The year of Dr. No – and rural poverty

On the Cusp: Days of ’62 David Kynaston, Bloomsbury, 239 P, £18.99 KEN BELL admires a study of 1962, but wonders why that year was singled out for attention David Kynaston must be the premier social historian of post-war Britain writing today, and his latest book is a fine, standalone work which really captures the…

The Venatio – an extract

LUKE GILFEDDER tells a dark tale of Cheshire Crime writer Stephen Niskus suspects that his long-lost school friend, Alexei Orphonov, is a serial killer. When he catches sight of Alexei in Alderley Edge, he embarks upon an urgent quest to prevent another murder. But Stephen's investigations soon lead him into a far more tangled and…

The battle for the soul of a Kentish village

Credit: Shutterstock STUART MILLSON reports from semi-rural England The earliest settlement to have occupied the ground that we now know as East Malling, Kent, is thought to have been Roman, although who knows what band of ancient Britons wandered and settled the area before the Legions and arrow-straight roads came to our shores. Fragments of…

Is London street art dying?

Image: Frank K. Molloy DAVID UPTON tries his hand at making his mark Everyone knows about Banksy, who came to fame around 2000 for his cheeky anarchic spray paintings and stencils on walls in Bristol, and later all over the world. His real name is still officially secret, though by now his works sell in…

The evolutions of revolutionary architecture

A 1934 competition project, Narkomtiazhprom - from Soviet Design From Constructivism to Modernism,1920-1980 Anna Bokov, VKhUTEMAS and the Pedagogy of Space, 1920-1930 Park Books, 2021, 624pp, illus., $65 Katherine Zubovich, Moscow Monumental: Soviet Skyscrapers and Urban Life in Stalin’s Capital Princeton University, 2021, 274pp + xii, illus., £34 Kristina Krasnyanskaya, Alexander Semenov (eds.), Soviet Design…

Painting the pear orchard

NICHOLAS BOOTH captures a fleeting moment in Kent I packed my battered little orchestra of colours in an old Fortnum’s bag along with some rolled up paper and a bottle of ginger beer and set off for the pear orchard which lies across a road at the back of the housing estate where my mother…

A road by any other name…

Shutterstock DEREK TURNER takes a Brum road-trip What’s in a name? A great deal – so Birmingham City Council hopes. In December, as part of a £500m redevelopment of the city’s blighted Perry Barr district, it revealed the names of six new roads to “reflect community and Commonwealth sport values”. Diversity Grove, Equality Road, Destiny…