Best of British Boys - 'Toffs have it tough too'

National Trust's Blewcoats School, 23 Caxton Street, London

When:Event passed!
It was on
Mon 25th Jun 2012 to
Sat 30th Jun 2012

See more
Around Town
Where:National Trust's Blewcoats School, 23 Caxton Street, London SW1H 0PY
Map:Map & Nearby
Times:Monday to Friday : all day Main event 28 June 18:00 - 23:30
Picture of Best of British Boys - 'Toffs have it tough too'

About the event

The Horsebox Gallery in collaboration with The National Trust
present a Pop-up Arts event

Best of British Boys
"Toffs have it tough too”

What: 1 week pop-up event "Best of British Boys"
Where: The National Trusts' Blewcoats School, St.James. 5 mins walk from Buckingham Palace

Main event 28th June: Art, food & bar, music & public speaking.
Free entry for the art, music but bring pocket money for treats.

Best of British Boys
“Toffs have it tough, too”

The Horsebox Gallery is a touring arts concept. We have started working closely with the National Trust to host an exciting programme of contemporary art pop-up's in their houses around London and the countryside.

The next one.....

There has never been a more opportunist time to celebrate 'Britishness' in all it's glory. The Jubilee and Olympics are enough to get anyone sporting pair of union jack leggings. This is a free pop-up arts event in a glorious 18th century National Trust building in Westminster. This event celebrates ‘public boy toffs’ in all their stereotypically British glory.

We’re saying, toffs have it tough too (tongue in cheek). They have it rough at school and rougher at Sandhurst. There are very few postcodes they can live in. The whole back end of the airplane’s a no-go area. Their dads expect them to get into good universities and their mums won’t accept plain girls.

But the point is, Britain’s great because there’s all sorts and toffs are a part of the landscape.

This event is a celebration of this part of the landscape in art, music, public speaking and food & drink.


It’s a bed. It’s in a public school study in June 1979. It’s an homage to the national treasure, patriot and royalist Tracey Emin, in her early, installation mode.

Is our bed art? Is it a stunt? Who knows? It’s full of love (and some other stuff).

Is this about class? A bit, yes. Our notional boy, Sebastian Fox-Patterson, loves Peter Tosh and Burning Spear and is a bit scared of punk gigs. But he wants to be and do good and save the planet. And have sailing holidays.

Come along and make of it what you like.

The exhibition will also feature contemporary photographer Sophia Schorr-kon’s utterly gorgeous series 'Blue Boy'.

Public Speaking & Bands

Toffs have it rough at school and rougher at Sandhurst. There are very few postcodes they can live in. The whole back end of the airplane’s a no-go area.

Their dads expect them to get into good universities, mums won’t accept plain girls and its an uphill struggle to be regarding as hip without smashing up a few landie's on the way.

This plinth/stage allows posh boys to get up and have their say in poetry,song, words, heartbreak or simply stand on a raise platform and feel a little above others….

A Band of Buriers, live and posh - and other hot antsy, angsty public schoolboy bands.

Tuck Shop

Come along and have a toot and some scoff whilst you’re at it.
Sanatorium: Bar serving gin and tonic and bedside carafes of water.
Tuck Shop: cafe serving breakfast. Lunch, tea and collations.

Music by Band of Buriers, live and posh - and other hot antsy, angsty public schoolboy bands.

The Gin Sanatorium

Open all week is a Bar serving solely gin and tonics and bedside carafes of water (posh wines, beer and bubbly available inside).
The event will be opened by special speech day guest, Madeline Smith, the Bond girl, Hammer Horror heroine, satirist’s moll and all round top totty.

* Sebastian Fox Patterson study June 1979, A Homage to Tracey Emin's Bed , Installation Created by The Horsebox Gallery .

Sebastian Fox-Patterson is about the same age as Tracey: he’s in his early 50s. He, too, has memories of a long-lost bed. It’s his 1979 public school study that’s stuck in his mind, frozen in the last weeks of June in his last Summer Term as an 18-year old schoolboy. There was a lot on his mind. Barring accidents, the “A” levels he has just sat will match the conditions Trinity set for entrance to his father’s old University, Cambridge.

His bed holds memories of late night swotting and early morning encounters with Sam Fox and Linda Lusardi. It was what he would now call a hormonal time. He is still swearing love to a girl back home in the Norfolk where is father is a “barley baron”. In term time, they write between their respective public schools. In the holidays they are a rather dutiful item. He’s getting good physical action with a girl from the village near the school: a knowing girl, sprung from generations of locals who have performed initiation rites for the young gents in the golden-bricked Victorian buildings up the hill.

As Sebastian heads toward physical manhood, his mind is in a turmoil. He vaguely wants to change the world, do good, be of use. He wants to make his mark. He has hung around the intense older men and women of the animal rights movement, especially in Nottingham, near the school. In London, he stays with friends in Holland Park and strays into Ladbroke Grove, where sound systems and Rasta’s blast colour consciousness into him. He is drawn to green radicalism. But his father Reggie reminds him that it’s big farms like his which feed the world and pay the school fees.

Sebastian loves his father, and is looking forward to their sailing holiday. Three weeks, maybe, beginning whenever the harvest permits and ending in time for going up. Out of Lowestoft and across to the Baltic. But before then…. How much slack will Seb be cut this Summer? How long will he get to spend in London?

He’s been sick on ganga and drink and is wondering about speed. Punk gigs are OK, and the pogo-ing’s great. But the spitting and the implied threat of head-butting (he’s never actually seen that) make him deeply uncomfortable and nervous. Reggae nights at the Marquee are more his scene: laid-back but out-there.

Looking back on what happened next, Seb knows and feels how lucky he’s been: he was born, taught and developed as a well-placed, well-balanced man in a good time. His elder brother got the farm. Today he still sails, and his own children are safely through Uni (which he doesn’t call it). They had more close shaves than him. With drugs, of course. With him, it’s always been women. He’s on his own again, and minds that less and less. He’s on the boards of a couple of charities, one for the environment and the other for the Third World (as he knows not to call it).

He’s wondering if it’s time for an adventure. He can afford one, if he likes. But maybe, he thinks, he’ll take up painting. He’s always meant to.

Official Link:

User Reviews

AIL on Social Media

Facebook logo Twitter logo Google G+ logo Instagram logo

What's New?