Published Thursday 20th October 2016

A series of stunning rare photographs documenting life in post-war Herefordshire have been preserved for future generations.

Around 6,500 black and white images taken by C.H ’Tony’ Williams in the 1940s have been digitised by county historian Derek Foxton, with a selection featuring in the 2017 St Michael’s Hospice calendar.

Mr Williams developed his photography skills while working as an engineer at Barronia Metals, a company famous for developing a special alloy used in the manufacture of fuel valves for planes flown during the Second World War.

Following the War, which ended in 1945, he put his love of photography to good use by working for Herefordshire’s Citizen & Bulletin newspaper.

The images were kept in an attic for decades after Mr Williams’ death in 1990, aged 85.

Now, with the help of Mr Foxton, all of his negatives have been digitally scanned, and the originals preserved at the Herefordshire Archive and Record Centre in Rotherwas.

St Michael’s Hospice was given permission to use the images by Mr Williams’ daughter, Dr Maureen Beauchamp, who lives in Kingsthorne.

She said: ‘My dad cared deeply for people, particularly their need for good medical and social care.

‘It’s truly wonderful that his photos are being put to good use by St Michael’s Hospice. It’s also lovely to hear people talk about the quality of his pictures and his ability to be in the right place at the right time.’

Chris Smart, Communications Manager at St Michael’s Hospice, said, ‘The quality of the photographs is remarkable. Mr Williams was a very talented and instinctive photographer. His pictures are beautifully composed, and it’s obvious that he was a thinking photographer and very aware of the world in which he lived.’

Mr Foxton said he was happy to digitise the negatives.

‘I’m very pleased to have helped preserve such an important time in Herefordshire’s history,’ he said. ‘It’s also an ongoing project so it would be nice to hear from anyone who recognises people in the pictures. Any stories about the photographs would then be kept with Mr Williams’ archive.’

The calendar is available to buy now at all the Hospice’s retail shops across the county. A permanent exhibition of the photographs at St Michael’s Hospice in Bartestree is also being planned.

To find out more about the project, contact Mr Smart at the Hospice on 01432 851 000.