The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians.These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

If you'd like to publish any interesting material about the history of East Anglia on the site, then please send an email to the Resident Historians at and we'll add it.

Family Historians have their own area on the site, so look there if your main interest is in tracing your family history.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Addyman Collection

It may have seemed that things have been quiet on the site. Certainly, there has been little to report in the 'Hysterical Hystorian' though I have, I must confess, appeared on the Telly again

What has happened is that we've been leant a collection of photographic plates dating from around 1920 to 1940 showing places and people around the Sudbury area. These photographs may have never been seen before. I don't know if these plates have ever had prints taken from them.

Around thirty years ago, John Addyman was walking home from the pub in Gainsborough Street with a friend when he walked past a Skip. The old shop was being cleaned out for rebuilding work and the skip was full of photographic glass plates, many of them smashed. To his horror, John found that they were over fifty years old and came from the old photographers shop.

There was only one thing to be done. He and his inebriated friend gathered all the plates he could rescue, around 160 of them

John, and a friend then catalogued them as best they could. However, they did not have the time and money to develop prints from the plates and eventually they went into a box in the attic.

John died last year, in retirement in Wales. The Addyman Estate were concerned about this obvious part of our legacy and has been kind enough to offer the plates to us on condition we put prints onto our site on the internet.

We received the plates last week and pored through the catalogue. There are views that we thought no longer existed, including three of the interior of Ward's Brewery, and many scenes of carnivals, sports events, people, and buildings in the area. In a word, it is sensational

we hope to be showing some of the pictures in full resolution soon on the site. In the meantime, there are just a few samples! Developing and Restoring these photos is paistaking work. When we've finished, we are hoping to offer the collection to the County records office, so that the originals will be available to researchers and historians.