Saturday, 10 September 2011

Old Somerset photos need new light

This evocative photograph of an ice-cream seller and his faithful horse parked up and ready for business may stir distant memories for some readers.
The image has been printed from a glass negative, one of a number which have been saved from oblivion by retired farmer Horace Willcox, who acquired them from a dealer from near Glastonbury.

The Ice Cream Man, one of Horace Willcox's photographic glass plates

Mr Willcox received the box of old negatives as a thank you from a general dealer who stored goods at his farm at Westhay, near Glastonbury, some years ago. He has always wondered where they were taken and to whom they belonged. One shows three little girls, undoubtedly sisters from their similarity, possibly taken in the 1930s. Another shows a boy wearing button-up boots, a suit and bow tie, which may be 20 years older.
They were precious mementoes to some family, but was the ice-cream seller a friend, a relation, or simply a stranger whom the photogapher thought made an interesting image.
Captured in time he is the star of the show.Mr Willcox would like to hear from any reader who can throw light on the photographs.

If you have information email Tina Rowe at