Colin Wootton writes:
Victorian photographer S.W.A.Newton, of Leicester, made a comprehensive photographic record of the construction of the Great Central Railway between 1896 and 1900. The railway has long gone but fortunately his photographic record remains. Travelling by train and bicycle he also visited and photographed street scenes in villages near to the new railway. The glass plate negatives he produced would have required a large camera and a sturdy tripod and the plates would have needed careful transportation back to his father’s photographic business in Leicester for processing. He produced almost 1000 photographs and the whole undertaking must have indeed been a labour of love! A high resolution digital scan of a second of these photographs, of the former Village Shop, Queen’s House and the School House has now been acquired and reveals the then scene in quite astonishing detail. From this scan it has been possible to make some very interesting enlargements of people and objects, which can be seen on the next page.