Monday 6 February 2012

Anthony and Antimacassar by Rowland and Mary Emett

Rowland and Mary Emett wrote and illustrated this wonderfully imaginative children’s book published by Faber & Faber in 1943. 

The story begins; once upon a mantelpiece there was a China Pig, and his secret name for himself was Anthony Henrypottery Luxulyan Prettypig, but they called him Harpsichord because of his expression.

From his mantelpiece he would watch the Funnels of the Trains as they puffed past his window. Antimacassar was the name of a particularly noble engine, and Mr Stuffingbox was its driver.

Rowland Emett was also the creator of the Far Tottering Railway which carried over 2 million passengers during the1951 Festival of Britain.

I have a only a vague recollection of the Festival of Britain. Do you have any memories or memorabilia from the Festival? 


  1. Oh, this one just sounds HILARIOUS! Everything from the story to the characters (and the illustrations) are simply creative and vibrant.

  2. So charming. One could spend hours looking at each picture!

  3. Anna Rindfleisch6 February 2012 at 16:39

    I love your blog so much! This post is wicked awesome, I love it when bloggers give photos of the inside of books. It makes me want to read the reviewal more - embarrassingly because I like looking at the pictures - my mother teaches preschool, I volunteer every thursday to teach them Spanish. I think I just found her pre-valentines day present! Thank you.

    I have a book reviewal blog too and another blog where I post my original work, poetry, short stories, snippets from books I am writing, etc. Check them out.

    Book Reviewal Blog:

    Personal Poetry/Writing Blog:

  4. barbaraannefisher6 February 2012 at 18:56

    It is hilarious, and I adore the Rowland Emett illustrations. My Godmother sent me a telegram for my 6th birthday with illustrations by him – but I can’t find it! I know I have it somewhere safe – just don’t know where!

  5. barbaraannefisher6 February 2012 at 19:02

    Hello Gail I agree with you, and the longer you look the more you see. Thank you for calling in and commenting.

  6. barbaraannefisher6 February 2012 at 19:07

    Hello Anna,
    Thanks so much for your comment, praise indeed! It’s lovely to know you are enjoying the posts. I’m going over to your blogs now. Thanks again, Barbara

  7. Look at these drawings. What an imagination. Wish I could help on the Festivals, but sadly, I've never visited the United Kingdom

  8. What creative and unique pictures! The story sounds so cute and the drawings yanked me into the story! The colors are fantastic. Wish I could help about the Festivals- but being from the U.S. I don't know anything about them!

  9. barbaraannefisher7 February 2012 at 08:36

    Hi Donna and Jess, glad you liked the pictures. The Festival was held in 1951. I was three years old at the time, so don’t recall much about it, but I do remember seeing lots of drawings by Rowland Emett, and I’ve always liked them.

  10. I adore the whimsey in these illustrations. I'd love to enter those pictures and become a part of them they're so luscious. Thanks for posting them for your readers to enjoy.

  11. barbaraannefisher8 February 2012 at 09:22

    That’s just how I feel. All aboard!

  12. I wonder if there are pictures of the Festival out there. What a fun event to attend. I can't get over the pink color that he used. It really is so powerful and striking.

  13. barbaraannefisher9 February 2012 at 07:20

    I’ve seen several black-and-white postcards from the show and the official guide book; it looks like a fun time was had by all!

  14. I was born in 1954 so of course no direct memory of the festival but we had this book (now sadly vanished and unobtainable) which I loved, as well as several others by Emett. However we lived near Battersea park where the train and the overhead walkway in the trees were located and I went on both numerous times until they closed them down.

  15. barbaraannefisher23 October 2012 at 19:17

    I am so jealous I would have loved to visit the Battersea festival and take a ride on one of the trains! I was born a bit before you (1948) and remember my godmother sending me a birthday telegram with drawings of the Emett trains.

    The best place to look for a copy is probably – they don’t have one at the moment but just occasionally they do. Another great searching tool is or maybe put a ‘want’ on Amazon. I hope you do manage to find a copy.

    Thank you so much for calling in and leaving a comment, I appreciate it very much.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx