I remember on primary school trips to old churches taking brass rubbings with purple blue and red crayons. Or taking the textures of tree bark and bricks. Oh the simple pleasures.
This primitive art seems to be in terminal decline. I, for one, have only rubbed brass once in the past decade to my knowledge. It was at Hathersage church in Derbyshire.
Hathersage is a beautiful little Peak District village just outside Sheffield. The three main claims to fame are a particularly beautiful lido with views of the surrounding hills; David Mellor's round cutlery factory; and "Little John's Grave" (supposedly the resting place of Robin Hood's mate). The church's spire punctuates the top of the village surrounded by lush green hills with moorland plateaus above.
After wandering round the cool dark church interior on a glorious July afternoon some years ago, we did some brass rubbings of their mediaeval Eyre family brasses. And then, for the grand sum of 20p I bought a badge that proclaimed "I'VE BEEN BRASS RUBBING AT HATHERSAGE CHURCH".