Another fascinating series of photographs from our archives and some observations, from Alan Clarke…
The museum has a batch of negatives which are around 8 inches by 6 inches. I have scanned and examined this batch of sixty, and in several there are posters advertising auctions, which all give the year as 1925. Thus my assumption is that these 60 images were all taken in 1925.
Most images are of street scenes in Salisbury, and are faintly recorded as such on the negative wallets, in well faded ink. One or two images are of places further afield.
There are two images of an Inn which is obviously called The Bell Inn. What gives it away is the large bell on the top of an inn sign. I recognised it as The Bell at Bowerchalke.
Even if I hadn’t recognised which Bell Inn this was, close examination of the Bell shows the name BOWER CHALKE above it. Is there a space between Bower and Chalk? Can you see an ‘e’ on the end of Chalk?
A sign on the Inn wall states: “Sarah Habgood licensed to sell beer cider and tobacco”. There is a shield below the bell with the words “Luncheons and teas”. If you check, you will find that The Bell Inn, Bowerchalk, closed in 1988, and is now a residential dwelling known as ‘Bell House’. However, I knew it for its luncheons and teas. I used to call with friends whilst out cycling. One of the attractions used to be that a mynah bird lived in the bar. This bird was extremely loquacious. I imagined that each evening the locals would be teaching this bird something new to repeat.
The photographer, apparently, wasn’t satisfied with his first photograph’s composition, and took a second from a slightly different viewpoint. This makes it very interesting to compare what has changed, and decide if there were a few minutes or days between the images.
There is a fascinating belt-driven motorised bicycle against the front wall, identically parked in both images. It appears to be equipped with a bulb horn and water bottles. Along the side, round the back, there are chickens. Even when I used to visit this establishment, there were chickens round the side here. However, in one image there is a car, but it is possible that the other composition just misses capturing this car, being just out of the photo. The image of the car is too indistinct for me to recognise what make it is.
Just to the right of the car, one can see a lady feeding the chickens. The other image makes it clear that there are two ladies here, and the object near them is a well, which one of the ladies is operating. There appears to be a hatch (the dark square object resting against the right well head support) that has been opened to enable the well bucket to be drawn up. You need a bonnet to feed the chickens but not to operate the well!
Many of the first floor windows are open. There are extensive yew hedges which are kept well trimmed.
I leave you to explore and enjoy further.