Past on Glass (POG) is a project, led by the Heritage Services of Sutton library, to catalogue, digitise and where necessary restore some 10000 glass photographic plates. These were discovered in the basement of an opticians in Sutton, when the shop was being demolished as part of a road widening scheme.
Funding was given by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to recover some of the plates and this first grant, which is now complete, enabled about 4000 plates to be dealt with. Earlier this year Sutton Writers agreed to offer a letter of support, for a second funding application. This was to complete the recording of the plates but was also to include creative writing about the plates, to lead to a book, hopefully to be published in 2018, and to provide a series of writing classes. With our support a further £95000 was obtained from HLF.
The plates were produced by a local photographer, David Knights-Whittome, using the techniques of the time and were produced between 1900 and 1920. He had a shop in Sutton. He held royal warrants, from the British and also from the Portuguese royal families. An exhibition was held in the Europa Gallery, describing the project and exhibiting prints of many of the photographs.
A number of initiation workshops will be presented by Heritage Services, at dates to be finalised, to which Members of Sutton Writers will be invited.
This is a great opportunity for Sutton Writers to participate, in fact lead, a flagship writing project in the Borough, and it is to be hoped that all members will submit at least one, or as many as they wish, contributions.
There is no restriction on word count (within reason!). You can write a poem, story, play, fiction or non-fiction, you choose.
This was a tumultuous time for women in England and the working title for the project is, ‘Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times: Rediscovering the Female Portraits of David Knights-Whittome.’
This website tab, POG, will be used to update information as we know more, so please keep watching it. If you have any questions or please do send them in and we’ll post them for all to see.
An email address POGsuttonwriters@yahoo.com has been set up. If you email your pieces to this address, as Word attachments, they will be copied into a dummy book so that we can monitor progress. This is an inclusive exercise and offerings will only be rejected if they are completely outside the brief, or have unacceptable content (we will be broad minded!). Your work will not be accessible to all; only three committee members will have access to the email account, which will be regularly monitored. Please make your submissions with your name and email address, so that we can contact you.
There were a number of framed pictures which had been shown at the Europa Gallery exhibition.
The amount of material is huge, and although the second grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund is entitled ‘Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Times: Rediscovering the Female Portraits of David Knights- Whittome,’ we are at liberty to write about anything connected to the project ( apart from the photographer himself.)