99 Years of Progress
As part of amateur history week/month/year, I present for your consideration a series of seven photographs taken in 1910, and corresponding pictures from 2009. This is what 99 years of progress does to a small rural village.
The thatched cottage in the foreground of the old picture has only been gone for about ten years – until recently, it still stood on the corner of the crossroads, and in fact, I was rather surprised to find it gone, since I’d not even noticed that it had been replaced. There are still thatched cottages on either side of it (one is off the right hand side of the picture), and in most other respects the view has not significantly changed.
As the blurb says, this is the view looking out towards Princes Risborough, from the junction with the high street. The Unicorn pub mentioned does still exist, but is now Unicorn Cottage (or similar), off in the distance. One has to wonder what the residents from a hundred years ago would think of the colour that the house is now painted…
The Red Lion
Looking down the high street from the junction in the last picture, past the pond on the right (in 1910, now a phonebox in 2009). Many of the structures are still the same, with the only noticeable change being Doveleat now being a road rather than a house.
This is looking up the high street, and there’s not really much one can say.. With the exception of the pavement, and the presence of cars, not a lot has changed between the two pictures, and all the buildings appear to be present and accounted for.
End of the High Street
Where previously there was only a lane at the end of the high street, this has since had housing built up it (where my parents first lived when they moved here).
Another example of things not changing, you can see the former window above the door still present behind the pub’s sign, and the brick and flint wall is still the same as it ever was. Even the discoloration of the roof seems unchanged. In the distance of both pictures you can see The King’s Head pub, again largely unchanged in the last hundred years.
What in 1910 was a small hamlet just outside of Chinnor is now part of the village proper, and these houses that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries have made it to the 21st century intact. In spite of all the little extras, like road signs, verges, crooked washing lines, and so on, the area is actually remarkably unchanged. The little girls in their pinafores have long since gone though, as have the men who stand around watching them…
There are a few others, but these are the best of what I’ve got. I wish I’d been better able to recreate the exact angles, but it was difficult to tell from the pictures exactly what those might have been, or indeed in some cases, such an angle would have required that I was either elevated high above the road, or indeed was in the road, usually the middle of the road, playing amongst the traffic. These are close enough… :o)
Now what I really have to do is find the right way to display them in such a way as to make the likenesses and differences stand out properly…