99 Years of Progress

Feb 25th, 2009 | Filed under LiveJournal Import

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.

Station Road


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.

Lower Road


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.

High Street


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).

The Crown


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.

Oakley End


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…

  1. doerofnone
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:42
    Reply | Quote | #1

    This is fantastic, thanks for posting it!

  2. embodyment
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:43
    Reply | Quote | #2

    It is this sort of history that makes the UK (specifically England) appear so interesting and makes me want to travel to see everything myself.

    Remarkable job at recreating these shots.

    • James
      Feb 25th, 2009 at 17:26
      Reply | Quote | #3

      Yeah, part of the problem with a lot of Wales is that nothing has changed at all.. My brother mentioned wanting to do something similar in the village/city that we used to spend time in when we were younger, but I’m not sure that a hundred years would be long enough to actually see many changes..

      England is where it’s at :o)

  3. Kaya
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:45
    Reply | Quote | #4

    Wow! :D

  4. Carrie
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:46
    Reply | Quote | #5

    One has to wonder what the residents from a hundred years ago would think of the colour that the house is now painted…

    It’s a black and white photo, that house could have been pepto bismol pink for all you know.

    Very interesting though, makes me want to go look at my old town.

    • Anonymous
      Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:53
      Reply | Quote | #6
      • Carrie
        Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:56
        Reply | Quote | #7

        Oh you probably can, I was just being silly.

      • no_touching
        Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:58
        Reply | Quote | #8

        Yeah, I was looking at the brick work in the original and wondering why anyone would bag and paint that.

  5. no_touching
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 16:59
    Reply | Quote | #9

    Are you just twittering this to get more comments ;) Love the photos!

    • James
      Feb 25th, 2009 at 17:24

      Well, if I’d wanted to do that, I’d have had @ama_updates post it instead, it has more friends than I do ;o)

      But partly, yes.. It took a while to pull all of it together, and I’m proud of it all, so I felt like plugging it a bit :o)

      And it worked ;o)

  6. Max
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 17:04

    That’s really cool. The biggest change is really that there seems to be less trees today, and many more signs.

    • James
      Feb 25th, 2009 at 17:25

      There’s a wider shot of that last picture, that has another four signs or so in the picture… It looked quite funny in contrast, but it didn’t fit the angle of the original properly, so it got canned…

  7. gabs_mr
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 20:42

    Those are amazing!

    Great job recreating them.

  8. Mike
    Feb 25th, 2009 at 21:10

    Very cool :)

    Do you have any buildings which aren’t pubs?

    • James
      Feb 25th, 2009 at 21:31

      Let’s see..

      We have The Royal Oak, The Red Lion, The Crown, The King’s Head, The Black Boy, The Wheatsheaf..

      Then we’ve got The Bird in Hand, which closed a few years ago.. And The Unicorn, which closed a lot longer ago.. So that’s only about eight..

      Though if you include the hamlets around the village, say up to a distance of one mile, then there’s The Shepherd’s Crook, The Cherry Tree, and there used to be The Leather Bottle.. Oh, and another The Crown, and The Inn at Emmington.

      So historically, thirteen pubs within a mile of the village, of which three have since closed.

      Is that not normal? ;o)

  9. lovelychickadee
    Feb 26th, 2009 at 00:41

    I freakin’ love stuff like this. Canada is just so new, it’s not nearly as interesting. I loved seeing all the historical sites in England.

  10. Carrie
    Feb 26th, 2009 at 03:38

    Pip pip!

  11. brina_is_sassy
    Aug 25th, 2009 at 20:03

    This is awesome! I’m glad I didn’t see it when you originally posted it because I needed a good dose of nerdy joy.

    It’s also doing a good job of getting me into “must get to England and explore” mode, which is helping motivate me to get out of Alaska, so thanks for that. :p

  12. onehopeful
    Aug 26th, 2009 at 10:02

    These are fantastic!

  13. Edley
    Aug 27th, 2009 at 00:28

    Is it just me or has the shape of the ridge changed? I’m looking at the photos of the end of the high street…