More from the archives, with many thanks, again, to Alan Clarke, who helps us really see these views…. I find this picture quite poignant. It is not unfamiliar, yet so much has changed. Much for the better, some things not….


Salisbury Market WW2 by Wilfred Chaplin

The museum was given over 500 glass plate negatives that Wilfred Chaplin had taken with his camera.  Wilfred was another of Salisbury’s exceptional photographers.

His photograph here shows a corner of the Guildhall square on market day, around 1945 I would guess.  Queen Street entry/exit was controlled by traffic lights which still have their wartime blackouts on.  The Guildhall square has some hexagonal tiles.  In the top left one can still see the large tank of water which was there to help put out any Guildhall fires caused by bombing.  The railings around the war memorial have no spikes on them.  These were added later to stop people sitting on them like the gentleman near the top of the image.  There is no plastic sheeting, just tarpolines over the stalls.  Wicker baskets, small wheeled perambulator, handcart, hessian sacks, and much more, now date the scene.  The ladies’ fashions and hair styles also help date the scene.  Others might be able to recognise the different military uniforms of the two gentlemen in the foreground.

I expect that Wilfred would not have thought that such an ordinary simple picture of a Salisbury Market day would now have such great interest.