British photographic history

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Help requested with an album of Bethesda images, including slate mining

I'd be interested in any information members can give me with respect to an album of fairly small images that I think were taken in or around Bethesda, a slate mining town in Wales. Some of the images show work at the slate mines and these images often have numbers and notes to the back. Other images show life in the town or the countryside around it. Many of the images are so good that I cannot help feeling there was some kind of commerical operation/motivation behind the production of the album but maybe it was produced by a talented amateur looking to record the places and activities around him or her. I attach a few images.

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Comment by brian iddon on February 28, 2022 at 21:09

Hello Martin,

May be worth getting in touch with Gwynedd Archives,Victoria Dock,Caernarfon ,Gwynedd they may be able to help.I have shown the images to the relevant historians that I know of.

Hope this helps.

Comment by Martin John Last on February 28, 2022 at 6:11

Thank you Brian. It really is a mysterious album. If you or anyone else have some tips as to local museums or local historians I could contact please let me know. I seem to remember you mentioning that you were going to give/leave your archive to a museum. I can't see the relevant post anymore - what is the name of it?

Comment by brian iddon on February 27, 2022 at 21:44

Hello Martin,

I have shown the images to a couple of friends who I thought might be able to help with a photographers name ,but no luck.

Even with the notations we have no lead,but the majority of the images you have posted are of Bethesda.

Brian

Comment by Martin John Last on February 23, 2022 at 7:11

Hi Brian

Thank you again. 

I really would like to identify the photographer and the purpose of the album. Given the annotations to the back of many of the slate mining images, there must have been some documentary purpose. I did think that it may have ben produced for the owners of the slate mine but why would images of the town and surrounding countryside be included? The photographs are also not in a large or high quality album (I had the album conserved by the way,the clamshell box, photograph protectors and tissue paper interleaves are new).

It would be great if you could ask your connections. I attach a few more of the slate mining images with their captions in case this willl help with the identifications:

Comment by brian iddon on February 22, 2022 at 20:44

Hello Martin,

Menai Bridge is a village on Anglesey but did not have a railway station. The other village images are definetly Bethesda.

A lot of the properties shown are still in place but have had other buildings built around them.

It is a very interesting album and it would be nice to trace the photographer. I do have some connections locally who may be able to help in that direction.If  at any time you wish to sell the album please let me know as the images would tie in perfectly with my portfolios depicting the slate quarries of North Wales.

Comment by Martin John Last on February 22, 2022 at 9:24

I've just checked the church. It is Christ Church Bethesda.

Comment by Martin John Last on February 22, 2022 at 6:41

Please excuse the duplicate images in my last post. 

Comment by Martin John Last on February 22, 2022 at 6:39

Hi Brian, thanks for your comment. There are no images with the name Bethesda on them but there is one that has "Menai B..."and the railway station is shown in full in another and this definitely appears to be Bethesda station. I attach more images of the town and station that may help.

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