The society has had access to a set of scans from recently-discovered glass plate slides owned by the late Ellis Groves 1872-1914. Here, I describe a small selection of these slides, and also include them with 40 more of the better preserved in a slideshow.
“Would I like to look at a box of old black and white transparencies?” This was the offer made to me by Peter Rathbone a few weeks ago. Peter brought them round and I settled down to go through them. The simple wooden box contained about five dozen old glass transparencies. Not your familiar, modern 35mm slides but 3¼” x 3¼” magic lantern glass plates, many in the form of glass sandwiches.
A label in the top of the box indicated that they had been put together by the “late Ellis Groves 1872-1914”. Most were very dark and dusty and not always sharply focused. A few had begun to peel off the glass substrate. Not surprising as they had been kept in one of Grove’s sheds for thirty years and had been saved from going to the tip by Peter.
Going by the rare labels, the collection appeared to date from the first decade of the 20th century. A few slides had been coloured by hand. Several I recognised having seen them already in the archives of the History Society. My first reaction was that it was unlikely there would be any treasure here – perhaps just half a dozen images could be salvaged? I was wrong.
In the end more than 40 interesting and usable images emerged, after scanning, from the collection. A few were very surprising and these are the images seen here, in most cases probably for the first time in 125 years.
Slides 1 and 2 – These depict an old three wheeled car with the single passenger seat facing forward at the front.
The second slide probably shows the garage where the car was kept. Was this the first internal combustion vehicle in the Wychwoods? Could the driver have been Fred Pepper who had bought Shipton Court in 1901? It does look like him although he is not known to have owned such a vehicle. His first car was in fact a larger French Gobion Brillé but perhaps this three wheeler was a precursor.
Slide 3 – This shows a mix of two cricket teams in front of the Shipton Court cricket pavilion. The label refers to the Shipton Court team and a team from Monk Bretton. Monk Bretton colliery in Yorkshire was owned by the Pepper family. It is known that twenty of the long service employees were invited down for the day to Shipton to play the team from Fred Pepper’s new village in 1908. This photograph marks the event.
The bearded gentleman on the left is Thomas Alfred Groves who owned and managed Groves and was the Captain of Shipton Court and Milton cricket teams. He was the son of Alfred Groves and his first wife, Ann Shepard. Ellis Groves, who assembled the lantern transparencies was the eighth child of Alfred’s second wife Mary Reynolds.
Slide 4 – This shows a young girl holding a poster advertising a magic lantern lecture in Milton for the Mutual Improvement Society. It was included more than thirty years ago in the Second Wychwoods Album. The photo was apparently taken by Ellis Groves who also operated the magic lantern. Did the Mutual Improvement Society meet its aim? As a Shiptonian I could not possibly hazard a guess.
Slide 5- shows the bottom of Burford Hill in around 1905. In the background, behind the assorted Burford urchins, is Hambidge’s Delicatessen. Ellis Groves married one of the Hambidge daughters and his younger brother, Samuel, married her sister.
Slide 6 – A distant view of Green Lane Milton. Older by at least ten years than the view shown in the first Wychwood’s Album. The building on the right was the Quaker Meeting House which was sold in 1925 and divided into two cottages.
Slide 7 – Milton Sunday School built this large life boat and took it to a Sunday School Festival at Moreton in 1903.
Slide 8 – This shows the erection of the Shipton Station Master’s house. It is not clear whether this was the original building or the subsequent demolishing and re-erection as the last house on the right as one one leaves Shipton for Milton.
Slideshow of all 47 Slides
AWV Feb 2022