From 1898 to 1903 the Rev. Edward Dew (a Church of England Oxford graduate) worked as a chaplain at Trinity College in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was also an amateur photographer and giver of lectures. Fortunately for us his glass plate negatives of ‘The Warwickshire Avon’ found their way to Rugby Library and thence to Warwickshire County Record Office, where I was given the task of helping to catalogue them. I assume that he donated these photographs to Rugby Library when he left the county for pastures new. His subsequent career was spent in Herefordshire and Wales so we can confidently date his Warwickshire photographs to those few years around 1900.
A trip down the river Avon revisited
I decided to take a series of ‘after’ photographs to show the changes that have occurred over the past 115 years. I had great fun tracking down the exact spot where the Rev. Dew took his photographs (as best I could without trespassing). His photographs record a working river running through a rural landscape with mills every few miles. He shows us buildings that have disappeared completely, and others that have changed considerably. He also takes a sideways step now and then to some of the towns and villages near the Avon. I hope you will find this series of articles interesting. The picture above was the start of his collection of 50 photographs and is clearly the title for a lantern slide show. Strangely the photographs stop at Warwick, leaving out his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon, but maybe he gave another talk about Stratford for which the photos have been lost.
For this website I am omitting the first few photos (apart from the source itself) because they were taken in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.