Cal­en­dar’s his­tory les­son

Now and then pic­tures gives a glimpse into town’s past

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

PEO­PLE can go on a jour­ney through a town’s his­tory thanks to a new cal­en­dar that has been pro­duced by a fam­ily business.

Fol­low­ing suc­cess­ful sales of its Che­sham Her­itage Cal­en­dar 2014, JPS Sta­tion­ers, in Mar­ket Square, de­cided to put to­gether a new col­lec­tion of his­toric photographs paired with re­cent images of the same view for a new cal­en­dar.

How­ever, the dif­fi­culty came when the Wil­liams fam­ily, which owns the business, were try­ing to lo­cate a suit­able col­lec­tion of an­tique photographs.

Quite by chance, a woman liv­ing in Auck­land, New Zealand sent an email to owner Ray Wil­liams ear­lier this year that re­sulted in him re­ceiv­ing a small book pub­lished by the Smith brothers of 7 Mar­ket Square, the very same build­ing that JPS Sta­tion­ers now oc­cupy.

Mr Wil­liams said: “Look­ing into this lit­tle blue book it was re­alised that the photographs were taken be­fore the First World War.

“They pro­vided a glimpse into a world be­fore the two great wars of the 20th cen­tury. The view of The Broad­way with its wa­ter pump where the War Memo­rial now stands is a poignant re­minder of those days where a new age stretched op­ti­misti­cally ahead.”

With the old photographs in hand, Mr Wil­liams re-en­acted the same jour­ney that the orig­i­nal pho­tog­ra­pher would have taken more than 100 years be­fore.

Mr Wil­liams added: “The equip­ment then would have been ex­pen­sive, cum­ber­some and the pho­tog­ra­phers would prob­a­bly have trav­elled by horse and cart. The new photographs, in con­trast, were taken on a dig­i­tal SLR cam­era.”

How­ever, as Mr Wil­liams re­traced steps to the lo­ca­tions, he found real prob­lems in find­ing the ex­act spot of some of the orig­i­nal photographs.

He said: “Trees that were young then, are now huge. Build­ings have changed and the view from Wey­lands is now blocked by Water­meadow car park.

“So in the cal­en­dar you will find that the new images have tried to be as close to the orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble, while still re­tain­ing in­ter­est the shot.”

Che­sham Then and Now Cal­en­dar 2015 is on sale at JPS Sta­tion­ers.

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HARK BACK: (From left) Then and now pic­tures of The Broad­way in Che­sham; Ray Wil­liams out­side his shop

Con­trib­uted/File

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