THE TENZING

July 3, 2022
Painted by Chris Denston in late June 2022

Sunday the 3rd of July 2022

Dear Reader,

The Tenzing Scott Brown Memorial Theatre first came into existence yesterday on the 2nd of July 2022.

The Tenzing Scott Brown Memorial Theatre exists to celebrate the plays written by Tenzing Scott Brown. 

Tenzing Scott Brown wrote forty plays; from 2015 until he was killed in early January this year.

The Tenzing Scott Brown Memorial Theatre exists at night within The 25 Paintings, after The 25 Paintings have closed their Tea Rooms for the day.

The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms exists wherever a Cosy serves you tea, while The 25 Paintings display themselves for your admiration.

A Cosy is the name used to describe a person serving tables at The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms. You will recognise them as they will be wearing a tea cosy on their head. Thus, the word Nippy has been dispensed with.

The Tenzing Scott Brown Memorial Theatre is commonly known as The Tenzing.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

LAST BATCH

July 2, 2022
The Last Batch of scones fresh out of the oven for The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms in Corby

BEFORE YOU COME

July 1, 2022
Look at This

Friday the 1st of July 2022

Dear Reader,

Before, During, After is a play by Tenzing Scott Brown which will have its world premiere at The Tenzing Scott Brown Memorial Theatre tomorrow, as in on Saturday the 2nd of July 2022.

BEFORE is Act One of the play Before, During, After by Tenzing Scott Brown.

BEFORE is performed by Anyone* wishing or willing or coerced to witness a performance of the play Before, During, After. It is down to Anyone to actually perform Act One of this play by either having been a member of the choir The17 (which existed between 2003 – 2013) or read the book 17 by Bill Drummond (published in 2008), or watched the film Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow and All Music Has Disappeared (released in 2015). 

DURING is Act Two of the play Before, During, After by Tenzing Scott Brown.

DURING is to be performed tomorrow in The Tenzing Scott Brown Memorial Theatre in The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms in Corby. It will be attended by an audience of no more than forty people. These forty people are made up of forty Anyones. 

The opening lines of Act Two are “Good evening, I am The Elderly Gentleman, or someone playing the part of being The Elderly Gentleman. I am also an Anyone. Although Before, During, After was conceived by Tenzing Scott Brown before he was killed in early January 2022, it has been left to me to make this play a reality. As such I will be the only member of The Penkiln Burn Players** on this stage for Act Two of this play.”

AFTER is Act Three of the play Before, During, After by Tenzing Scott Brown.

AFTER is to be performed tomorrow by members of The Seventeen on the streets of Corby. The Seventeen are a tribute choir. They are a tribute to The17.

If you are one of the forty Anyones attending the performance of Acts Two & Three of Before, During, After tomorrow, but were not a member of The17, or have not read 17 by Bill Drummond or have not watched the film Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow Morning and All Music Has Disappeared  you can either feel guilty or read the words on the following photographs and pretend to yourself you know all there is to need to know about Act One of this play before attending Acts Two & Three.

The Choice is yours.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

*Anyone is you, me or anyone else that might be thinking about attending a performance of Before, During, After.

**The Penkiln Burn Players are a touring troop of players who existed to perform the works of Tenzing Scott Brown.

Read This
Read This
And Read This
Back Cover – You should also Read This

Post Script to the Post Script:

What I forgot to say at the beginning of this letter, I need more time to do the washing up between the closing of The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms and getting the chairs out for the opening of The Tenzing Scott Brown Memorial Theatre. Thus the theatre will not be opening until 5pm. Thus Before, During, After may not finish until about 7pm.

MY PARANOIA

June 30, 2022
Painting in front of Corby Library
As was earlier in June

Wednesday the 29th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

You might think it is just my paranoia but while I am working as a Nippy in their tea rooms, as in the tea rooms belonging to The 25 Paintings, it’s as if I can hear them whispering behind me. 

Then there are times that I almost trip over the feet of their easels. This is while I am carrying a kettle of boiling hot water or plate with a dozen or so freshly baked scones. Maybe I could not prove this scientifically, but you know what it is like when the paranoia starts to bite.

And all their whispering is getting louder and louder.

And I know what it is they want.

They want to get rid of my name, or at least the name of “Bill Drummond” from this whole thing.

sign to Tea Rooms
This Way

For the past few years, The 26th Painting, as in like The Fifth Bunnyman*, has been the one that has the words BILL DRUMMOND at the top and THE 25 PAINTINGS at the bottom. And each year of the twelve year world tour I change the middle bit so it has the name and dates to reflect where my exhibition is that year. 

Well in these past few days with my paranoia about what The 25 Paintings whispering about me and how they try to get their easels to trip me up, has reached such a fever pitch, I have had to do something. And the usual forms of self-harm weren’t working.

So…

What I have done is repaint The 26th Painting. And in doing so, remove my name from it completely. It now reads THE 25 PAINTINGS’ at the top and TEA ROOMS at the bottom. In between it still has the venue and dates information.

This seems to have worked. My paranoia has receded. I even think it looks better. Takes the pressure of me. If things go wrong, if it all turns out shite, and it gets bad reviews on TripAdvisor, I can blame The 25 Paintings.

Time to get my phone out and take a photograph of what it looks like now.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

*Jake Brockman

painting outside Corby Library
As of later in June


THE PIED WAGTAIL

June 26, 2022
PIED WAGTAIL painting under bridge
Photograph taken by Tracey Moberly under Spaghetti Junction 2022

Friday the 24th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

Today is the day that THE PIED WAGTAIL by Tenzing Scott Brown is being officially published.

As of now the remaining 360 copies that are available to the reading public are only available via https://www.alimentation.cc/penkiln-burn/

There is also a letter to you Dear Reader, to be published not here but via Caught By The River. This letter relates to my ongoing tempestuous relationship with a certain Pied Wagtail. And her complete obliviousness to my advances.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

Photograph taken outside Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby 24th of June 2022


LOVE ISLAND 2025

June 24, 2022
Photograph taken by Tracey Moberly on Thursday the 23rd of June 2022

Friday the 24th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

Regarding the photograph above this letter to you Dear Reader:

I doubt very much that The 25 Paintings even know who you are let alone LOVE YOU. 

From my almost lifelong experience of paintings and the way they behave, paintings would do almost anything to get you to look at them and for you to give them all your attention, thoughts and studies. At the same time, paintings wouldn’t give a shit about you or any of the tribulations in your life.

Do you think The Scream cares what angst and existential dread you are going through? At the same time, The Scream wants you to think that he is the ultimate angst-ridden painting of the 20th century! There he is being flattered with praise like “The Mona Lisa of modern art” on his Wikipedia page.

Same goes for Guernica… Do you think Guernica cared about how many souls were killed in the Spanish Civil War or who in fact won that war back in 1937? Guernica just wants to revel in the fact that she is “regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history” again clearly stated on her Wikipedia page.

But look…

If you can detect a stain of jealousy on my part in the above paragraphs – I won’t deny that I think The 25 Paintings look brilliant in the photograph above this. 

But…

I would also like to put forward the case…

It is as much, or even more down to the way they have been portrayed in the photograph above, taken by Tracey Moberly (whose birthday it is today), that shows The 25 Paintings in such a good light.  It is as much down to Tracey Moberly’s talent and inspiration, as it is down to The 25 Paintings innate power as paintings. 

I know I have to accept that The 25 Paintings seem to garner more depth and vibrancy with age, whereas I just garner more aches and pains. As for memory… They remember everything little thing, whereas I have even forget who won in the last season of Love Island.

As to the whiff of bitterness that seems to be hanging around me this morning… 

It is because of the following… 

Last night, I had long planned to celebrate Līgosvētki into Jãni by sleeping out under the gathering storm clouds of doom and yes, with The 25 Paintings – as depicted in the accompanying and stunning photograph above. I had got a brand-new sleeping bag and my heterodyne bat detector was primed, so I could listen out for the Serotine Bats. And in turn compare and contrast with Bettina Heick (see previous letter to you Dear Reader).

But… 

Just when I was about to bed down for the night and wait for the Serotine Bats to welcome me to their world, the head of security for the crumbling former shopping centre arrived to tell me, in no uncertain terms, that I could not sleep rough in this vicinity. He also let me know that he had slept rough for over twenty years, and me doing one night of it, as some art related thing, was insulting to him and everyone else that has ever had to sleep rough in their life. I did not try and explain about the urban Latvian version of my Līgosvētki into Jãni celebrations. So, I nodded to his authority and packed away The 25 Paintings back into the gallery.

My Līgosvētki into Jãni celebrations will have to wait for another day.

Right now, I need to get 32 scones baked before The 25 Paintings Tea Shops open.

Your Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:

Regarding the Love Island reference: 

As much as my son was relieved that his aging father was not going to be sleeping out under those “gathering storm clouds of doom”, he was totally pissed off that I was going to have to sleep on the couch in his room at the Premier Inn (yes, there were no more rooms left at the inn). As in my son had been planning on watching Love Island but felt that he could not do this while his father was snoring on the couch in the same room as him. Maybe The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms should visit Love Island for the 2025 season.

The Forgotten

ALL CHANGE! ALL CHANGE!

June 17, 2022
After the Tea Rooms Rush after Neil Young
After the Tea Rooms Rush
after Neil Young

Dear Reader,

The separate sittings thing isn’t working.

From now on at The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms, if you book a sitting you can have it all the way from 2 to 4pm. Or you can just turn up at 5 to 4 and have just five minutes, and still be entitled to your two scones and all the tea you can drink in five minutes.

What this does mean is that we can only have 16 bookings per day and not the 32. But we are dealing with that.

And of course, we are now doing weddings as well.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman 

Post Script:

And oh yeah that strap line that The 25 Paintings were wanting to use WHERE FUTURES HAPPEN has been thrown out. Sounds like some desperate start up in the City of London circa 1998.

RUNNING NAKED

June 17, 2022
The Corby Oak – Circa February 2022

Thursday the 16th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

Also…

I won’t deny the logistics have been an influence…

But…

Not being in my prime (unlike Miss Jean), I don’t think I should be running naked through the fields and forests this coming of Līgosvētki / Jāņi, as in through the evening of the 23rd to the early dawn of the 24th. I should leave that running naked to the likes of you.

But…

To get back to the logistics. I was going to bribe 25 volunteers with ‘free’ posters, to help me carry The 25 Paintings from their place in their Tea Rooms, in the Rooftop Arts Centre via the lift, the half mile or so, to then hang them from The Corby Oak Tree. And in that way celebrate Līgosvētki / Jāņi. And spend the night there listening out for the Serotine Bats.

But…

Now that I have developed this relationship with “the wild glamour of the derelict and crumbling brutalist architecture just waiting to be demolished” that the Rooftop Arts Centre is housed in, I have decided to celebrate the night of Līgosvētki and into the morning of Jāņi (23rd into the 24th), on the rooftop of this place, before it gets demolished. The fact that the lift has broken has also been an influence. The Corby Oak can wait as it has been for the past three hundred years or so. 

As in…

All I have to do is take all The 25 Paintings and their easels out of the arts centre and up onto its roof. And that is where I will spend the night under the stars, or the pouring rain. As for the Serotine Bats, I am still hoping they will still pay me a visit.

And…

If I am lucky the family of Pied Wagtails will welcome the dawn in for me.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:

That said, I think I will do a bit of running naked but will keep the information about the time and place to myself.

But right now, it is time to listen to The Drifters

Up On The Roof – Circa June 2022

TEA ROOM WEDDING

June 15, 2022
The newly wed Izzy & Nigel Barber

Wednesday the 15th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

Today is Day Two of The 25 Paintings Tea Rooms.
The scones got baked fresh this morning.
The Darjeeling tea was brewed to perfection.
Words got painted on the back of canvases.
Squares for The Million Stitch Blanket got knitted.
No one talked about that past.
The past is still irrelevant.
It is all about the future… 
And what you do to make that future happen.

But more important than all of that…

There is something that The 25 Paintings have asked me to tell you…

Today was the day that the first ever Tea Rooms Wedding took place.
The Bride and Groom were Izzy & Nigel Barber.
The bride’s father Liam was there to give her away.
Vows were given.
And rings exchanged.

And between waiting tables and washing dishes…
I got pulled into the role of being the celebrant.
Thus, this was not only a first for The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms…
This was a first for me.
And the happy couple allowed me to take a photograph of them… 
And share that photograph with you here.
I might not be the blacksmith at Gretna Green but still…
All in the days’ work of your Nippy in a Pinny.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman

Post Script:

I would like to thank Kenny Bell for inviting me to be this celebrant and for instigating this Tea Room Wedding to happen.

Also…

The 25 Paintings are wanting to get in on the scene by coming up with the following three-word strap line for their Tea Rooms… 

WHERE FUTURES HAPPEN

I’m not too sure, let me know what you think. 

WE LOVE YOU

June 14, 2022
This is a collaborative work created by the local teenagers who ripped down the posters last night and The Elderly Gentleman who graffitied the wall this morning

Monday the 13th of June 2022

Dear Reader,

Due to unforeseen demand for The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms I am having to fill the kettle and bake the scones for three extra days at The Rooftop Arts Centre, Corby.

These three extra days being Saturday the 25th of June, and Friday the 1st and Saturday the 2nd of July 2022.

As with all the other days that The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms are open, there will be two sittings. The first at 2pm, the second at 3pm. Each sitting lasting 45 minutes, thus allowing me – your Nippy in The Pinny – time to clear the tables and prepare them again for the second sitting. 

As per one of my previous letters to you… In exchange for you either painting forty words on the back of a willing canvas (brush, paint and guidance provided) or knitting forty stitches for the Million Stitch Blanket (needles and wool provided) you are encouraged to consume two scones per person (butter*, strawberry jam and clotted cream provided) and as much tea (Darjeeling or Corby Nettle) as you care to drink. Corby Elderflower Cordial (still or sparkling) will be available as long as stocks are last. 

Thus, all the remaining days that The 25 Paintings Tea Rooms are to be open in The Rooftop Arts Centre are the 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 29th, 30th of June and the 1st and 2nd of July 2022.

Sittings booked the usual way by emailing admin@penkilnburn.com stating your preferred time and date.

To mark the final cup of tea to be poured in this, the first sojourn in the never-ending tour of the world by The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms, there will be a performance of Tenzing Scott Brown’s play BEFORE DURING AFTER. This performance, which was previously suggested to be happening on the 25th of June, will now be performed between 4:30 and 6:30 pm on Saturday the 2nd of July. The performance of the play will be followed by an offering of a bowl of freshly made Soup Line Soup and chunk of bread. 

There will be 40 tickets available for this performance. 

To experience Act One of BEFORE DURING AFTER requires you to have watched the film Imagine Waking Up Tomorrow And All Music Has Disappeared. As of right now, we are not sure if this film is available to download or stream. If not just watch the trailer for it or read about it somewhere. And get the gist.  

To book one of the 40 tickets email admin@penkilnburn.com and we will get back to you.

In the meantime, be prepared…

But not in a Baden Powell way but in whatever way that you feel you can be prepared for things to take a wrong turn…

Corby is many things, but it is not Mafeking circa 1899.

And remember The 25 Paintings’ Tea Rooms loves you.

Yours Sincerely,

The Elderly Gentleman 

Graffiti done by Bill Drummond at 4am on the 7th of July 2010, on the Barford Bridge near Corby. Photograph taken by Tracey Moberly.