Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Road to Ditchling

Braving the dark world that is Southern trains, I ventured off to Ditchling on Saturday. Not the biggest place on the planet, with only 2,000 residents, Ditchling is best known for its artistic and typographic connections, and more recently for its Museum of Art + Craft.

Ditchling, in East Sussex, was for a time the home of Eric Gill, one of Britain's best sculptors and typographers, and to Edward Johnston the typographer. Ditchling is thus the birth place of both the Gill Sans typeface and of the Johnston typeface used on the London Underground.

(For an excellent introduction to both typefaces, see the recent book "Johnston & Gill - Very British Types" by Mark Ovenden [Lund Humphries, 2016])

As the museum is currently holding an exhibition on the work of Eric Gill, it was time for a visit.

The typeface of the sign is of course Gill Sans.

Rail access to Ditchling is via Hassocks station, across the border in West Sussex, and then a pleasant 20 minute walk to the village.

The station, rebuilt in 2013, has no clock, and so the first (of very few) clocks seen on the road to Ditchling is at Hassocks Infant School.

The clock was installed to commemorate the millennium, although is a standard design and is now slightly obscured by its deteriorating cover.

 Nice gate though.

Along the road is the cricket pitch behind the Keymer community centre.

The view of their clock is a bit distant as I didn't want to traipse across their nice grass, especially for what is a fairly plain clock.

 The third and final clock is on St Margaret's church in Ditchling. The current building dates from the 12th century, but is built on a much older site of worship.