Sunday, 29 December 2013


As this will be my last post of the year and the media is full of what has happened in the last twelve months, I thought I would offer some thoughts of my own. Over the last twelve months or so, some five books in the Through Time series with my name on have been released. As the name suggests these compare modern images with similar views from yesteryear and below I offer a taster from these books, where the older view in each case date from around a century ago.

In these images from Tamworth Through Time we see identical views looking up the hill in my home town of Tamworth, with Tamworth Castle on the right. The road is known as Holloway because it was quite literally hollowed out by the constant passage of wheels, hooves and feet as they crossed the River Tame at what was for centuries the only bridge for miles over this river.

A view of Dr Samuel Johnson’s Birthplace from Lichfield Through Time. Born here in September 1709, he was a sickly baby and his aunt is held to have announced on seeing him for the first time how she ‘would not have picked up such a poor creature in the street’.

From Stafford Through Time come these views of Stafford Common Station. The old image is at it appeared in August 1968, with the modern view from below the bridge featured in the earlier picture.

Two very different scenes from Solihulll Through Time but taken from the same position. What is now Riverdale Drive opposite Malvern Park was previously the former Solihull Brickworks. However there is one remaining landmark, out of shot to the left in both these images, of a Post Office pillar box which is still in daily use.

When photographing English Riviera Through Time, my favourite part of the world, I was struck by something clearly evidenced by these images. First we see the village of Galmpton around 1907, the home of Agatha Christie is situated behind the camera. Note the sapling in the old image is the same tree as that dominating the modern view. This is also true of the background which is devoid of trees in the old image but, although largely hidden in the modern view, litter the scene today.

The same is true in this view of Anstey’s Cove where vegetation is the dominant feature in the twenty-first century.

As usual I would welcome any suggestions for themes or subjects, or even specific words to examine the origins, meanings and etymologies. I’d be delighted to hear from you. Meanwhile I shall take this opportunity to say to one and all a very Happy New Year and wish for you everything you would wish for yourselves.

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