We Are Great Paxton

Initially the idea was to record the present as the history of the future, wouldn't it be fascinating to have pictures from 1920 (say) of people in the village standing in front of their houses (your house)? Then lockdown happened and prompted by a BBC article, I thought I'd give it a go. If ten households joined in it would be worth it, within a day there were over forty.

In the end there were over 100 households who have had their picture taken by myself, Charlotte Black and Shruta and Kartik Patel who kindly volunteered to help reach all those who wanted to take part when I was getting a bit overwhelmed.

It soon became apparent that the more immediate value of a family portrait in front of the house was another benefit of this lockdown project particularly as many don't have such a picture (we didn't). The world on pause meant that households were all at home at the same time and those elusive times when everyone is together could happen much more easily.

The Exhibition and archive

I raised money to have the pictures printed by selling engraved Great Paxton 1020-2020 items and Christmas decorations from the Christmas lights switch-on event last year, so a big thank you to anyone who purchased anything and helped this happen.

The exhibition took place in September 2021 during the weekend of the Scarecrow Festival.

Following the exhibition the A4 sized pictures were sold to raise money for church maintenance. A5 pictures will be printed with the family and house rather than a focus on closer portraits which will go into a village archive to provide a record of the village in 2020.

Some of the pictures

If you want to be part of this:

Contact me by , text (07483 815160) or via the village FaceBook group with your name and address and an indicator of when you are available for me to come round, a few suggestions as I may not be able to make just one date.

In readiness for the photo shoot, please write your name (family) and address on a piece of paper (A4, big letters) to hold up in the first picture, email address would be good on this too. I will take a few pictures from various distances, just the people in front of the front door and then a little further away with the house for the "historical" shot, one day someone will be fascinated by these people who lived in this house 50-100 years ago or more. If you can move any cars out of the way first that would be helpful, imagine I'm taking a picture of your door from about 20 feet away, I need a car-free area for that distance.

I  will email you all of the pictures I take, one picture will appear in the exhibition and all the pictures will eventually be stored in the village archive in some format.