Ron, the village toymaker
We’ve been to Suffolk to visit the workshop of, first, Tim Hunkin, about whom more news later. But a few miles nearer the border with Norfolk in the village of Laxfield is another workshop belonging to another of Cabaret’s presiding geniuses, perhaps the first: Tim’s friend Ron Fuller.
You know the model cooper on the eaves of the Chandos pub at the bottom of St Martin’s Lane in the West End, that rolls his barrels out at the chime of the hour? Ron’s, and here he is with a spare cooper’s bonce. This year the telephone people decided to put all Laxfield’s cables underground, and Ron asked if he could have the telegraph pole that was standing uselessly in his garden waiting to be taken away. They were only too delighted, and he’s replanted it with ropes festooning from a turntable at its top, from which the kids who always seem to be around can swing and swoop through the summer afternoon.
The news from Southwold is a slightly disconcerting one for Tim Hunkin. The pier for which his Under the Pier Show is such as draw, is up for sale. The owner Stephen Bourne has got planning permission for a hotel at the beach end of the restored pier, and has decided to sell – £6m is the asking price.
If you find yourself in Dublin, make your way to the Science Gallery in Pearse Street, near Trinity College. You’ll have to join a queue, though, because the Biorhythm exhibition is drawing thousands. It’s the gallery’s vision of how to ‘ignite discovery and creativity where science and art collide’. Artists and scientists have collaborated to explain phenomena like turning colour into a soundtrack, and why music can make you cry.