Local History Society

 Picture Gallery


Nicky Ford's postcards of old Arborfield

Martin Shearn's postcards of old Arborfield

Martin Shearn's photos of Arborfield in the 1960's and 1970's

The Swan
Photo Album of
snow-covered Arborfield

H. A. Giles Collection at Reading Local Studies Library




We hope to publish photographs donated by members and supporters. If you have a photograph of somewhere or someone connected with the parishes of Arborfield or Newland, please contact us. 

Photos and Plans at Reading Local Studies Library

Reading Local Studies Library, on the top floor of the main Reading Library in Kings Road, is creating an on-line library of scanned images. They have several which cover Arborfield. Click here to view them.

By mid-2006, the Library had scanned a large collection of postcards from H. A. Giles. You can either view them direct from the Library site, or click on the links listed here.


The Collier Collection

The Museum of English Rural Life has a large set of negatives from the Collier Collection of Arborfield.  The Local History Society has purchased copies of them for display at exhibitions.

We now have permission to publish these particular images on the web. Click here for a visual treat!

In addition, some of the photographs did find their way into other publications such as the Arborfield Hall Sale documents, which you can see on the Auctions pages., and postcards, which are widely available. Both Nicky Ford's and Martin Shearn's collections include some Collier images that never made their way to the Rural Life Museum collection.

The Museum has this entry in its on-line catalogue:

"Phillip Osborne Collier (1881-1979) came to Reading from Windsor late in the 1890's. He began work as a Trainee Electrician at the Royal County Theatre, Friar Street. From 1916-1918 Collier served in the Royal Flying Corps as a cook. During the Second World War Collier became a Special Constable. From the 1920's Collier worked for the Berkshire Chronicle (now the Reading Chronicle), the Reading Standard and the Berkshire Mercury in addition to freelance work. For two periods in the mid 1920's and again in the 1930's Collier worked in partnership with Eric Guy, a Basingstoke Photographer and the partners' work appeared in the magazines Farmer's Weekly and Farmer and Stockbreeder. They worked from premises in Waylen Street, Reading and 106, Oxford Street, Reading. Collier also produced cigarette cards, greetings cards, calendars and scenic real postcards.

Appraisal - Collier worked prolifically, and seems to have destroyed many of the negatives he created at some time before 1945. Many more were destroyed after his death.

The Rural History Centre purchased the negatives from Philip Osborne Collier's daughter."

This is a rather battered Christmas postcard showing several views from the Collier Collection.  It probably sold well among the many domestic staff living in the big houses early in the early 1900's. Scroll across and see several images familiar to those who know the local postcard collections:

Top left: Arborfield Bridge and Lodge - see the reflections in the River Loddon;
Centre left: Another view of Arborfield Bridge and the Lodge - no traffic to spoil the stroll;
Bottom left: The Old Church from the Nave - the Conroy Chapel is in good condition, with a roof;
Centre: St. Bartholomew's Church;
Top right: The River Loddon at Arborfield Hall;
Centre right: The Reading Room, Church Lane;
Bottom right: Arborfield Court, probably taken after 1910. 

- See if you can spot the original images on the Collier page!

Arborfield Bridge and Lodge Christmas greetings from Arborfield

We are grateful to Nicky Ford, who has allowed us to share some postcards from her collection that fill in some significant gaps. See these postcards by clicking here.

Martin Shearn was Parish Clerk from 1964 to 1982, and has built up a good collection of old postcards, plus a set of photographs of the village from his time as Clerk. Many thanks to Martin for allowing us to show these pictures.

Thanks also to the Swan P.H. for their photo album of snow scenes around the village in about 1960

We are grateful to June Lucy, who's presented us with a series of slides showing the Fete held at the new park on Swallowfield Road in 1976. It had been open a couple of years, and the trees and shrubs were very sparse compared with today. Because of the drought that summer, the grass was like a newly-mown hay-field.


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