Sunday 5 August 2012

has someone nicked the 'Tanglewood' sign?

I was walking past Tanglewood the other day, the house on Giles Lane where Hugh and Brian Hopper grew up, where the Wilde Flowers rehearsed, and where both Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers lived briefly. I'm not sure when the Hopper family left the house but by the 80's it had been subsumed into the University of Kent campus (it's the Hospitality Services office). I must have walked and cycled past it many hundreds of times before I read Graham Bennett's Soft Machine book and worked out which house it was.

There's been an old wooden "Tanglewood" sign above the door for some time — here's a Google Streetview shot from some time in the last year, I'd guess:

But it's gone now. Stolen by an obsessive Canterbury scene fan? Taken down for looking too irregular for an increasingly sterile and rectilinear University campus?

I'm convinced that this sign wasn't a post-Hopper-family addition, as here's the picture Graham Bennett acquired from one of the brothers, presumably taken in the early 60's:

You can see the same sign, but placed to the right of the door rather than above it.

Perhaps someone can be bothered to navigate the UKC website and work out who to contact and ask if the sign was taken down by them, and if so, do they still have it? Someone might like to preserve that.

[follow up 28/09/12] As suggested by the comment (link below) I contacted UKC Estates Dept. a while ago. As I'd rather expected, no reply — obviously not a major priority!

[follow up 26/04/13] It's back! I was cycling by the other day and noticed that not only has the exterior of Tanglewood been cleaned and repainted, the sign has been retouched, varnished and replaced. The place just needs a blue plaque now!


Anonymous Adam Sampson said...

Estates would be the people to ask:

6 August 2012 at 12:26  

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