Then and Now


Elston – Then and Now

When the Lottery application had been made, the production of a book of photographs had been included, but at that time the intention was that we would perhaps interest a suitable publisher in producing it.  The idea of funding it through the Project hadn’t occurred until a number of similar projects in other villages started to produce books.  The juxtaposition of old and new images had been used already in the Powerpoint slideshow called “An Elston Walk.” We now proposed to produce a book which we would give to every residence in the village and to anyone from outside the village who had contributed photographs.

Some new photographs had already been taken for that slideshow and which could be used in the book, but many more of the old photographs were suitable for replication.  So a number of additional shots were taken in the summer of 2008, and over the next few months a text was written for the pairs of pictures, drawing on the information already recorded in the catalogues.  These images were resized to a standard postcard dimension, preserving as much as possible of the older images and cropping the new ones to match. The book copied the format of a couple of examples of a Then and Now series featuring Washington and New York.


Nearing the end of the editing process and realising that there weren’t many people in the new pictures a further series of photographs were taken around Christmas of 2008 showing residents standing outside their houses.   As these new pictures were taken in poorer weather than the ones taken in the summer, the people in them were in most cases cloned into the summer pictures. In any event it saved time trying to find the exact spot for the retake again and then having to go through the resizing process to match it with the old photographs. Only in a few cases where the cloning presented insuperable problems were the winter pictures used. No subterfuge was intended and in each case the caption states where cloning had taken place.

Guy de la Bedoyere, a face familiar to regular viewers of Time Team, kindly agreed to write an introduction for the book.  Descended from the Thorolds, and having lived in Marston near Grantham, he had local connections. He was the first and obvious choice.

The book was printed locally to a very high specification on glossy paper, hand stitched, and with a laminated cover. We wanted the books to be still around in a hundred years' time for our grandchildren to flick through so a cheap and cheerful paperback with glued spine wasn't up to the job. The book would provide a high quality souvenir providing a snapshot of how Elston looked in 2008.   Extra copies of the book were printed to meet future needs and for people to buy. All proceeds would go to provide a reserve of funds to continue the Project in future years and to finance the reprinting of Heritage Trail leaflets after the Lottery grant had been exhausted.   

As an extra souvenir a DVD called "Elston --The Musical" was produced using the same selection of photographs in the book and with a musical score of suitably restful classical music so that people could show it to visitors on the TV via their DVD player.    Shortly afterwards a DVD of the whole Photographic Archive, with the exception of any photographs where copyright permission had not been given, was published.  As with the book, all proceeds were put aside to fund future Project work.