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The village shop
Posted: 04 January 2012 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  1
Joined  2012-01-02
My great grandparents, Kate and Arthur Collier, ran the Aldbourne village shop sometime between 1918 and 1925. I have a sepia photograph of Kate standing in the shop doorway, looking out at a group of children who are posing for the photographer by the village pump, or well. I am intrigued as to who would have taken this picture. Perhaps there was a special event on that sunny day. The children seem to be well dressed but one of the boys is carrying,what appears to be, a couple of dead chickens! I would imagine that having a group photograph was an event in itself and that is perhaps why my greatgrandmother was watching it happen. I wonder if there is anyone in Aldbourne who remembers my family being there or why this photograph was taken. If so I would love to hear from you. Julia.
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Posted: 04 January 2012 08:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Hi Julia. Thanks for posting on the Aldbourne forum.

Your picture sounds fascinating. Do you have a digital copy? We'd be delighted to put it on the website to get some exposure. I'm sure there would be someone who could shed some light on it. Our email is:

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The Aldbourne Archive is in it's early stages, but this is just the kind of thing they love too. It's being managed by Jo Hutchings, and their contact email is:

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Many thanks!

Rupert Bound
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Posted: 05 January 2012 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Thanks to Julia, here is the pic:

6638333943_b0a017750a.jpg

Does anyone have any information about the photo at all? I'm assuming the shop is now known as "Oak House", but some detail about the children or photographer would be superb. Thanking you in advance... :wink:
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Posted: 24 January 2012 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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Here is a better quality scan of the photo, plus a more detailed message from Julia herself. Many thanks to Jo Hutchings for arranging the scan with Julia. Please do post any information or possible clues about the picture!

6754126571_091b9f1d72.jpg

I believe this photograph may have been taken around 1906. I have no idea who the photographer was or his reason for setting up his camera in front of the Aldbourne village shop on that particular day. However, this copy of an old sepia photograph has a special meaning to me, as it has captured a moment in my great grandmother’s life. As she stood in the doorway of her shop, watching her children and their playmates pose for the photographer, she could not have imagined that, over a hundred years later, her great granddaughter would be writing these words in the hope that someone in Aldbourne might remember something or someone that was there on that day.

My great grandparents, Arthur and Kate Collier, only stayed in the village for eighteen months. Two of their children went to school there, and were taught by a formidable lady who went by the name of Miss Grant. No doubt Eva and Sydney made friends there and were perhaps remembered by Aldbourne families, once they moved away.

I ‘interrogated’ my father for information about this chapter in his family’s life only to be told that he couldn’t remember much. Interestingly though, as he talked to me he began to recall things that his father had told him about life in Aldbourne, namely that Arthur used to ride his bicycle, with a large basket on the front, all the way to Swindon for the shop’s provisions!

I believe that my family were happy in Aldbourne and had fond memories of the time they lived there.

As I look at the photograph on my desk I ask myself, once again, what was my great grandmother thinking, why is the boy holding the chickens and, most importantly, how did the photographer manage to keep thirteen children in order long enough to snap the photo?

Sadly I shall never know what my great grandmother’s thoughts were, although she may have been weighing up the possibility of her daughter falling off of the pump before the photographer had completed his task. However, with regard to the chickens and the identity of the brave man behind the camera I appeal to the readers of this article for enlightenment.

Julia Connolly
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Posted: 30 October 2016 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Remember the photo of the shop in West Street with the children lined up by the pump? It featured on the Aldbourne Net website in 2012 aldbourne.net/news/old-photo-can-you-help/
Here's a 'letter of the month' from Tony Gilligan's Parish News (written by one of those children) that takes the story a little further. It's especially good to read the last bit - Aldbourne Band really is 'one of the best in the land!' in 2016
link - the Aldbourne Village Gallery on Flickr
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