Review of ‘Picture the Past Website’ (3), by Neil Bettridge

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

PICTURE THE PAST - THE PEAK DISTRICT

With the growth of the Internet, a treasure trove of Peak District images has become widely accessible via the Picture the Past website. Archivist Neil Bettridge has assembled a wonderfully evocative selection of these images for this recently published large format book.

Life and work in the Peak District is recalled through everyday scenes, views and portraits dating back even beyond the early days of photography to include centuries-old prints. Yet many choices will strike a chord with our readers: Tissington sheep dipping around 1980; tractors turning land that now lies under the Matlock supermarket development; a thronged Bakewell livestock market on its old site; people queuing for bread in Buxton during the bakers' strike of 1974; a country classroom with only eight pupils, and long-lost shops of nostalgic memory all around the Peak. Village post offices are still open, doorstep deliveries of bottled milk arrive by horse and cart, and a clog maker takes a short break for the camera. Lead ore is being raised from a mining shaft at Bradwell; peas are being canned in a factory at Calver and cotton is spun at Litton Mill.

Information accompanying the images is generous and sometimes extraordinary. Chuck Berry surrounded by Hell's Angels in Buxton? Yes, honestly - seeing really is believing in Picture the Past - The Peak District.

Written by Neil Bettridge and published in hardback by Breedon Books priced £14.99 (ISBN 1 85983 642 2).

Review by Julie Bunting


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