Harry Smith, Potteries artist

The old “Blue Bell” bottle kiln, Stoke-on-Trent, by Harry Smith. A blurry eBay image, so not representative of his fine ink-work. This popped up on eBay and had this usefully complete biography stuck on the back…

A little riffle through the Potteries Auction website also found these…

He also did some footballing portraits and some Second World War aviation pictures, reflecting his time serving with the ‘Dam Busters’ RAF Squadron. Likely to have been most active in the 1960s and 70s in the Potteries.

Evidently his prints have come up for local auction over the last 18 months or so, and may now be starting to filter onto eBay. One hopes that the best of the originals have been given to local museums for sake-keeping.

“Simon Fuge” in free audiobook

Arnold Bennett’s masterpiece “The Death of Simon Fuge” is now available as a public-domain two-hour audiobook read by David Wales, in Librivox’s new release of The Grim Smile Of The Five Towns.

It’s a pretty good lively reading with some subdued attempt at dialogue characterisation, read by an older man with what is probably a New England American accent. He goes at it rather fast, and is a little sibilant when heard on headphones. But the graphic equaliser and real-time speed-shifter of a good audio player (such as AIMP) will fix that…

Speed: 0.94 or 0.95.

EQ settings to start tweaking from:


Sadly there’s not a single illustration for “Fuge” to be had, but this picture from North Staffordshire in circa 1902-03 gets pretty near to the three main male characters, with the visitor Mr. Loring being the one standing behind and with a pipe…