Cornish Camera: celebrating Cornish community life in years gone by


05 December 2022
Cornish Camera is a new local history project that is exploring life in Bodmin in years gone by, using historic images from the George Ellis image collection.

The project, from Kresen Kernow – Cornwall’s Archives - uses images from the George Ellis collection to explore Bodmin’s working class history. For this project, Kresen Kernow is working in partnership with intoBodmin, a community interest company established in 2017 to bring about greater community cohesion and local pride through arts and culture.
The George Ellis collection contains 95,000 glass plate negatives, covering 1939-82, and is one of the most representative collections held by the archives. It includes images of individuals and families, weddings, shops and business, community and major events. The pictures also have the benefit of being largely within living memory; the project organisers hope that the images will spark discussion and sharing, having a positive impact on wellbeing, creativity and connection.
The archives have also been digitising some of Ellis’s Bodmin-based glass plate negatives and film as part of this work. Selected themes have included young people, out and about in Bodmin and the Bodmin Royal Cornwall Show. 

The images featured here have been digitised in partnership with IntoBodmin, funded by the Historic England’s Everyday Heritage Grant scheme.

Find out more at Kresen Kernow.

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Image: First female Mayor of Bodmin, Mrs Esme M Dawe, shaking hands with Mrs Wills, Chairman of Wadebridge Rural District Council with a crowd cheering around them at Dunmere, Bodmin. Part of the Bodmin Beating the Bounds ceremony dated 17 Apr 1963. [KK ref. no: GE/2/E/47980].