Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A small photographic cabinet of Cornish curiosities

While rooting through a box of old photos at home yesterday I found some large plate camera negatives and, through the magic of owning a half-decent scanner, turned them into prints. Here they are:

Aren't they splendid? Sadly, I have no idea what years they relate to but they are a mixed bag. There's mention of a royal visit to Newquay but I have no idea who or when. The clothes would suggest Victoria and there is a Victoria Hotel pictured (incidentally, take a close look at the people in that shot - some extraordinary characters! Click on the photo and it will zoom). But the photos don't seem to relate to each other or even to be from the same time.

The common theme throughout is the Cornwall Constabulary, the police force my late father joined in the 1950s and which, in 1974, became part of the larger Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. Dad was researching and writing his first novel when he died in 1991 and I imagine that's where these came from. He was always picking up old postcards and photos in junk shops. Perhaps the period details were helping him to craft his story which, as it happens, was a murder-mystery set in Victorian Cornwall. Whatever the back story, wonderful aren't they?

1 comment:

Andrew Horne said...

Love these photographs. The top picture looks like the policeman is holding a Kepi rather than a helmet like the others. Perhaps he's a French-exchange policeman! Great beards too.