Past meets present in series of photographic 'mash-ups'

Chester cameraman Bob Hadfield reflects on how city has changed over past 100 years

The Exchange early 1800s vs 2014 by Bob Hadfield

A Chester photographer is creating a buzz on Twitter with his pictorial 'mash-ups' of past with present.

A couple of years ago Bob Hadfield came across work that a cameraman in San Francisco had created.

He had merged photos of the devastation caused by the 1906 earthquake with pictures he had taken of the exact scene today.

Bob said: “I thought that was very clever, and realised that (for good or for bad) so much has actually changed in Chester in the past hundred years or so. Wouldn't it be interesting to create images that answer the question ‘What if it still stood today?’ I've been creating these 'mash-ups' ever since.”

 

What started as just a hobby, alongside professional photography, gained a positive reaction from the people who saw them. After deciding to pursue this idea further he has now sold quite a few.

One of the ‘mash-ups’ which has arguably received the most interest shows how the Old Market Hall would have looked if it hadn't been demolished in the 60s.

Bob added: “Many people just do not realise it was like that in the market square, so I think it's a very interesting way to show the history of our city.”

Another piece, the photo of Northgate Street in 1972 with a moped coming towards you, was used by local band The Daymons as the cover to their latest EP This Time Around .

When Bob came across the Lego Chester models, currently on display at Funky Aardvark on Bridge Street Row, he was inspired to give it a ‘mash-up’ too.

He said: “I had to take a picture of it, and I'm really pleased how it turned out. I don't want to steal the thunder of what is a fantastic piece of work, my aim with this is to celebrate it."

Bob Hadfield’s photography will be on display and available to buy at the antiques fair in Northgate Arena on March 29 and he will be having an exhibition on July 25 at Handel's Court Gallery.

 
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