Calendar’s history lesson
Now and then pictures gives a glimpse into town’s past
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.
HARK BACK: (From left) Then and now pictures of The Broadway in Chesham; Ray Williams outside his shop