THE life and times of Ellesmere Port over the last 150 years will be captured on a new photographic resource available online today.
Cheshire Image Bank (CIB) is an amalgamation of the extensive photographic collections held by the former county and Chester City councils at the Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Department and Chester History and Heritage.
Officers and volunteers have spent the past 18 months cataloguing the 22,000 photographs on one database at www.cheshireimagebank.org.uk.
Linda Clarke, Cheshire’s Archives and Local Studies Advisor, said: “CIB will picture the people, places and events that have shaped the industrial and social history of Ellesmere Port and Cheshire almost from the birth of photography in the 1850s.
“Researchers will be able to download a low resolution picture free of charge but there will be a fee for commercial organisations that may want to reproduce photographs from our collection in their publications.”
Elaine Pierce-Jones, heritage officer at Chester History and Heritage, added: “Our photographs will unlock a treasure house of history and, for many, memories as well.
“Pictures of people, streets and buildings illustrate all aspects of Cheshire, from the social and industrial features of communities at work and at play, to transport education and religion.”
“We have an extensive compilation of photographs, prints, maps and other historic images showing a way of life long since disappeared- pubs, shops, factories and schools vanished from our towns and villages, markets, houses, chapels and churches changed beyond recognition, together with long-forgotten events,” she explained.
CIB will be formally launched at Chester History and Heritage HQ in St Michael’s Church on Bridge Street, Chester on May 4 with an open afternoon featuring displays, stalls and advice from the experts.
The CIB website gives full details of how to search the photographs and how copies can be ordered. You can visit it at www.cheshireimagebank.org.uk