makers was one George Bullock (1777 - 1813) to whome this is attributed. So mirror, mirror, on the wall, is it the reflection or the frame for which we fall?