‘Forgotten’ negatives show life in West Sussex

John Thomson holding one of the glass plate negatives
John Thomson holding one of the glass plate negatives

Images showing life in Sussex during the early 1900s have been discovered.

John Thomson ‘rescued’ more than 300 glass plate negatives from a skip about 11 years ago while working at a second hand bookshop that was having ‘a big clear out’.

The Bath resident, 40, said: “I saw them and I was quite inquisitive. I love old pictures and things – I rescued them,” he said.

Until a couple of months ago, the seven boxes of glass plates had remained ‘forgotten’ in his loft.

“I was doing some work upstairs so they had to come back down. It gave me some time to actually look at them.”

John believes the images were taken largely in Yapton and other areas of West Sussex and date back to around 1900/1910.

As well as family shots there are also travel images, including one of the Taj Mahal, India.

John has now started the Twitter account @FacesInTheLight – where he has shared some of the shots and is hoping historians can provide more details.

“It’s a bit of a mystery,” he said. “It’s an interesting collection – it’s just trying to fill in the blanks.”

He says interest is ‘picking up’ with groups such as Yapton & Ford Local History Group providing details.

“People are interested in it – certainly the mystery,” he said.