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Austin Underwood was an extraordinary photographer.  He would go places that others wouldn’t think of going, to get a good photograph.  Even the freezing weather of the cold winters of the late 1950s and early 1960s didn’t deter him.  This photograph shows a water tower at High Post (High Post is on the A345 between Salisbury and Amesbury).  In the distance, on the right horizon, one can see the High Post Hotel with its lettering across the top of the building.  There are currently some traffic lights at the High Post cross roads.  The road from these cross roads down to the Woodford valley runs along the horizon in this photograph from right to left.   The water tower used to stand in the middle of the field which was, during WW2, a Spitfire runway.  Austin must have endured the cold to get to a position to take this image and have the Hotel in the background.  A good photographer always makes use of the background.

The museum has these images in high resolution where one can explore the background in detail and discover all kinds of things.  If climate change means we don’t have freezes like this anymore, his images of the cold, which might have been common place at the time, will now be a unique record of what Salisbury and the surrounding area was like during such weather.

Alan Clarke

For those new to our blog, Alan looks after our Salisbury Journal photographic archive.  His observations from the photographs are extra-ordinary…