William Escott Collins was rector of Eversholt from 1900 to 1937.
Extraordinarily, William’s personal photo album from around 1900-1910 has come down to us, and was lent for scanning by Anna Blomfield. The album contains pictures of Oakley, where he was curate before 1900. Then there are pictures of the Old Rectory, Hills End, and of the building work to enlarge the New Rectory, Church End, which is the building called “Linden House” in 2011. Apparently, William moved into the Old Rectory and watched the New Rectory being created for him, then moved into it. The photos from the album are in very poor condition, because they were improperly developed and have mostly faded away. The copies presented here have been photoshopped rather severely.
The album contains various holiday snaps. William went on holiday to Ireland, and the pictures paint a fascinating social record. William labels the people “Irish peasants”, and there’s a dramatic contrast between the 5-star hotels where William stayed and the 1-star hovels of the “peasants”. I imagine it must be like going to Gambia on holiday today. It’s not surprising the Irish people were not in favour of rule from England. I (EJW) have only included one of those pictures in the album, since they’re not about Eversholt.
I’m a bit confused about the copyright issues on the photos in the album. Copyright on photos expires 70 years after the death of the photographer, or 70 years after the photo was taken if the photographer is not known. Some of these photos – perhaps all of them – were not taken by William, since he appears in them. Plus, I don’t know when William died, although he retired as rector in 1937. So, I’m going to say I don’t know the photographer, and it’s definitely more than 70 years since they were taken, and publish them. Copy these photos by all means, but use them at your own risk!
[remaining to do: upload the full set of images at better resolution, for posterity.]
Click the gallery below for bigger pictures. The captions seem to have disappeared 🙁
There is also a picasa gallery of the same pictures here. That works OK, but we’re desperately trying to wrest control of our pictures for the website back from google!