The William Morris Society

The William Morris Society "I do not want art for a few, anymore than education for a few, or freedom for a few." William Morris 1879. The William Morris Society is a charitable organisation whose aim is to promote the life and work of designer, writer and socialist William Morris, one of the most outstanding figures of the nineteenth century whose influence and ideas remain as important today as they were in his own lifetime.
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Membership to the Society includes a number of benefits such as a quarterly newsletter, the Journal of William Morris Studies and a range of talks and events relating to Morris's life and works. We also run a small museum at our premises in Hammersmith, London, in the basement and Coach House of Morris's last home. THE MUSEUM (FREE ENTRY)

Kelmscott House dates from the 1780s and Morris lived here

Membership to the Society includes a number of benefits such as a quarterly newsletter, the Journal of William Morris Studies and a range of talks and events relating to Morris's life and works. We also run a small museum at our premises in Hammersmith, London, in the basement and Coach House of Morris's last home. THE MUSEUM (FREE ENTRY)

Kelmscott House dates from the 1780s and Morris lived here

Operating as usual

On this day in 1883 one of William Morris’s best-known designs ‘Strawberry Thief’ was registered. Its design was inspire...
11/05/2021

On this day in 1883 one of William Morris’s best-known designs ‘Strawberry Thief’ was registered. Its design was inspired when Morris watched the thrushes in his garden eating strawberries. This piece from our collection is a printed cotton in the pattern. It is an eight-colour indigo discharge printed cotton, leaving a white ground, a technique which Morris began to explore and perfected after moving the Morris & Co. premises from Queen Square to Merton Abbey in 1881.

#Onthisday
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#Patterndesign
#StrawberryThief

On this day in 1883 one of William Morris’s best-known designs ‘Strawberry Thief’ was registered. Its design was inspired when Morris watched the thrushes in his garden eating strawberries. This piece from our collection is a printed cotton in the pattern. It is an eight-colour indigo discharge printed cotton, leaving a white ground, a technique which Morris began to explore and perfected after moving the Morris & Co. premises from Queen Square to Merton Abbey in 1881.

#Onthisday
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#Patterndesign
#StrawberryThief

In this month’s Coffee with a Curator, Tuesday 18 May at 11am, we will be revealing three new objects that have joined o...
09/05/2021

In this month’s Coffee with a Curator, Tuesday 18 May at 11am, we will be revealing three new objects that have joined our collection recently. All three of these objects connect to ‘The Retreat’ or better known today as our headquarters, Kelmscott House. Join Helen to hear about the previous occupant of the house, the founding father of fantasy literature, George MacDonald, and find out what attracted William Morris to move in after MacDonald left.

Find out more and book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/coffee-with-a-curator-mcdonald-ruskin-and-morris-at-the-retreat-tickets-152689262695?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

#CoffeewithaCurator
#KelmscottHouse
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#GeorgeMacDonald
#Literature

In this month’s Coffee with a Curator, Tuesday 18 May at 11am, we will be revealing three new objects that have joined our collection recently. All three of these objects connect to ‘The Retreat’ or better known today as our headquarters, Kelmscott House. Join Helen to hear about the previous occupant of the house, the founding father of fantasy literature, George MacDonald, and find out what attracted William Morris to move in after MacDonald left.

Find out more and book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/coffee-with-a-curator-mcdonald-ruskin-and-morris-at-the-retreat-tickets-152689262695?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

#CoffeewithaCurator
#KelmscottHouse
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#GeorgeMacDonald
#Literature

The next online talk in our Kelmscott Press series of lectures is Saturday 15 May at 3pm. In ‘A Kelmscott Chaucer for ou...
07/05/2021

The next online talk in our Kelmscott Press series of lectures is Saturday 15 May at 3pm. In ‘A Kelmscott Chaucer for our times’ award-winning bookbinder and artist Dominic Riley will explore the process of creating a new binding for a copy of the Kelmscott Press’s most famous work.

Find out more and book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-talk-a-kelmscott-chaucer-for-our-times-tickets-143560931611?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#KelmscottPress
#KPChaucer125
#OnlineTalk
#ZoomLecture

The next online talk in our Kelmscott Press series of lectures is Saturday 15 May at 3pm. In ‘A Kelmscott Chaucer for our times’ award-winning bookbinder and artist Dominic Riley will explore the process of creating a new binding for a copy of the Kelmscott Press’s most famous work.

Find out more and book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-talk-a-kelmscott-chaucer-for-our-times-tickets-143560931611?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#KelmscottPress
#KPChaucer125
#OnlineTalk
#ZoomLecture

Did you know William Morris designed three typefaces to use for his Kelmscott Press books? The first is called ‘Golden’,...
05/05/2021

Did you know William Morris designed three typefaces to use for his Kelmscott Press books? The first is called ‘Golden’, this is a Roman face designed by Morris in 1890. This image shows the ‘Golden’ type, as seen in ‘The Defence of Guenevere’, printed by the Kelmscott Press in 1892.

Find out more about the Kelmscott Press in our current online exhibition '“The Ideal Book”: William Morris and the Kelmscott Press' here: https://williammorrissociety.org/current-exhibitions/the-ideal-book-william-morris-and-the-kelmscott-press/

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KPChaucer125
#KelmscottPress
#typefacedesign
#typeface
#font

Did you know William Morris designed three typefaces to use for his Kelmscott Press books? The first is called ‘Golden’, this is a Roman face designed by Morris in 1890. This image shows the ‘Golden’ type, as seen in ‘The Defence of Guenevere’, printed by the Kelmscott Press in 1892.

Find out more about the Kelmscott Press in our current online exhibition '“The Ideal Book”: William Morris and the Kelmscott Press' here: https://williammorrissociety.org/current-exhibitions/the-ideal-book-william-morris-and-the-kelmscott-press/

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#KPChaucer125
#KelmscottPress
#typefacedesign
#typeface
#font

This week is your last chance to apply to take part in our first young volunteer project. We are looking for imaginative...
04/05/2021

This week is your last chance to apply to take part in our first young volunteer project. We are looking for imaginative and creative 16–24-year-olds to work with us to explore William Morris’s environmental work and produce our own art inspired by issues around sustainability and climate change. Find the link below for full details and make sure to get your application in by Friday 7 May at 5pm!
https://williammorrissociety.org/about-the-society/opportunities/

#williammorrissociety
#williammorris
#youngpeople
#youngvolunteers
#climatecrisis

This week is your last chance to apply to take part in our first young volunteer project. We are looking for imaginative and creative 16–24-year-olds to work with us to explore William Morris’s environmental work and produce our own art inspired by issues around sustainability and climate change. Find the link below for full details and make sure to get your application in by Friday 7 May at 5pm!
https://williammorrissociety.org/about-the-society/opportunities/

#williammorrissociety
#williammorris
#youngpeople
#youngvolunteers
#climatecrisis

Happy first of May! To mark the day, we are sharing our object of the month, a piece designed by our very own May – May ...
01/05/2021

Happy first of May! To mark the day, we are sharing our object of the month, a piece designed by our very own May – May Morris, William’s daughter. This image from our collection is of a beautiful pencil and brown outline watercolour embroidery design of gladiolus fronds destined for a tea cloth. The date is unknown but was likely created by May during her time as Director of Embroidery at Morris & Co between 1885 and 1898.

#MayMorris
#Objectofthemonth
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Design
#Embroidery

Happy first of May! To mark the day, we are sharing our object of the month, a piece designed by our very own May – May Morris, William’s daughter. This image from our collection is of a beautiful pencil and brown outline watercolour embroidery design of gladiolus fronds destined for a tea cloth. The date is unknown but was likely created by May during her time as Director of Embroidery at Morris & Co between 1885 and 1898.

#MayMorris
#Objectofthemonth
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Design
#Embroidery

There’s still time to book our online event on Thursday 6 May at 6.30pm with The Storybox Collective. Useful/Beautiful w...
30/04/2021

There’s still time to book our online event on Thursday 6 May at 6.30pm with The Storybox Collective. Useful/Beautiful will examine themes of craft and innovation through an online presentation of work and panel conversation with the artists of The Storybox Collective.

This event is linked to ‘William Morris: Wallpaper Man’ an exhibition of new work which explores the legacy of William Morris as a visionary thinker and ‘protector’ of natural and man-made environments.

Find out more and book now here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/william-morris-wallpaper-man-usefulbeautiful-tickets-149685688925?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

Image: © Ella Chedburn, 2020

#Onlineevent
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Thestoryboxcollective
#WilliamMorris

There’s still time to book our online event on Thursday 6 May at 6.30pm with The Storybox Collective. Useful/Beautiful will examine themes of craft and innovation through an online presentation of work and panel conversation with the artists of The Storybox Collective.

This event is linked to ‘William Morris: Wallpaper Man’ an exhibition of new work which explores the legacy of William Morris as a visionary thinker and ‘protector’ of natural and man-made environments.

Find out more and book now here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/william-morris-wallpaper-man-usefulbeautiful-tickets-149685688925?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

Image: © Ella Chedburn, 2020

#Onlineevent
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#Thestoryboxcollective
#WilliamMorris

This week is your last chance to book our special embroidery workshop with Becky Hogg Embroidery Bookings close in two d...
28/04/2021

This week is your last chance to book our special embroidery workshop with Becky Hogg Embroidery Bookings close in two days on Friday 30 April, to allow time to post out the kit in time for the sessions on 4 and 11 June.

In this workshop you will learn how to create your own little piece William Morris’s ‘Strawberry Thief’ pattern in the form of a Strawberry brooch or decoration made with delicious metal threads in red, gold, pink and blue.

Find out more and book the workshop here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/metal-thread-embroidery-course-with-becky-hogg-strawberry-tickets-144494345477

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#StrawberryThief
#Embroidery
#OnlineCourse
#ZoomWorkshop

This week is your last chance to book our special embroidery workshop with Becky Hogg Embroidery Bookings close in two days on Friday 30 April, to allow time to post out the kit in time for the sessions on 4 and 11 June.

In this workshop you will learn how to create your own little piece William Morris’s ‘Strawberry Thief’ pattern in the form of a Strawberry brooch or decoration made with delicious metal threads in red, gold, pink and blue.

Find out more and book the workshop here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/metal-thread-embroidery-course-with-becky-hogg-strawberry-tickets-144494345477

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#StrawberryThief
#Embroidery
#OnlineCourse
#ZoomWorkshop

On this day in 1859 William Morris married Jane Burden. The two first met after she was approached by Morris’s friends, ...
26/04/2021

On this day in 1859 William Morris married Jane Burden. The two first met after she was approached by Morris’s friends, artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, to become a model for their work on the debating chamber for the Oxford Union. Jane was a model for the only completed easel painting William Morris ever produced in 1858. ‘La Belle Iseult’ features a portrait of Jane in medieval dress, and he reportedly wrote “I cannot paint you but I love you” on the back of the canvas where Jane would be able to see it. They wed a year later and enjoyed a six week honeymoon visiting Bruges, Paris and the Rhine, remaining married until William’s death in 1896.

Image: ‘La Belle Iseult’ by William Morris, Tate.

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#JaneMorris
#Painting
#Onthisday

On this day in 1859 William Morris married Jane Burden. The two first met after she was approached by Morris’s friends, artists Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones, to become a model for their work on the debating chamber for the Oxford Union. Jane was a model for the only completed easel painting William Morris ever produced in 1858. ‘La Belle Iseult’ features a portrait of Jane in medieval dress, and he reportedly wrote “I cannot paint you but I love you” on the back of the canvas where Jane would be able to see it. They wed a year later and enjoyed a six week honeymoon visiting Bruges, Paris and the Rhine, remaining married until William’s death in 1896.

Image: ‘La Belle Iseult’ by William Morris, Tate.

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#JaneMorris
#Painting
#Onthisday

On this day in 1876 William Morris registered the patterns for ‘Acanthus’ and ‘Iris’. This sample of ‘Acanthus’ wallpape...
25/04/2021

On this day in 1876 William Morris registered the patterns for ‘Acanthus’ and ‘Iris’. This sample of ‘Acanthus’ wallpaper from our collection features intertwined acanthus leaves in a brown, pink, green and grey colourway. ‘Acanthus’ is a large-scale repeat and apparently, due to this large size of the design, it required thirty blocks to complete, making it an expensive wallpaper costing 16s. a roll.

#Onthisday
#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#PatternDesign
#Wallpaper
#ArtsandCrafts

On this day in 1876 William Morris registered the patterns for ‘Acanthus’ and ‘Iris’. This sample of ‘Acanthus’ wallpaper from our collection features intertwined acanthus leaves in a brown, pink, green and grey colourway. ‘Acanthus’ is a large-scale repeat and apparently, due to this large size of the design, it required thirty blocks to complete, making it an expensive wallpaper costing 16s. a roll.

#Onthisday
#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety
#PatternDesign
#Wallpaper
#ArtsandCrafts

April’s Coffee with a Curator is now on YouTube. In it, one of our curators explores the stunning Lamb and Flag altar fr...
24/04/2021

April’s Coffee with a Curator is now on YouTube. In it, one of our curators explores the stunning Lamb and Flag altar frontal designed by Philip Webb for Llandaff Cathedral.

The embroidery for this piece was eventually completed by Bessie Burden, sister of William’s wife Jane Morris. This talk explores the collaboration between the two artists, as well as exploring some of the other beautiful pieces on display at Llandaff.

This image is of the completed altar fontal in situ.

Find the video on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/u5NjPP-i9jI

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#CoffeewithaCurator
#PhilipWebb
#Onlinetalk

April’s Coffee with a Curator is now on YouTube. In it, one of our curators explores the stunning Lamb and Flag altar frontal designed by Philip Webb for Llandaff Cathedral.

The embroidery for this piece was eventually completed by Bessie Burden, sister of William’s wife Jane Morris. This talk explores the collaboration between the two artists, as well as exploring some of the other beautiful pieces on display at Llandaff.

This image is of the completed altar fontal in situ.

Find the video on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/u5NjPP-i9jI

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#CoffeewithaCurator
#PhilipWebb
#Onlinetalk

Did you know today is Shakespeare day? Although the actual birth date of William Shakespeare remains unknown, it is most...
23/04/2021

Did you know today is Shakespeare day? Although the actual birth date of William Shakespeare remains unknown, it is most commonly thought to be 23rd April 1564. William Morris published the Kelmscott press edition of Shakespeare’s poems and sonnets in 1893. It was the eleventh book produced by the Kelmscott Press and proved to be a popular publication. It presented Shakespeare’s verse using the original spelling from the sixteenth century, in his foreword Morris stated that “being able to study these poems in the language in which they were written, ought we think, to add materially to the pleasure of the reader.”

Image courtesy of Royal Collection Trust

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#KelmscottPress
#KPChaucer125
#WilliamShakespeare

Did you know today is Shakespeare day? Although the actual birth date of William Shakespeare remains unknown, it is most commonly thought to be 23rd April 1564. William Morris published the Kelmscott press edition of Shakespeare’s poems and sonnets in 1893. It was the eleventh book produced by the Kelmscott Press and proved to be a popular publication. It presented Shakespeare’s verse using the original spelling from the sixteenth century, in his foreword Morris stated that “being able to study these poems in the language in which they were written, ought we think, to add materially to the pleasure of the reader.”

Image courtesy of Royal Collection Trust

#WilliamMorrisSociety
#WilliamMorris
#KelmscottPress
#KPChaucer125
#WilliamShakespeare

On this Earth Day we are excited to share with you our brand-new young volunteer project, which will be exploring Willia...
22/04/2021

On this Earth Day we are excited to share with you our brand-new young volunteer project, which will be exploring William Morris’s environmental work and producing new art works to encourage local residents to lead more eco-friendly lifestyles.

We are looking for imaginative and creative 16–24-year-olds to join us for the chance to gain new skills, to work with artists exploring issues around sustainability and make new friends.

Find full details linked below and please share with anyone who you think would love this opportunity!
https://williammorrissociety.org/about-the-society/opportunities/

Eco-Schools
#williammorrissociety
#williammorris
#youngpeople
#youngvolunteers
#climatecrisis
#earthday

On this Earth Day we are excited to share with you our brand-new young volunteer project, which will be exploring William Morris’s environmental work and producing new art works to encourage local residents to lead more eco-friendly lifestyles.

We are looking for imaginative and creative 16–24-year-olds to join us for the chance to gain new skills, to work with artists exploring issues around sustainability and make new friends.

Find full details linked below and please share with anyone who you think would love this opportunity!
https://williammorrissociety.org/about-the-society/opportunities/

Eco-Schools
#williammorrissociety
#williammorris
#youngpeople
#youngvolunteers
#climatecrisis
#earthday

This interesting object from our collection is a lantern slide from a lecture William Morris gave #onthisday in 1886 in ...
19/04/2021

This interesting object from our collection is a lantern slide from a lecture William Morris gave #onthisday in 1886 in Leeds. It was a lecture on Socialism called “The Present and Future of the Working Class”. Morris was a committed Socialist activist, founding the Socialist League in 1884 and later the Hammersmith Socialist Society in 1890, whose lectures were held in the Coach House of Kelmscott House, the Society’s present day headquarters.

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety

This interesting object from our collection is a lantern slide from a lecture William Morris gave #onthisday in 1886 in Leeds. It was a lecture on Socialism called “The Present and Future of the Working Class”. Morris was a committed Socialist activist, founding the Socialist League in 1884 and later the Hammersmith Socialist Society in 1890, whose lectures were held in the Coach House of Kelmscott House, the Society’s present day headquarters.

#WilliamMorris
#WilliamMorrisSociety

Address

Kelmscott House - Coach House 26 Upper Mall
London
W6 9TA

Hammersmith and Ravenscourt Park Tube Bus Routes: 27, H91, 190, 266, 267, 391

General information

Please email us to: Enquire about Society membership Book guided tours See the collection by appointment Library enquiries Buy tickets for events and products from our shop Book school visits

Opening Hours

Thursday 14:00 - 17:00
Saturday 14:00 - 17:00

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Our Story

The William Morris Society is a charitable organisation whose aim is to promote the life and work of designer, writer and socialist William Morris, one of the most outstanding figures of the nineteenth century whose influence and ideas remain as important today as they were in his own lifetime. Membership to the Society includes a number of benefits such as a quarterly newsletter, the Journal of William Morris Studies and a range of talks and events relating to Morris's life and works. We also run a small museum at our premises in Hammersmith, London, in the basement and Coach House of Morris's last home. THE MUSEUM (FREE ENTRY) Kelmscott House dates from the 1780s and Morris lived here from 1878 until his death in 1896. The Coach House, Library and Basement rooms are open to the public on Thursday and Saturday afternoons from 2-5pm. There are frequent demonstrations on Morris's printing press, and a well stocked shop. MORRIS AT KELMSCOTT HOUSE Soon after moving into Kelmscott House, Morris began experiments with weaving. He set up a tapestry loom in his ground floor bedroom and carpet looms in the Coach House. The latter were moved to his new works at Merton Abbey in 1881. The small rugs and carpets made here are known as Hammersmith rugs and bear the woven device of a hammer in the border. During the 1870s Morris had become increasingly active in politics. In 1883 he joined the Socialist Democratic Federation and established a branch which met in the Coach House. When he left the Federation in 1885 to form the Socialist League the meetings continued with many distinguished speakers such as Lucy Parsons, Peter Kropotkin and Annie Besant. This tradition continues today with speakers most weekends including Tony Benn. In his last years Morris embarked upon printing by establishing the Kelmscott Press in nearby properties. The Chaucer, the press's greatest book, was completed shortly before he died and one of the proofing presses used in its printing is now on permanent display. THE COLLECTION We hold the archive of the Kelmscott Fellowship and the Women’s Guild of Arts. Founded in 1918 by May Morris, Emery Walker and AH Verstage, the Kelmscott Fellowship was the forerunner of the William Morris Society, and they merged in 1966. With May Morris at its first President, the Fellowship aimed to keep Morris legacy alive through a series of events and exhibitions, and through an active membership which included Walter Crane, Georgiana Burne-Jones and Emery Walker. The Women’s Guild of Arts was established in 1904 as a reaction to the lack of professional art organisations willing to admit women. May Morris was responsible for organising the may lectures and events that appealed to a wide range of craftswomen. The archive includes minutes of meetings, accounts and membership lists. The collection contains a number of Kelmscott Press titles and working proofs as well as the only printing press used by Morris left in the country. Dating from c1835 it is fully operational and used on a regular basis by our artist in residence. The Society has a comprehensive collection of Morris and Company wallpapers, watercolour designs, and a selection of textiles, ranging from a Hammersmith rug and woven hangings to printed cottons, silks and embroideries. EDUCATION As a writer, designer, printer, passionate socialist and pioneer of the Arts and Crafts Movement William Morris remains an influential and inspirational figure. The Society offers many ways to learn about and enjoy the work of this eminent Victorian. Learning Outside the Classroom Visits from schools and local children are vital in strengthening the Society’s links to the community. Over the past 10 years, curator Helen Elletson has been working hard to expand our programme of educational activities. We particularly welcome pupils from Years 5 and 6 who are studying the Victorian period. You can choose between programmes on art, literacy and history and we tailor the learning to suit your needs. Learn about the Arts and Crafts Movement with an up-close look at fascinating artefacts including original textile designs, wallpaper samples, furniture, embroidery and Pre-Raphaelite drawings. Ten and eleven-year-olds can have a go at textile designing, weaving and painting on acetate to create their own “stained glass”. The success of these visits shows that traditional crafts that take their inspiration from Nature can still have a role in the lives of today’s gadget-obsessed kids. Citizenship Programme for Key Stage 2 and 3 Kelmscott House is now offering an innovative Citizenship programme with cross-curricular links to English and History for Key Stage 2 and 3. Teachers, go to the citizenship page to read more about the programme, how you can book your class to take part at the museum, or download the resources to carry out the workshops offsite. http://www.williammorrissociety.org.uk/citizenship.shtml ALSO Keep an eye out for FREE half-term and summer break drop in workshops!

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Comments

Ground-breaking scholarship and lots of beautiful pictures!
Morris aficionados may like to know that Forum Auctions have a copy of the Kelmscott Press edition of The History of Godfrey of Boloyne - presented to Rugby School Library by Mrs Morris. Auction Wed 18th November 1pm. Estimate £1,500 - £2,000
I wondered if William Morris Society members would be interested in my new historical novel dedicated to the complex personal relationships of John Ruskin? Here is the latest review: "I would recommend this to any fans of the Victorian era and anyone who enjoys reading about interesting characters from the past...a gloriously lavish, engaging and immersive book." Click to read the full review...
Had an idea. Why don't those who like to sew make face masks using Morris fabric and they can be sold on line, perhaps here, and proceeds go to the Society.
KELMSCOTT MANOR : A short film. with William Morris prose.
Why is there William Morris Way in Wandsworth, London SW6? Did he live there? Work there? Thanks
My visit to The Red House!
https://www.facebook.com/Dr-Lorna-Moores-Creative-Art-Course-210325729432769/ FREE ART CLASS TASTER SESSIONS UNTIL MID APRIL...message me for details.
I can't believe I've only just found this site....absolutely fantastic ...thank you