After dealing with many many images from various photographers, one gets to know the style of the photographer. Austin Underwood always tries to get the Cathedral spire in the picture. Austin was a County Councillor for Amesbury and thus his photographs are often of items that would concern such a role. For example road signs, accidents, road works, buildings being demolished or built, traffic jams, protest marches, Amesbury social events. He was also a schoolmaster at BIshop Wordsworth School, so there is an almost complete record of the school activities whilst he was a master there. This record includes details of all the metalwork that the boys were taught. All the sporting events, concerts and plays are captured in his negatives including backstage scenes during hectic make-up for large casts. Another aspect which distinguishes an Austin photograph is his ability to climb adjacent structures in order to obtain an unusual view. On one occasion this included climbing a helter-skelter that was under construction in the Chipperfield’s funfair yard in the centre of Amesbury. This resulted in some very unusual aerial images of Amesbury town centre.
Wilfred Chaplin has a great sense of humour which shows in many of his photographs. He also liked wildlife and even made a trip wire to set off the shutter of his camera. In this way he captured badgers and birds on their nests. As he used glass plates, he took great care composing the scene before photographing it. One of his winning masterpieces was entitled “11:55”. It consisted of an elderly gentleman resting against a bollard by the St Ann Cathedral gate with the Kings Arms Inn in the background. The implication was that the gentleman was resting against the bollard waiting with five minutes still to go before opening time.
Some photographers always try to include people in the scene. Others wait and try and take scenes with no-one present. I have concluded that having people in the scene adds greatly to its interest.
The photographer has entitled the above image “Going Home”. The windows open imply the end of a hot summer’s day. No smoke from any of the chimneys. The TV aerials date the image as early 1960s. The gentleman is wheeling his three speed Sturmy-Archered hubbed bicycle home at the end of a tiring day. He has his tea urn on the handlebars. A cloth hat to protect him from the sun. You can almost feel the heat rising from the road surface. The houses don’t have many windows and have porches to protect their front doors from the weather, not a problem today. The road has cats-eyes and looks to me like the A338, just past Idmiston. But what really surprises me is that the photographer is Austin Underwood. This is definitely not his usual style.