Our Thelwall Heritage Discovery Weekend in October 2018 prompted a great suggestion – why don’t we take pictures of Thelwall residents outside their front doors? Old photos from the late 1800s of Admiral John Parry Jones Parry at the door of Thelwall Hall and Rachel Seddon standing at the gate of her cottage on Bell Lane were good models. Bearing in mind the 11th centenary of the ‘city of Thelwall’ in 2023, making a start on a photographic record of Thelwall today seemed a good idea especially if we could capture residents’ experience and memories of life and work in Thelwall at the same time. Planning started and then came COVID lockdown in March – would this project even get off the ground?
Thanks to Sue Lees and Mike Moss we now have a great record of Thelwall during the spring and summer of 2020. Every household that took part received a mounted collage print and a contact sheet of the pictures Mike took on his visit. From long-standing residents and those who’ve just recently moved here, we’re now compiling highlights from the questionnaire returns on life in Thewall .
"It all started in early February with an informal chat in the Little Manor. Myself (Mike Moss), Maggie Taylor and Sue Lees discussed the idea of photographing residents in front of their homes in Thelwall. It seemed like a great idea (how hard could that be) and I was keen to be involved and contribute where I could with an already busy schedule. Little did I know it would turn into a quite a large lockdown project, and it’s been fantastic. We started with photographing a sample home and I created several templates for the collage print. Once the final design was agreed, we set out to capture Thelwall and our residents. Sue and I headed out over 12 separate days, dealt with rain, hail and heatwaves and captured 52 homes, over 130 residents and several pet dogs! I then edited over 1500 photographs, created 52 collage prints, 52 online galleries, 52 contact sheet prints and mounted and packaged them all ready for Sue to deliver them (Thanks Sue!). I’ve only lived in Thelwall for about 12 years and we moved here because of the lovely village, great schools and friendly community. It was really nice to meet so many residents and hear stories about their life in Thelwall. I only wish Sue and I had more time to talk when we were at each home. Here’s an idea, maybe for 2023 we can get more residents to take their own photographs for the 11th centenary. Maybe time for another informal chat in the pub with Maggie and Sue…..when we can! "
For the residents who took part in the project and haven’t had chance to view all the pictures online, check out the letter with your collage print for your gallery password and Click Here >
Thanks to those who took part - Hope you enjoy the Thelwall Community gallery!