PLEASE NOTE, these are our last few copies so the covers may be a bit scuffed in parts
Tim Ward’s collection of postcards, built up over many years, includes many images of Herefordshire’s past rural life: harvesting and hop-picking, cidermaking and cattle breeding, blacksmiths, beekeepers and basketmakers. Behind these photographs, carefully posed as most of them had to be for the slow business of early photography, were the working lives of men and women – and many of those lives were a hard struggle, however picturesque the scenes seem to be. Life was far from a ‘roses round the door’ country idyll.
This book is made up of a combination of those images, including some of the evocative work of Alfred Watkins, and an attempt to tell the story behind the pictures uncovered by Tim Ward’s painstaking research. For, dispossessed by the Enclosure Acts that took common land from rural people and forced them into miserable working and living conditions, Herefordshire’s agricultural labourers, like those in other parts of Britain, eventually found a voice, with the formation, from 1871, of a succession of farmworkers’ unions.
Tim Ward charts the history of the unions, the strong characters who founded them, including Thomas Strange, William Gibson Ward, Joseph Arch and Sidney Box, and what became of their attempts to bring about change for those whose cause they championed. The story unfolds against a backdrop of a fast-changing world, including a number of factors that would change rural life for ever – mechanization, opportunities to leave the land and find a new life in the industrialized cities, or even abroad, and the onset of the First World War.
Tim Ward spent many years as a professional grower of salad crops in Essex and later in Gloucestershire. Changes in marketing and economics led to a new life – dealing in old postcards and documents from a shop in Ross-on-Wye. He and his wife Shirley gathered a large collection of Herefordshire photographs, postcards and ephemera.
Paperback | 168 pages | 234 x 156 mm | 2009
Black & white photographs