We all sat in a quandary as to what”Autochrome” was (Google it!), but it was more than adequately explained by our own Retford museum curator, Mrs Samantha Glasswell. All it is, is early 1900’s colour photography, but a most unusual process. The format is generated on a base of adhesive with coloured, fine potato starch grains. This form of photography was only available to the wealthy with lots of time and money to devote to the processing. The images were grainy by modern standards with good colour rendering but this only added to the intrigue of the pictures. The imagery was the work of a successful local Retford businessman and Mayor, Stephen Pegler. We were shown his colour photographs containing family pictures of the early 1900’s and around his residence, Amcott House which later became our museum. He was disabled by some problem since we saw his crutches in many photographs of country scenes even of local gardeners dressed in tie and waistcoat, but he still managed to take his tripod and camera on holiday to the Far East. The images showed the minute 18” corset waists of the fashionably young with their puffy dresses and the old chemist shops amongst so many interesting subjects. A fantastic pictorial display!
Wow! Our next meeting was a performance by John White as Henry VIII. I am sure all the Probus members who witnessed this memorable performance of the King in full costume were astounded by the way our national history was presented. Most of us, I am sure, will have forgotten our country’s past which we were taught at school a long time ago. This time we learnt that all the wives of Henry VIII were distantly related to him; why he divorced or executed so many of his wives and the trouble he went through hoping to create a male heir that lived. Henry’s costume cost £3000 and our presenter has two, one here and one in the United States where he regularly travels to, spending a month at a time, teaching the Americans their real history!
If you would like know more about our club and would like to join our newest member of this week then Google – Retford Mens Probus.