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Book will capture Cheltenham history

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: October 30, 2009

Cheltenham photographer David Hanks

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David Hanks is offering people the chance to become part of history.

The keen amateur photographer and historian is working on what will be his second book. Called Cheltenham Past and Present, it will include 80 old pictures of the town and 80 from the present day.

Mr Hanks will show the similarities and differences between the Cheltenham in pictures taken as long ago as the 1860s and the town today.

The images from the 1860s onwards will be from pictures that pre-date postcards. Other images will be from postcards from 1902 onwards.

About half will be from Mr Hanks' own collection and many will feature High Street. A map showing it as the backbone of the town as far back as 1776 will be included.

Over the next six months, he will take pictures in roughly the same locations as the 80 old ones and hopes people will appear in his pictures, in much the same way as members of the public appear in many of the old images.

He said: "If anyone is interested in participating with a cameo role in this bit of living history, here's their opportunity.

"It will not be a formal posed shot, just a casual walk through the street as I take the modern picture.

"This will at least ensure a few identifiable local people are included, both for current interest and in years to come.

"It will enable their descendants to point out some known and identifiable ancestors in the book, though it should be made clear that names will not be included in the picture captions."

Mr Hanks has to send the pictures to Brimscombe-based publisher The History Press by April, in time for it to get the book out for Christmas 2010.

He will only receive £1 for each copy, which will cost £9.99, but he says he is not doing it to make money.

The retired 61-year-old, of Charlton Park, is a member of the Cheltenham Local History Society and collects and publishes old pictures as a hobby.

He will email anyone who wants to be in his pictures the details of where and when he will take them. He can be contacted on dave@cotswold- images.co.uk.

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