St Mary's Church, Fishponds

Earlier this week in a charity shop in central Bristol, I discovered a parish magazine from my church, St Mary’s, Fishponds, dating from October 1947. I decided to scan it in and reproduce it here for anyone who is interested – look at the images below or download the PDF version. I think it’s fascinating – partly reading the articles of the 1940s but also looking at the adverts for long-forgotten shops that used to exist on Fishponds Road.

On top of that, this week’s Photo Challenge is called “retro“, and we have to take a picture that looks like it was taken a long time ago. It’s quite easy to fake an old-style photo but quite hard to find a scene that doesn’t include modern cars or buildings. I pondered the idea for a while before realising that one of the few things that haven’t changed much in a century is church buildings. So this evening after work, I took my 1887 Lancaster Instantograph out to St Mary’s and took this picture.

St Mary's, Fishponds
St Mary’s, Fishponds

There’s no Photoshop or Instagram here – this is a genuine picture taken in 2013 on a 126-year-old camera, using traditional photographic methods. I accidentally overdid the exposure and the picture is lacking detail in highlight areas, but I think it adds to the effect. Besides, working out the exposure is mostly guesswork and witchcraft and even having worked out you need a minute’s exposure, you have to remove the lens cap, count to 60, and replace the lens cap. Hardly reliable.

As promised, here are the pages of the parish magazine. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who remembers any of these shops in Fishponds or any of the people mentioned in the magazine.

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