Clapham Wind TunnelOne area where being able to talk to the people who worked for John Laing is really helpful is unravelling the odd mystery. I have noticed that in a number of photographs from the 1950s there is one or two individuals who had a large L on their jacket. I speculated on what this might be and thought that most likely it was to designate the leader of a team of workers. I was able to put a short piece in John Laing's Retired Employees' News asking for any information on the mystery L and several people kindly wrote to explain the mystery - which was no real mystery at all. The L simply stood for Laing but only new employees would be given a jacket with the logotype and so this took a long time to permeate through the organisation. A case of applying Occam's razor and not overthinking things for me.
Yesterday I presented 'The Power and the Glory: A Study of John Laing & Son Ltd through its Photographic Archive" at the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain's Architectural History Workshop in London. There was a lot of positive feedback and a number of entirely new areas to take a look at, such as the work done by William Mitchell. Mitchell was a sculptor from the 1950s who worked extensively in Laing's concrete products - thanks to Dr. Dawn Pereira (see some of Dawn's work on Mitchell here The concrete legacy of William Mitchell ) for bringing this to my attention. Mitchell has a number of works listed including pieces in Clifton Cathedral ( Cathedral Church of SS Peter and Paul, Clifton Park ). The series of presentations helped give a real sense of the amazing variety of subjects and approaches that fall loosely under the banner of architectural history and it was noticeable that photography played a part in quite a few. To show th