The photographs in this fascinating selection document the changes which overtook the county town of Staffordshire in the century following the discovery of photography. They evoke a time before the advent of the motor car, when the pace of life was so much slower and cattle were still traded in Gaolgate Street, and cover a broad social spectrum, from the lord in his country seat to the labourer in his humble cottage. As well as very early images of Stafford, the selection includes views of the villages in a district bounded by Gnosall, Dunston, Milford, Salt and Great Bridgeford. The importance of the church in everyday life, not least as the focus for social activity, becomes obvious, the regular outing being a major event in most communities. Pleasures on the whole are simpler and include train rides to Milford, a visit to the fair, picnics or fishing. The daily round, in factories or on the land, is remembered, and a series of delightful shop fronts suggests that not all change has been for the better. The photographs, taken from public and private collections, have been chosen for their rarity, many never having been printed before.
For those who remember they will be a source of much nostalgic pleasure; they will help everyone recapture a forgotten past.
Joan Anslow is a prolific author with a keen interest is local history. She has published several books about Stafford and the immediate area as well as numerous articles for magazines and the local press. She lives in Stafford and, although retired, she enjoys working voluntarily for the Archives Service.
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- ID: 9781848685017
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