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Y ou enter the workshop
Y ou enter the workshop of Bellerby & Co through a nondescript white door set into the wall of a blink-andyou’ll-miss-it brick building in Stoke Newington, North London. Climb the stairs to the first floor and suddenly you’ve entered another world. A world where worlds are created. Artists hunch over their work, painting coastlines and countries. Makers wrangle strips of wet paper map into place, turning blank resin spheres into intricately detailed globes. Strips of map hang from the rafters, brass meridians are stacked up in corners and every flat surface is covered in globes of all shapes and sizes. “Our customers love it here,” says Peter Bellerby. “We had a Hollywood director visit us recently with his wife and kids and I couldn’t get rid of them.” You can see why. The place is alive with creativity and skill, and on the interesting side of untidy. This is where what are arguably the finest globes in the world are made, by a company founded out of Bellerby’s desire to create beautiful objects the proper way. “The driving force was that there was no one else doing it,” he says. “No one had made bespoke globes for a century.” The spark for this interest in globe making came when he wanted one as a birthday present for his father. Unable to find anything other than poorly made reproductions or rare, fragile and very expensive antiques, he taught himself how to make one. Ten years on and Bellerby & Co counts A-listers and foreign rulers among its clients. Scroll through its Instagram account and there’s Morgan Freeman visiting the studio. The last Churchill it made (at 157cm in diameter and £79,000, it’s the firm’s largest and most expensive globe) went to a head of state. After 100 years of neglect, the bespoke PHOTOGRAPHS: PAUL MARC MITCHELL; ALUN CALLENDER; TOM BUNNING 68
After 100 years of neglect, the bespoke globe has regained its position as an object of importance and significance globe has regained its position as an object of importance and significance. Getting to this point required a bloodyminded pursuit of the perfect globe. Bellerby found everything about constructing his dad’s gift difficult. “Making the mould was tough and lots of companies tried and failed to make one that was right,” he says. “I made hundreds of calls to foundries to find one that could cast the brass meridians. Even when I found one that could – and it’s the place we use now – the first attempt went wrong because I wanted the letters cast as well.” Where others might have given up, Bellerby decided to get in even deeper. After six months and “around £30,000”, it had become an obsession, “I kept it hidden from my friends and retreated a bit from going out. After 18 months I hadn’t even started to gore [attach the strips of paper map to] the globe.” He also realised it needed to become more than a very expensive present and 69
Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.
In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.