‘A Hotch Potch, a medley of things instructive and amusing’ is perhaps how Henry Taunt would have introduced this section. It is a group of photographs that individually could have come under other headings but as a selection they capitalize on the idiosyncrasies of the period. Henry Taunt was by nature a traditionalist and he was aware that the encroachment of nineteenth-century industrialization was rapidly changing the scenes he could remember of his boyhood days in the 1850s. I believe that it was in his mind that the established lifestyle with its strict social order was destined for change and perceptively he recorded it with his camera. He shows us the customs associated with the seasons of the year, street entertainers and processions, various means of transport and people at their work. The country gentry amuse themselves at a game of living bridge played on the lawns of Faringdon House, at the Faringdon Flower Show, Berkshire, July 1906. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig140.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> The village children in a May Day procession at Iffley near Oxford in 1906. The traditions at Iffley were well established, with their own songs preserved at the school. The girls wore white starched dresses with blue or pink sashes and wreathes of flowers on their heads. The boys carried coloured wooden staves dressed with flowers and ribbons. The whole court consisted of about forty children including the King and Queen, maids of honour, treasurers, garlanders, guards, mace-bearers and two bigger boys as policemen to keep order. The May Queen during this particular year was my wife’s great aunt, Phyllis Ludlow. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig141.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> The Bidford Men, Morris Dancers at Chipping Campden, <italic>c</italic>. 1890. This was a well-known group with Clown and Hobby Horse and are still noted for their last dance called ‘Morrice off’ which continued as long as the leader had breath. The dancers come from Shakespeare’s ‘Drunken Bidford’, a village between Stratford and Evesham. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig142.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> A May Day procession of drays belonging to Hall’s Oxford brewery company, which has now been taken over. Magdalen Bridge in the background looks wider than it should and I think has been the subject of Taunt’s artistic licence. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig143.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> The Druids’ float in an Oddfellows’ procession on Magdalen Bridge on Whit Monday 1898. The Noble Arch and Bards in full dress are seated beneath an oak tree. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig144.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> A group of Oxford University Rifle Volunteers at their annual camp on Headington Hill in the 1880s. The grounds were at the home of their colonel, G. H. Morrell <sc>m.p</sc>. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig145.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> A typical group of farmers outside a Conservative Committee Room in North Berkshire, December 1910. The Conservative candidate, Major Henderson, was returned for a second time in that year of two general elections. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig146.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> A one-man band, on the right of the photograph, with musical companion and monkey at a Buckinghamshire village, <italic>c</italic>. 1900. To the village children, the one-man band was the eighth wonder of the world. He played drum, cymbals, bells, pipes, triangle and concertina all at once whilst his companion, with the monkey in a brightly coloured fez, marched gaily up and down the street taking round the collecting box. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig147.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> An exotic country spectacle was the travelling bear, here seen outside an Oxfordshire inn, <italic>c</italic>. 1900. The entertainment was announced by a blast on the bugle, and the bear, chained to his master, invariably a Russian or Pole, would dance and catch the stick when it was thrown to him. Man and beast slept in any barn or shed available to them. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig148.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> <italic>previous page</italic> This special coaching party, with coach and four, is a good illustration of wealthy Victorian society at leisure. Destined for Faringdon, they are photographed outside the Queen’s Hotel, Abingdon, <italic>c</italic>. 1885. The building is now largely demolished. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig149.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig149a.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> A Fire Brigade camp and review held in August 1898 at Blenheim Park, Woodstock. This photograph shows the Leyton Brigade, proud winners of the Steamer Shield, with a Merryweather ‘Greenwich Gem’ Steamer. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig150.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> Taunt has ably captured the elegance of this Edwardian town carriage or landaulette, probably made by the New Engine Company of Acton in 1906. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig151.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> The inventive genius of the last century is typified by Taunt’s photograph of an amphibious boat at Cricklade, Wiltshire, <italic>c</italic>. 1870. The craft was devised to navigate the shallows of the upper Thames and could also travel on land. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig152.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> The printing works of the Church Army Press in Cowley, Oxford, <italic>c</italic>, 1905. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig153.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig153a.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> Workmen grinding the clay, an important process in canal building near Siddington, Gloucestershire, for the reconstruction of part of the Thames & Severn canal, September 1904. The clay in this state is used for ‘puddling’, a method of building up a firm bank of clay. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig154.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> Roadmakers replacing kidney stones outside Henry Taunt’s Broad Street shop in 1881. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig155.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> A beautiful photograph of six oxen ploughing near the River Windrush in the Cotswolds, <italic>c</italic>. 1895. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig156.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig156a.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> A mower carrying his scythe home at the end of the day at Lower Guiting by the Windrush, <italic>c</italic>. 1895. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig157.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> The Jersey herd in the grounds of Headington Hill Hall, the home of the Morrells. One of the milk maids is set for work with her pail and stool. It was common-place to take the pail to the cow rather than the cow to the milk shed. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig158.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/>  

A village blacksmith shoeing a horse, c. 1885. This is going on outside the smithy, probably to afford Taunt a better light for his photograph. The smith’s job was a vital task in an era when communication and agriculture depended largely on the horse.

Myself, my family, my generation, were born in a world of silence; a world of hard work and necessary patience, of backs bent to the ground, hands massaging the crops, of waiting on weather and growth; of villages like ships in the empty landscapes and the long walking distances between them; of white narrow roads, rutted by hooves and cart-wheels, innocent of oil and petrol, down which people passed rarely, and almost never for pleasure, and the horse was the fastest thing moving. Man and horse were all the power we had – abetted by levers and pulleys. But the horse was king, and almost everything grew around him: fodder, smithies, stables, paddocks, distances and the rhythm of our days. His eight miles an hour was the limit of our movements, as it had been since the days of the Romans. That eight miles an hour was life and death, the size of our world, our prison.

https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig159.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> Laurie Lee, Cider with Rosie, 1959 A shepherd with his flock and faithful sheepdog, near the Oxfordshire village of Horsepath around the turn of the century. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig160.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/> White and purple fritillaries, a common-place wild flower around Oxford in the last century, now becoming rare. https://s3-euw1-ap-pe-df-pch-content-public-u.s3.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/9781315620305/e2ec808d-9635-4b06-b997-8f6566449ba2/content/fig161.jpg" xmlns:xlink="https://www.w3.org/1999/xlink"/>