A local book for local people
Release Date: 16 October
191 pages | £ 12.99 ( hardback) Author: Richard Littler Publisher: Ebury Press
The past is a different
country. And in the case of the ’ 70s, that country increasingly seems like a place you wouldn’t like to visit – certainly not without taking some mace spray and getting your jabs.
Spun off from the excellent Scarfolk website ( http:// scarfolk. blogspot. co. uk), Richard Littler’s book presents itself as a collection of materials relating to a mysterious north- west town that’s off the map, and only seems to have existed from 1970- 1979. It dials up all that’s outdated about history’s brownest decade, making the xenophobic attitudes more shameless, the food more inedible, the health and safety standards even more shoddy. Then it stirs in the paranoia of The Prisoner and the absurdism of Python or Vic Reeves. The result: a strange alternate- universe realm of fondue sets, cannibalism and constant surveillance.
The text, which reports the nightmarish experiences of a man who became trapped in the town, does an entertaining enough job of presenting lunatic goings- on with a straight face. But the main draw are the witty visuals: a public information poster that treats babies as a threat like rabies; an ad for ice lollies with names like Gammon Bedsore; the cover for a guide to brainwashing children. Beautifully realised, they’re crying out to be made into a range of visitor- baffling framed prints. Ian Berriman