This is a tale of curatorial incompetence. Someone gave me [EJW] this cutting at a village lunch early in 2020 BC (Before Coronavirus) and I have forgotten who ☹️ Sorry!

It doesn’t help that the cutting, which is from a glossy magazine printed on rather thin paper, doesn’t give the name or date of the publication. The only caption is, “A group of haymakers posing for the photographer in a field at Eversholt, about 1900.” But what photographer?

A reverse image search finds no hits.

The back of the cutting has a picture of a dandy in a doorway that finds no hits, plus a portrait that turns out to be of Arnold Bennett in 1911 by E O Hoppé. It’s hard to imagine that the haymakers picture is by Hoppé, since he didn’t arrive in the UK until 1900 and seems not to have started photography professionally until 1907. There is a Hoppé archive online but their search mechanism seems to be entirely broken. Anyway, I hope it’s not Hoppé, since he only died in 1972, so his work is still copyright.

I’m taking a chance and assuming this picture is out of copyright. Anyway, would you like to meet this lot on a dark night? Click for a bigger version.

Haymakers group photo

So far, we don’t know who any of them are, or where it was, or when. It could be anyone, anywhere. But if it is 1900, it is the earliest picture I know of showing Eversholt folk.

Does anyone know anything about this picture? Did you give it to me? Do you know who any are? Leave a comment!

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