THE work of a forgotten man and a forgotten artist is coming back to life in Llanfyllin this weekend.

A chance find during a house clearance produced a set of magic lantern slides made by a Llanfyllin shopkeeper called John Ellis Jones.

The slides had been skilfully hand-tinted to wonderful effect, thus producing the first colour photographs of the town and the surrounding area long before colour film became available.


A book about the shopkeeper, called A Golden Summer in Llanfyllin, shows his pictures and has now been produced and is being launched at the beginning of next month.

Author Richard Kretchmer said while it is an opportunity to take a trip back in time to late Victorian times in the town, there is also plenty for the keenest mind to untangle.

He added: “The shopkeeper’s name was John Ellis Jones and he sold boots and shoes on the High Street in the early years of the last century.

“There are plenty of mysteries in this story.

“Who was John Ellis Jones? Why did he take up hand-coloured photography?

“And why, after just a few years, did he suddenly stop? What was life like at that time?

County Times:

“This book opens a door into a golden summer in Llanfyllin, before the horrors of the First World War changed the world forever.

“This book will be a wonderful Christmas present for anyone who wants to read an extraordinary story and see the world as it looked over a century ago. “

A Golden Summer in Llanfyllin by Richard Kretchmer will be launched at the Llanfyllin Institute on Saturday, November 4 with an exhibition and refreshments.