The title of this post does not refer to a person serving drinks in a bar. I’ve rarely seen a bar since Daughter was born, so I haven’t been able to collect bar stories of any kind to share with you.

Today I learned a whole different meaning of the term Barman. It refers to a moquette. You may have never heard of the term moquette before. Neither did I. Despite not knowing this term, I bet you have interacted with a moquette in your life. You may even interact with a moquette on a daily basis. If you’ve ever taken the bus, the train, the tram, the metro, chances are really high you know how a moquette feels. It is the thing you sit on. Moquette is the fabric on a seat. The woven kind.

Apparently London is a hotspot for moquette. With all the variations of public transport, moquette design is a ‘thing’ for London transport. Thanks to a man named Andrew Martin, who researched the history of moquette patterns and collected them in a wonderful little book, I learned the name of the blue and red pattern of the London tubes I can remember I rode on: Barman. It was designed by Wallace Sewell (the company name of two women: Emma Sewell and Harriet Wallace-Jones), it was first called ‘Landmark’, but later re-christened in honour of Christian Barman, the man who commissioned the classic moquettes in the 1930s, and debuted on the Central Line.

Moquette patterns are something I’ve never really paid attention to, but after flipping through this book I know I will never take my seat in London public transport for granted. That is, in case I’m still allowed to travel to London after tomorrow’s Brexit.

Thanks Peter, to gift me knowledge I never knew I wanted to have.

Bonus: A Brief History of Moquette, featuring Andrew Martin.

Barman is the pattern you see bottom right.