22 January 2017

This Friday at KPS ...

Kingswood Photographic Society is absolutely delighted to welcome Bob Bray and David Sage APRS, as their speaker on Friday 27th January who will be giving a digital image and print image presentation talk entitled, Lacock, A Changing English Village, 70 years on.

David and Bob say: “A series of photographs were commissioned by the British Council in 1943, to illustrate a promotional pamphlet, “English Villagers”, which was published in 1945.

The black and white photographs depicted daily life in the village of Lacock during the Second World War. The pamphlet formed part of a series published by the British Council called The British People.  The purpose of the photographs was, undeniably, propagandist.

The original silver gelatin prints, taken by Harold White FRPS during 1943-4, show many aspects of everyday life in Lacock. Only by looking very carefully at the prints are traces of the war visible.

The photographs embody the notion of a 'People's War' showing how daily life continued undeterred and how the Home Front was represented by all elements of the community contributing to the war effort: an important reminder of British morale during the war.

As part of the History Centre’s Lacock Unlocked Project, Lacock Positive Photography Club was asked if it would like to produce a set of images to illustrate the oral history of Lacock and preserve a set of images of Lacock 70 years on. These images and text have been put together by Bob Bray and David Sage ARPS.

Our talk will cover the background of Harold White and his project alongside our project, an audio recording, a video produced with these images by the History Centre.  There will be a small print exhibition during the break. After the refreshment interval, we will show many of the comparable images with background information on the scenes and anecdotes from the villagers of Lacock.

David has been taking photographs since he was young, starting off on Yashica and Olympus film cameras before moving to digital in 2002.  David now uses Canon cameras and has had a 40D, but is now using a 7D and 5D mk3.  He has been living in Wiltshire since 1984.  He obtained his LRPS Distinction from the Royal Photographic Society in 2012 and his ARPS in 2014.  He is interested in all sorts of photography from Travel to Wildlife. 

My website is, www.davidsagephotography.co.uk/.

Bob worked in newspapers as a photographic technician for 45 years and also worked as a freelance photographer for various educational magazines, book publishers and charities.  We are both members of Lacock Positive Photography Club.

David and Bob have put this talk together at the request of your Programme Secretaries, Adrian & Vanessa who believe that it will be an absolutely superb and fascinating evening so we hope to see you there.

Kingswood PS meet Fridays from 7.30pm to around 9.30pm at St Barnabas Church Hall, Warmley, Bristol BS30 5JJ.  Visitors are most welcome and the cost for this evening is £3.00.

21 January 2017

John Long's tip of the week

Did you know that? . . . . . . . . .

There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London,  which used to have a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged.  The horse-drawn dray, carting the prisoner, was accompanied by an armed guard, who  would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the  prisoner if he would  like one last drink   If he said YES, it was referred to as "ONE FOR THE ROAD".   

If he declined, that Prisoner was 'ON THE WAGON'. 
They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it  was taken and sold to the tannery.   If you had to do this to survive you were "piss poor"  but  worse than that were the really poor folk, who  couldn't even afford to buy a pot, they "Didn't  have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of  the low.
  The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water Temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to  be. 
Here are some facts about the 1500s:  Most people got married in June, because they took  their yearly bath in May and they still smelled  pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, 
brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.  

The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,  then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies.  By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. 

 Hence the saying,

 "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water!" 
  Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.  Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."        
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence. The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, "dirt poor" The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their  footing. 

As the winter wore on they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance. Hence: a thresh hold. (Getting quite an education, aren't you?) 
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over they would hang up their bacon, to show off.
 It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "Bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around talking and ''chewing the fat''.     
Those with money had plates made of pewter.

 Food with high acid content Caused some of the lead to leach onto the food,
 causing lead poisoning and death.  This happened most often with tomatoes,
 so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous. 
Bread was divided according to status. 

Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, 
The family got the  middle, and guests got the top, or ''The Upper  Crust''. 

  Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.

 The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and  wait and see if they would wake up.

 Hence the custom of ''Holding a Wake''.     
England is old and small and the local folks started  running out of places to bury people, so they  would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realised they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the coffin and up  through the ground and tie it to a  bell.   Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night  (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell;  thus someone could be, ''Saved by the Bell" or  was considered a ''Dead Ringer''   And that's  the truth.   
Now, whoever said history was  boring ! ! ! So .....  get out there and educate someone! 

Share these facts with a friend, like I just did!

14 January 2017

This Friday at KPS ...

Kingswood Photographic Society is absolutely delighted to welcome David Kjaer for the first time as their speaker on 20th January, who will be giving a digital image presentation talk entitled Highlands and Islands – Scottish Wildlife.

David says: “I am a retired Police Officer and lifelong birdwatcher.  It was on one of my early trips to Scotland (1979) with my family that got me hooked on photography.  I recall we were on the top of the Cairngorms and I was amazed at how close you could get to birds like Dotterel and Ptarmigan and took a few images with the family camera an Olympus Trip.  After having the film developed I was so disappointed with the results that I promised myself I would go back the following year with a better camera. I purchased a Pentax K1000 and a 300mm Hoya lens and the rest is history!

As the title suggests my talk covers Scotland's Highlands and Islands and we will be looking at the birdlife and habitat plus a few mammals to be found in Speyside and Deeside as well as on Islands like the Bass Rock, Craigleath, Handa, Hebrides and Skye.”

For further information about David Kjaer, pop onto the website - www.davidkjaer.com – from which you’ll see why this promises to be an absolutely delightful evening.  We hope to see you there.

Kingswood PS meet Fridays from 7.30pm to around 9.30pm at St Barnabas Church Hall, Warmley, Bristol BS30 5JJ.  Visitors are most welcome and the cost for this evening is £3.00.