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Vanishing Cambridgeshire
Mike Petty
In 1925 a group of Cambridge antiquarians set off on a journey into the unknown. They loaded their cars with cameras, tripods and glass-plate negatives and their journey took them into a landscape of ancient remains, crumbling churches and dilapidated cottages, where residents drank water from wells. While others explored the relics of ancient Egypt, these intrepid explorers never strayed more than a few miles from the magnificent towers of the university town of Cambridge.
For this was Cambridgeshire in the interwar years. The explorers - a printer, a doctor, an anatomist and a pathologist - were members of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society and they were reviving a project that had begun at the start of the century.
Their mission was to produce a photographic survey of Cambridgeshire, to record both buildings and a way of life, the vanishing landmarks of a region.
Now Cambridgeshire historian Mike Petty has made a powerful selection of photographs from their pioneering survey to give this insight into a way of life that has disappeared forever.
The photographs are supplemented by comtemporary reminiscences and newspaper stories that paint a picture in words of the hardship of country life before World War Two.
The result is a compelling study of a county that in many ways has changed beyond all recognition - Vanishing Cambridgeshire.
Third edition - revised and expanded including two new chapters.
Vanishing Cambridgeshire by Mike Petty = 15.00 Post Free (in UK only).
Memories of Times Past - Cambridge
77 Paintings by William Matthison
With an Introduction by Mike Petty
This beautiful and informative volume, inspired by the pioneering 1907 colour book, Cambridge, offers a new way of looking at the townscape and social history of this much loved English city. Every painting from the original book has been rescanned and enlarged, presenting them as they have not been seen for a hundred years.
Opposite each painting is a page containing related full-colour images, from period maps and postcards to magazine adverts and railway tickets, together with a text placing the painting in its contemporary context.
The new introduction sets the historical scene for a lively town where far-reaching social and economic change sits, often uneasily, alongside centuries of academic and ecclesiastical tradition, at a time when many Edwardians believed that life was about as good as it could ever get.

William Matthison was born in Satffordshire in 1853 and studied art in Birmingham before becoming a professional artist in 1875. Later he and his family lived in Banbury before moving to Oxford, where he received commissions to paint postcards of the city and its surroundings. Further postcards depicted London and Cambridge, and his illustrations "bright and fresh in colour", were well suited to three-colour process and used in A&C Black's book "Cambridge". Matthison's final years were spent in Headington, Oxford, where he died in 1926.
Memories of Times Past - Cambridge = 18.00 Post Free (in UK only).
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