A selection of Swindon images taken in 1957 will go on display at the Central Library on Thursday, 1 June.
Taken by architectural historian Andor Gomme during a visit in March of that year as part of his research into townscapes, the images are a small selection from the Historic England Archive’s Andor Gomme Collection.
Gomme’s photographs show historic buildings in Swindon town centre, the Railway Village and Old Town. They also record Walcot East, Park South, and Old Walcot - the new housing estates which were being constructed as Swindon grew east of the town centre.
Austin Harvey (Andor) Gomme (1930-2008) was Emeritus Professor of English Language and Architectural History at the University of Keele. He was chair of the Society for Architectural Historians of Great Britain and editor of its journal Architectural History.
During the 1950s Gomme travelled widely across the country, recording the built environment. The photographs he took at that time, now held by the Historic England Archive, depict the towns and villages of England during a period of rapid change.
This change was driven by a combination of factors; the after effects of the war, the growing importance of the car and a drive to modernise.
The collection reflects this, providing a record of traditional market towns and modern urban centres.
The Historic England Archive’s Andor Gomme Collection contains around 30,000 photographs of towns and villages in England and Wales, taken from the 1950s to the 1990s.
The collection is a record of townscapes at a time of redevelopment and changes to historic town centres.
The free exhibition will run until 31 July, and details of opening times can be found at https://www.swindon.gov.uk/info/20026/libraries/302/local_studies_local_history_and_genealogy.
To discover more about Andor Gomme and to explore the collection, people can visit https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/archive/collections/photographs/andor-gomme-collection/
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