Society's boost from collector
The Alfred Williams Heritage Society has been boosted by support from Swindon's foremost postcard collector.
Paul Williams, who is descended from Alfred's sister, Laura, and is Chairman of The Swindon Society, not only has a vast collection of historic postcards taken by Swindon photographer William Hooper, but holds the copyright of photos taken by Hooper, who died in 1955, aged 91.
Paul has generously allowed the society access to his collection, which also includes probably the largest private collection of Alfred Williams-related material, including photographs, letters, typed manuscripts and other documents.
Graham Carter, Vice-Chair of the society, said Paul's collection would help spread knowledge about Alfred.
He said: "Paul not only has a fantastic collection of historical material, but is very keen to let other people see it. He has kindly allowed us to reproduce it under his copyright, and we shall be adding it to the website shortly.
"It includes typed manuscripts of previously unpublished poems which we will naturally also be taking a look at, and as well as other items specifically linked to Alfred's life, Paul's collection also includes postcards showing the areas featured in his writings. These include views of the villages in the area, and these, importantly, date from the time that Alfred was actually visiting them and writing about them."
One photo in the connection is a copy of a rarely seen portrait of Alfred, taken by Swindon photographers Viner & Shilk, when he was still a young man. This is shown in detail and discussed here.