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Start of a Beautiful Frienship


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Start of a Beautiful Frienship

20 Oct 2020 12:19AM   Views : 466 Unique : 352

A beautiful friendship with Haddon Hall in Derbyshire started with an old picture in a 1901 issue of The Practical and Pictorial Photographer. This showed an interior scene of the hall. We also had an old glass lantern slide that showed The Dorothy Vernon Steps, Haddon Hall, which seemed a bit mysterious. So I wrote to Haddon Hall asking if I could go and shoot the same scenes today, and the manager there, who was a bit of a Haddon Historian, said come along before we open. So we did.

The first image, the interior one, was totally the same as the 1901 image, even down to the same antlers being on the wall. An old table has moved, but that was the only difference.

The new image was shot on a Pentax MX with SMC Pentax 24mm f/2.8 lens, using Acupan 200 film processed in FX-39 developer.

The Dorothy Vernon steps revealed something I hadn't thought about. These days people seek out locations where films and TV series are shot and they become attractions. Fans of Peaky Blinders might want to head to check out Arley Hall for example. Well, people did the same thing in the early 1900s, but in this case they visited Haddon Hall to see the steps that Dorothy Vernon left by in a key moment of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera. Who knew? We certainly didn't and it was a curiosity indeed.

The same kit was used for the new shot of the steps. Any Gilbert and Sullivan fans will be glad to know the steps are still there and open to walk up and down as well as look at. It seems the things people do don't really change much.

The point of this is that a simple image in an old magazine created a project, interested more than just us, led to a trip over to Derbyshire which was a great day and made us familiar with a great place to visit. We have had two or maybe three ADAPS trips to haddon and had a great time there.

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