Review of ‘Bakewell in Old Photographs’, by Keith Taylor

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.

by Keith Taylor
Published by Country Books of Little Longstone
ISBN 978-1-906789-12-1 (2009)

There is far more than meets the eye in this new title from local author Keith Taylor. Not only is Bakewell well represented in this selection of more than 200 historic photographs: here too are scenes from Sheldon, Wardlow, Great and Little Longstone, Hassop, Over Haddon and Ashford in the Water.

Keith has been privileged to borrow the majority of these photographs from private collections in addition to a number deposited with Derbyshire County Council archives. Most of the images are several generations old, revealing many previously unpublished scenes connected with the diverse history of this corner of the Peak. Those from the earlier days of photography enable us to see life in the days of Queen Victoria, such as the new (now old) Bakewell post office nearing completion c1893, or a village blacksmith taking a break.

We are shown the basket maker who packed it in because his customers were slow to pay their bills; a lad lugging home a bucket of water from the village pump; a WI wartime canning factory based in the garage of a vicarage; farmers and lead miners (including the unfortunate 'Wingy One Arm'); Peak produced ice-cream, milk and eggs; Peaklanders enjoying high days and holidays; and livestock - including a bull - being led along a pre-tarmaced Bridge Street, Bakewell. Changing times are captured on the platforms of village railway stations now long closed, or in the yard of Rutland Stables with its mix of horse-drawn coaches and a newfangled motor car.

The author intersperses these seven photographic collections with his highly regarded research, combined with original information gathered from living memory.

Review by Julie Bunting

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