Llanfyllin Institute hosted the launch of a book about the first artist to capture the town in colour photographs.

On Saturday, November 4, Llanfyllin Mayor Cllr Peter Lewis attended the launch of ‘A Golden Summer in Llanfyllin’ by Richard Kretchmer, a book devoted to shining a spotlight on the works of one of Llanfyllin’s forgotten artists.

John Ellis Jones was a 19th century Llanfyllin shopkeeper who produced a set of magic lantern slides. The slides had been skilfully hand-tinted to create the first colour photographs of the town and the surrounding area. This was all long before colour film would become widely available.

The slides were re-discovered by chance during a house clearance sale and have now been compiled in the book by Richard Kretchmer, but outside of the photographs themselves there are plenty of mysteries in the story.


Mr Ketchmer said: “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?

“Also, what was life like at that time? 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.”

Llanfyllin Mayor Peter Lewis attended the book launch at the Llanfyllin Institute.

He said: “Congratulations to Richard Kretchmer who wrote the book with help from Pauline Page Jones and Dave Goodman.

“It features some stories and some fantastic unseen photographs of the pre-First World War environment around Llanfyllin.”

The book is available from ‘Daisy Blue’ in Llanfyllin town square, from Llanfyllin Library or from Pauline Page-Jones via email at pauline@page-jones.com or by calling 07989766220.