We present the second blog by the Project Officer, Dr. Andrew Cusworth.
We would like to thank Mr. Everson’s family for the permission to make the collection available for everyone to enjoy on-line.
The largest of the Archive’s slide collections is that of Ronald Everson, ref. ADX/1489. It extends across thirteen boxes, each containing two hundred slides. Although only the slides most relevant to the Archive’s focus on Ceredigion have been digitized and uploaded, this number still measures some hundreds of images.
It seems that Everson took up photography as a hobby around 1969, partly in order to record his travels and his family. He took the hobby quite seriously, and was soon giving slideshows to local societies and clubs such as the Anglo-Welsh Society of Llanon; the narrative notes and slide orders for at least some of these talks survive in the collection.
In a slideshow billed as ‘WALES Land of Mountains, Castles, Lakes, and Seas’, and given on the 22nd of October 1974, Everson had this to say about his pastime: ‘It seemed a shame not to have pictures of my grand daughter and all these beautiful places so I bought myself a cheap camera. My only experience of photography had been to use a box camera as a boy.’
In a passage reminiscent of the amateur photographer’s mantra that ‘the best camera is the one you have with you,’ Everson reveals himself to have been beset by the photography bug: ‘I have not visited these places with the deliberate intention of taking photographs. I have had my camera with me just in case! I have learnt that it is fatal to go anywhere without a camera. You are certain to miss the picture of a lifetime.’
‘WALES Land of Mountains, Castles, Lakes, and Seas’ was arranged as an imaginary journey, with Everson as the tour guide – ‘Let us start in Aberystwyth and as we have many miles to travel we must get up early to see the sun rise and very early morning sunshine.’
‘There is only one place from which to view the town of Aberystwyth – Constitution Hill’
And so the slideshow continues through nearly two hundred slides, albeit that the narrative covers only a few pages. It seems that Everson gave quite a number of slideshows, though none are so thoroughly recorded as this one; rather, their remains consist of showing orders and titles of images. These other shows included ‘East Anglia, a tour along the Coast,’ ‘The English Scene,’ ‘Norway, Land of Fjords, and ’Views to please the eye, some near, some far.’ As these titles might indicate, the collection includes a wide range of images documenting landscapes, buildings, and even a Great Knaresborough Bed Race.
Returning to Ceredigion, we can be grateful that Everson’s hobby enabled him to capture some of the County’s life and scenes through his pictures, and that his family were pleased for the Archive to continue sharing them with a new audience online. Having spent quite a bit of time scanning the collection, here, in no particular order, are some of the images that I found most enjoyable.