Monday, 28 November 2016

A Farming Photographer

Another sizeable gap in my blogging can at least be brought to a close for good reason.

Earlier this month, my father Lance Cole would've been 80 years old. I had for a good year and more planned to respect his memory, by writing an article about one of his life-long passions - photography.

I wrote about this passion in a blog post over 5 years ago back in 2011. A year later I blogged about my plan to preserve that legacy with modern media. It took me another year before his 900 or so slides were finally 'digitised' but I got there in the end as I reported back at the end of 2014.

Well, as is self-evident, my blog has remained woefully quiet of late and that is most certainly something I intend to rectify sooner rather than later.

Pembrokeshire Life Magazine
But in the meantime, I have greatly enjoyed taking the opportunity when chance has arisen and time allowed, to write articles for Pembrokeshire Life magazine.

They have consisted of snippets from almost 4 years of family history research which I found absorbing and stimulating. In 4 years, I have had 4 articles published in this popular monthly publication - one in each year since 2013 as it happens.

In 2013 I wrote an article about Dad's paternal Cole line from Pisgah and the lives of my gg-grandfather Johnny Cole and his brother Benny Cole who were stalwarts in Pisgah Chapel near Carew. It was published in the October edition of that year.

In 2014, I wrote an article in memory of my extraordinary maternal grandmother on the 50th anniversary of her death. It was published in the April edition which I blogged about at the time.

In 2015 I wrote about the 1844 Garden Pit Disaster at Landshipping which claimed the life of my ggg-grandfather James Davies whilst completely coincidentally, above ground the Clerk that day was another ggg-grandfather James Cole. At Whistun, I hosted a big family reunion of descendants related down from this James Cole including family from America, at the 'Doghouse' down at Lawrenny Quay. The article on the story and the reunion was published in the November edition.

I am extremely grateful to Pembrokeshire Life editor Keith Johnson for publishing these articles to date.

A Farming Photographer
But at the back of my mind for some time was my father's upcoming 80th birthday and my desire to bring to the wider attention of the local community, the story of this farmers love of photography and many of those photos that he took in the 1960s and 1970s.

But I couldn't tell the whole story, only that which I personally recalled in the 1980s and 1990s. To go back to the beginning of his odyssey in film, I needed the recollections of Patrick Jones, a distant family cousin who more importantly, shared that passion with my father and who worked with him on many a wedding and project in those formative years.

It took some years for us to get it together, but I was delighted when it was published in its entirety in this month's edition including one of Dad's photos being used on the back page. It has been great since to have heard from so many from the area who have taken great enjoyment from being reminded of those earlier days from the photos that he took back at that time.

I have re-published the 5 pages of that article in this blog post.

In this, what would've been his 80th year, William Lance Cole's legacy lives on.

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