From the archive: St George's Day

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This is a photo of an original cartoon given to us in 1957 in honour of the SPAB’s 80th anniversary. It was drawn by Miss Freda Derrick, an artist, author and SPAB supporter from Cheltenham. Although we did not use the illustration in any official capacity, the SPAB Secretary at the time, Monica Dance, sent a personal letter to Miss Derrick thanking her for the artwork, which featured in the magazine Illustrated Carpenter and Builder.

The drawing depicts the SPAB in the image of St George, fighting against the dragon which is made up of the various threats to historic buildings. From its nostrils spout such dangers as ‘unconsidered development’, ‘wrong materials’, as well as ‘falsification by “restoration”’ - an issue that was central to the feelings of William Morris, following John Ruskin, when he founded the SPAB in 1877.

Promoting education and awareness of the importance of maintaining Britain’s old buildings, both amongst homeowners and the wider public, is still at the heart of SPAB’s mission today.


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