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No time for thrills

ASTRAGAL

The 18th-century Great Hall of St Bartholemew's Hospital was the setting for a party to mark 50 years of Nikolaus Pevsner's architectural guides and the publication of an entertaining book of tributes and reminiscences - The Buildings of England: A Celebration (Penguin, £9).Michael Taylor, Pevsner's driver and assistant for the Warwickshire volume, recalls the punishing seven-days-a-week routine. 'Marvels were seen, but there was no time to be thrilled, for I would be thinking 'already noon and still 11 parishes to go'.It was like being in the National Gallery in trainers and jogging past all the pictures.'

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