George M Barbour
Cromwell House Publishing, 2021
ISBN 978-1-80049-797-9 £14.95
107 pages (unpaginated), hardback
This collection of photographs represents the work of Wiltshire photographer JJ Hunt who had studios in Calne, Malmesbury and Ludgershall before settling in Marlborough where he established his photographic studio.
The title of the collection suggests that the photographs relate to north Wiltshire, but in fact they span the length and breadth of the county.
The images include street views, business premises, properties, local residents and events. Notable inclusions feature Draycot House (now demolished), Emma Vaughan, licensee of the New Inn, Amesbury, and the Marlborough mop fair c.1925.
The quality of the images are good and as clear as they can be, given the date of the originals and the laudable commitment by the author to manipulate them as little as possible. The photographs are interesting, and captions provide additional details, sometimes with quotes by JJ Hunt’s family at the time, which add further interest and a feeling of stepping back in time, giving a more intimate connection with the past.
The book forms part of a journey. The author is JJ Hunt’ great grandson and knew nothing of Hunt’s photographic career before researching his great grandfather’s life and work. I felt honoured to be able to join him, as a reader, at this journey’s end. JJ Hunt’s Wiltshire Camera manages to capture a Wiltshire lost to us. It is an interesting and enjoyable look back to a time long gone. A well-produced publication.
JJ Hunt’s Wiltshire Camera is available to view at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre or borrow via your local Wiltshire library, reference AAA.771.
County Local Studies Librarian
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre