Monday, 12 October 2009

John Brown's Whiskies, Stoke Newington

When I met some friends in a pub after one of my lectures and told them I had just been discussing with my students, among many other issues, the territorial loss of Bolivia following its defeat in the 1932-35 Chaco War, the conversation drifted immediately towards the adventures of Tintin... Indeed there are several references to that terrible war in The Broken Ear. From there we went through the international events which influenced Hergé, from the Mukden Incident in The Blue Lotus to the Cold War in The Calculus Affair, and so on... (after all my three companions that evening were all history teachers at the Lycée français) Then as one of us mentioned Land of the Black Gold, we discussed the different versions that exist of several Tintin books. That finally led us to The Shooting Star, a comic book that was partly redrawn after the war, and ends dramatically, when Captain Haddock collapses. As serving president of the Society for Sober Sailors, he had been invited to give a radio talk on the dangers of alcoholism but collapsed after drinking water instead of... whisky! In several other books we learn that his favourite brand was Loch Lomond, but who knows, maybe the Captain would have appreciated a sip of John Brown's as well? What a twisted way to introduce today's painted sign!!!

Unfortunately a quick look on the web doesn't reveal much about John Brown's whiskies apart from the fact that they ran an advert campaign in the late Victorian era. It is mentioned somewhere that the company's name could be connected with Queen Victoria's servant, something I find hard to believe. After all there is certainly no lack of John Brown in Scotland...

Good Judges

Location: Cazenove Road / Picture taken on: 10/04/2008

No comments: