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Back to the Local

Maurice Gorham
Illustrated by Edward Ardizzone
Date Published
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‘Wonderful… a detailed study of life in London pubs… Sketching the people who frequented his favourite pubs in Camden and the West End on anything that came to hand – backs of cigarette packets, drinks mats, napkins – [Edward Ardizzone] and his drinking friend Maurice Gorham, art editor at the Radio Times, had a bar-side view of a British cultural institution.’ Dan Carrier, Islington Tribune

In 1939 Gorham and Ardizzone published The Local, a work that suffered a shorter life even than was usual during wartime when its plates and all remaining stock were destroyed in the Blitz. But after the war was over the authors put together a new edition with a revised text and illustrations, Back to the Local (1949). The results are a delightful nostalgic ramble – a pub crawl, if you like – around the hostelries of London during a now-bygone age.


Maurice Gorham (1902-1975) was an Irish journalist and broadcasting executive. In various capacities, he worked for the BBC from 1926 to 1947 when he resigned, returning to Ireland. There he resumed his broadcasting career in 1953 as the Director of Radio Eireann, a position he held until 1959. He collaborated with Edward Ardizzone on three books, The Local (reissued after…

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