Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Village Blacksmith

Chapel Lawn is a tiny community in South West Shropshire, not far from the Welsh Border but a good distance from any town of importance. The blacksmith was an important local craftsman for this was a time when almost all rural transport still depende upon the horse.  Photographed between 1910 and 1920, Chapel Lawn will have changed little over the past century.
The image has been digitally colourised from a black and white original.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Happy Halloween

In the early 20th century, a group of English women dress as witches.  
All Hallows Eve was rarely celebrated in England at that time, being more usually associated with Ireland or the United States. 
These witches however , are scary enough to send a shiver down anybody's spine.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Cyprus in the past

Cyprus pictured in 1918. The centre span of this bridge could be lifted to allow small boats to pass.

A camel train rests in a Larnaca street. These were commonly used as pack animals in Cyprus in the days before construction of an adequate road network.

A street market in Famagusta photographed in the early 1950s, close to Agia Sophia church. On the left, elderly Turkish men while away the hours at a cafe and traders wait for custom.

 In an unknown village a group of women rest between agricultural work.

Ledra Street is Nicosia's main shopping thoroughfare seen here in the 1950s. This is the Northern end, just beyond the crossing point between the Greek and Turkish districts. The scene has changed little although many of these shops now sell fake designer clothes to tourists.

The Famagusta Gate in Nicosia is one of the four original entrances to the old city. The old city is surrounded by ancient walls, the gates were once closed at th  evening curfew time. Famagusta Gate how houses a small museum.http://www.tunnelbreeze.com/2017/02/tearful-goodbye.html

Shepherds and goatherds in Cyprus seem to have an affinity with their charges which isn't shared by their colleagues in other lands. Whilst Western European farmers keep a well trained dog to control their flocks, their Cypriot equivalents sismply talk to their animals which always respond accordingly

Before the days of farm mechanisation, threshing near Larnaca. The farmer sits on a makeshift platform drawn by oxen. No doubt this method worked even if rather unhttp://www.tunnelbreeze.com/2017/02/vintage-aviation-in-colour.htmlcomfortable and slow.

Making deliveries early in the 20th century. A familiar name in Cyprus but these days better known for beer.

Women gather at the village well to draw water. Photograph by Thompson in 1878

This photograph also by Thompson shows a bullock cart in 1878.  In the background, a large number of camels are resting.  The buildings feature a bell tower and are perhaps a monastery.

John Thompson's photograph of Larnaca waterfront shows a scene which is unrecognizable 140 years later.

Eleftheria Square in Nicosia, probably in the late 1950s. This scene has changed little althouhh the vehicles will now be modern and the British style phone boxes have no doubt been replaced.

Loading oranges at Famagusta in the early 1950s. A large number of porters ensures that the ship only has to stay in port for a short time.

The Larnaca waterfront in the old Turkish Quarter of the city.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Inside the Warsaw Ghetto 1941

 By November of 1940, all Jewish residents of Warsaw were ordered to re-locate to the enclosed ghetto in the Polish capital. It became home to nearly half a million people who were forbidden to leave. The penalty for escape or for aiding the population was death.
Accommodation was extremely crowded, on average, 10 people occupied a single room. Those people who were re-located from other parts of the city could only bring with them a minimum of possessions and often lived in extreme poverty. There was little employment and people resorted to street trading and sometimes smuggling.
Food supplies were limited by the German occupiers to an absolute minimum and many people were to die of starvation and from disease which was rife.
These photographs were taken in 1941 by Willy Georgin who was issued with a pass to enter the ghetto in order to record what he saw. Although his last film was confiscated by German police, he managed to smuggle a number of reels out of the Ghetto.
The original monochrome photos have been digitally colourised.

A young boy sells newspapers fom a street stand. All residents were required to wear an armband bearing the Star of David. A number of these are on sale.

 An elderley resident poses for the camera

 Two gentlemen cross a courtyard while children look on,  fascinated by the cameraman
 Street trading was the only occupation for many and this man has set up a makeshift stall.
 Poverty is evident from the way in which this man is dressed. His rundown shop has little stock for sale.
Still trading as a clock and watchmaker, this shop also sells a range of provisions.

 A few secondhand books might bring in some much needed income.
 A game of chance. An old chair, a wooden box and some coloured pebbles. This young boy looks for an opportunity to earn a little money.

 Women shoppers clamour for the few vegetables available in the street market.

Life appears to continue as normal in a once prosperous shopping street. Note that the carters, although Jewish, wear an official uniform.