Whilst scanning negatives, there are always surprises.


This image here from the museums’s Austin Underwood collection is one such surprise. For many decades I have cycled many miles throughout the county and never seen Christmas-tree stooks like these.  I did an image search on Google for stooks but I found none looking like these.  On the far side of this field, there are the conventional stooks. These can still (2016) be seen and photographed in at least two places in Wiltshire where materials for thatching are grown.  I do not know where Austin took this photograph.

There is a village beyond this field with its church tower, which is why I think it is a village.  One of the village houses has a television aerial on the chimney stack.  There are many telegraph poles; one with four arms and its array of white insulators for telephone lines as compared to power cables.  I guess that this photograph was taken around 1963 and it shows quite a prosperous village to have so many telephone lines for that year. However the fields are small by today’s local standards and hence labour intensive and not so profitable.  I cannot make out any farm animals in any of the fields, which might be due to the far fields being out of focus.

If you have ever seen stooks like this or can identify the village, I would love to know and would add the information to the Museum’s records for this image.

As most of you will already know, Alan looks after our photographic archive and provides endless gems like this one with thought-provoking commentary.  Thank you as always Alan.