British photographic history

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Jesse Taylor: Exhibition ‘Campden Then and Now’

For the past year, CADHAS (Campden and District Historical & Archaeological Society) has been running an Awards for All project about Jesse Taylor, our local photographer 100 years ago, culminating in an Exhibition of his work next weekend 23/24 January.

We had a ‘eureka moment’ in our research when we found a picture of the town’s Floral Parade in 1896 by Henry Taunt, well-known Oxford photographer, with another photographer in the corner of the frame, and matched it with one from our Jesse Taylor collection, proving a link between the two men.

Chipping Campden, a small market town in the Cotswolds, has a long and well-documented history but now the recent past is coming to life through these photographs, from glass plates deposited with Gloucestershire Archives. The project has involved volunteers working with the Archives staff to conserve the plates and digitise the images. Local schools and groups of older people have been looking at the images and comparing life then and now. Instead of the pigs and sheep wandering down the High Street we have cars searching for parking spaces!

The Exhibition ‘Campden Then and Now’ is in the Town Hall on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 January, 10 am – 4pm. On the Saturday at 3.15 pm there will be a talk by Graham Diprose, about the work of these early photographers. Graham Diprose is joint curator of the current Henry Taunt exhibition at Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock ‘…in the footsteps of Henry Taunt’, showing pictures of the River Thames in Victorian and modern times.

Judith Ellis

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