Cycle ride: William Morris Gallery, 13 January 2013

What: William Morris Gallery, Walthamstow
When: Sunday 13 January 2013
Meet: 10:00 @ Cutty Sark Gardens, SE10 9LW

By popular request, a short ride from the Dog & Bell Crew ride leader whose cross-country outings leave some participants as wobbling wrecks for several days following. Correction: a relatively short ride, at little more than 40 kilometres (200 furlongs).

This coming Sunday I intend to visit the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow, and invite you to join me in this cultural experience.

In August I led a group of cyclists up the Lea Valley to to view an exhibition at the William Morris Gallery featuring Grayson Perry’s “Walthamstow Tapestry”. The current exhibition, titled “Everyday Encounters”, is inspired by a statement by Morris about the role of functional crafts in the home…

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

Morris believed that art should be part of our everyday lives, and not confined to galleries and the like. The designer argued that craft objects in the home could lift the spirit and inspire the owner as well as the maker. Functional craft items can carry stories and tell tales that enrich daily life. The new exhibition includes contributions from members of the Society of Designer Craftsmen, as a direct response to Morris’ rallying call.

The ride to the William Morris Gallery will take us along the Regents Canal to Victoria Park in Hackney, and then the River Lea towpath north from Hackney Wick to Walthamstow. The total ride length will be less than 45 kilometres, and flat as a pancake.

The Lea towpath is a little rough in places, but perfectly manageable on a road bike with skinny tyres. Bring locks, tools, a spare inner tube or two, puncture repair materials, snacks and water. On the way up we will stop for a tea break at Springfield Marina, and feed and water in the gallery café.

RSVP, but it’s OK to turn up unannounced on the day.