Tunbridge Wells Through Time

A new delivery from the postman this morning gave me the idea to pop out and take some photos, and risk my life in the process.

Tunbridge Wells Through Time

There I was browsing Amazon after a sleep-deprived night, like you do, when I happened upon a brand new book about Tunbridge Wells. My fingers couldn't reach for that Buy Button fast enough. By now you are no doubt wondering what the photograph above and below have to do with that, well my dear reader, read on.

Tunbridge Wells Through Time

Tunbridge Wells Through Time book. Click to buy!

The book in question (pictured right) is called Tunbridge Wells Through Time by Robert Turcan and is basically 90-odd pages of old postcards with matching photographs taken from roughly the same angle, and when I say roughly I mean really roughly.

So, instead of filling this blog post with a postcard from my Tunbridge Wells Postcards blog with a matching photo today, I decided to get a bit arty about it and mush them together.

I chose a few photos from my postcard collection, the High Street seeming the nicest, and easiest, examples and ventured out with my camera. My choice of postcard was rather annoying when I arrived at my first spot as it seemed only possible to recreate it by standing in the middle of the road. Well I'd come too far to turn back now so I waited for innocent passers-by to press the Wait button on the Pelican crossing then dashed out into the traffic to click a few frames. It got me a few stares I can tell you but after about ten attempts I managed a pretty decent match.

Anyway, enough of the photos, back to the book. Well, errrr, it's probably not a book you'd spend hours reading again and again as it's sparse of interesting text and the photos are decidedly amateur. It's probably worth popping into the Christmas stocking for the Tunbridge Wells book collector in your life that has everything else but that's about all I can say, I'll leave you with the book's description and click the picture right if you want to buy it.

Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells' is a well worn cliche, however, it does encapsulate the genteel character of this Kentish spa. Before the popularity of sea bathing, holidaymakers gathered here to drink the waters for medicinal purposes.
The town grew to accommodate visitors with smart hotels and attractive terraces of Georgian and Victorian houses. The area's sandstone geology is revealed at Wellington and High Rocks and there is also evidence of Roman occupation in the town's roots.
Today a low crime rate, relatively full employment, attractive open spaces, good transport links to London and a vibrant retail sector have created a contented community. Changes to the townscape over the past century have been mostly sympathetic, but still very important.
The photographs in this book provide a fleeting view of Tunbridge Wells through time, and provide the reader with a fascinating tour of this Kentish spa's eclectic past and present.

At least it got me out taking photos, what do you think of them?

11 Comments so far. Why not leave yours?

I bet Grosvenor Park isn't featured!

Chris, these are brilliant - I love the way you mixed old and new together, very innovative! Looks like you found a new project for the iMac ;)

Thanks Paul, a lovely compliment comment.

Your pics are very impressive, well done. That task must have taken much time & patience! Thank you for sharing them with us. :)

Thanks Sue, that is very kind of you to say. It was much fun.

I really like these, they are like a time travel story. I hope you are inspired to do more.

Thanks Clare, a lovely thing to say, I think I will do more as they were fun, to do.

Personally, I think a book of these photos you took would be far more interesting. Brilliant!

This is brilliant. I think a book is on the cards and could you come to Tonbridge and do one here too to show how it was actually once a town full of character. Sadly all lost to road widening by various councils.

Thanks TD! It is actually quite an easy technique to do, why dont you give it a go?

To enhance the accuracy of this book page 58 would be better shown as-
Heading:- Views across the common to St Peters.
Last Sentence:- In the recent snapshot below, the spectaclar spire of St Peters can be seen rising into the sky well above the tree line.

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Hello

  • I am a spritely 30-something living with my beautiful wife in the most fabulous town in the entire world, Royal Tunbridge Wells.

    We love to soak up the culture, the lifestyle, the nature, the history, the people, the art, the architecture, and the countryside in this idyllic part of the Weald, and because we love our town so much we made our blogs to share it with the rest of you.

    If you have any questions, comments or suggestions then please get in touch by sending us an email or if you are on Twitter then you can tweet me at @ankertw.

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