I say, all these things look jolly familiar. . .

The Times April 28, 2006

I say, all these things look jolly familiar. . .
By Alan Hamilton

Another 21 icons of England have been added to the list

YOU ARE in a pub in Brick Lane, reading Pride and Prejudice, when in comes a mini-skirted morris dancer carrying a cricket bat who asks you for a stamp to send off for a copy of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. Ah, you must be in England.

Or you are standing at the top of Blackpool Tower with a postcard of Constable’s The Hay Wain in your pocket, waving the flag of St George and peering to see if you can spot Hadrian’s Wall or York Minster on the horizon. Yes, you are still in England.

Perhaps you are attending the Notting Hill Carnival after a visit to the Globe Theatre before travelling to Cornwall to visit the Eden Project, with a copy of the Lindisfarne Gospels to admire on the train. No, you could not mistake it for France.

Yesterday, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport unveiled 21 new Icons of England to add to the 12 it announced in January. It plans eventually to build a collection of 100 cultural treasures that will provide an online snapshot of the nation.

The project, funded by Culture Online, part of the department, has attracted hundreds of thousands of votes for images that unmistakably say “England”. The choice reflects a country with a long history of art, architecture and literature, strong on tradition and eccentric pastimes, but with a strong streak of multiculturalism.

Jerry Doyle, the managing director of Icons, the not-for-profit company that runs the scheme, said: “We are delighted with the response from the public. It has been overwhelming, with around a quarter of a million visits to the site, more than 5,000 suggested nominations and around 300,000 votes.”

Four more groups of icons will be released this year until the collection reaches 100. They can be viewed at www.icons.org.uk. Suggestions for icons that speak loudly of England but are unlikely to make it to the website might include an ASBO (Anti-Social Behaviour Order); a hospital waiting list; John Prescott; a petrol station price list; an out-of-town Tesco; and a six-figure cheque made out to the Labour Party.


The new icons: Flag of St George; Hadrian’s Wall; Notting Hill Carnival; Brick Lane; Lindisfarne Gospels; On the Origin of Species; morris dancing; Domesday Book; HMS Victory; the miniskirt; The Hay Wain; Pride and Prejudice; Eden Project; the pub; Blackpool Tower; Globe Theatre; cricket; Sutton Hoo helmet; York Minster; Big Ben; postage stamp showing the Queen’s head designed by Arnold Machin, in use since 1967

The original 12: Stonehenge; Punch and Judy; SS Empire Windrush; Holbein’s portrait of Henry VIII; cup of tea; FA Cup; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; Routemaster bus; King James Bible; Angel of the North; Spitfire; Jerusalem

Ahhhhhh I love England

This is Punch and Judy - a puppet show for children at the seaside.

So eccentric that you probably don't find it in other countries.
I've seen a Punch and Judy show out here. Its cute!

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