A Preston author has launched his latest local history book on the wondrous streets of Preston and its neighbourhood.Advertisement
Author Keith Johnson’s, latest book ‘Preston – Reflections’ is said to be in many ways a sister publication to his popular ‘Preston Through Time’ book of a decade ago.
Through research for his book, Keith found himself reflecting on the pioneering Preston photographers, artists and illustrators who captured moments in time for people to cherish to this day.
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Keith said: “If, like myself, you often wander through the streets of Preston and its neighbourhood and wonder what they were like years ago then hopefully this book will enlighten you.
“I have been fortunate to have had a number of books about Preston published by Amberley and increased my knowledge along the way about the people and the places that have given Preston such an enthralling history.
“I have attempted to give a brief glimpse into their lives and the images they provided in the days when you couldn’t just flash your digital camera or smart phone but had to painstakingly produce your pictures, illustrations or images.
“How could we explain to them there is no need for negatives, nor reels of film and that pixels make a picture crystal clear, whilst Photoshop can make your image close to perfection.
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“By necessity to create ‘Preston – Reflections’ I had to visit the same locations as those pioneering image creators of the past to capture the present day view and as I did I wondered what they might have thought of the scene before me.
“To follow in their footsteps was a privilege and a chance to reflect on the purpose and reason for their earlier images.
“The work of those early pioneers was developed by later generations and ensured Preston’s colourful history was recorded; their work enabling comparison of images from Victorian and Edwardian days with those of today.
“All brought in to focus, be they of factories and chimney stacks, streets and alleyways, buildings and bridges, parks and playgrounds, trams and trains or people parading in processions or playing sports.”
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The author said that by the Edwardian days of 1906, the ‘Lancashire Daily Post’ was beginning to print the occasional photograph amongst their illustrative etchings and sketches in their daily newspaper.
One ‘Lancashire Daily Post’ photographer of the period, Arthur Nield, would go on to contribute countless photographs in black and white of sporting events, processions and parades for the next 40 years until his retirement in 1945.
Cumberland wrestlers, local footballers, cricketers and political personalities were all caught on camera.
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Keith said: “For my generation the LEP chief photographer was Roy Payne who joined the Post in 1950 and spent four decades focussing his camera lens on people, places, Preston and Preston North End.
“The images and script within the pages of the book offer the opportunity to reflect on the endeavours and achievements of bygone days.
“Reflections enable us to appreciate the place we live in today and the one in which our ancestors dwelt.
“There have been periods of poverty, progress and prosperity and displays of pomp, pageantry and patriotism all of which have left us with images to cherish.
“I enjoyed this further trip into Preston’s past and I hope you enjoy it also.
“Perhaps a century into the future someone will study this vision of the 2020s and reflect on how life in Preston has changed.”
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