A forgotten man is coming back to life in Llanfyllin. A chance find during a house clearance produced a set of magic lantern slides made by a Llanfyllin shopkeeper. 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 beautiful book about the shopkeeper which shows his pictures has now been produced.

The shopkeeper’s name was John Ellis Jones. The son of a ‘Bootmaker & Dealer’ in Leg Street in Oswestry, he became a commercial traveller working in London. Somewhere on his travels he met Laura Buckley, a dressmaker from Birmingham, and they married and moved to Llanfyllin. There they sold boots and shoes at Globe House on the High Street in the early years of the last century.

There are plenty of mysteries in this story. Why did John Ellis Jones take up hand-coloured photography? And why, after just a few years, did he suddenly stop? 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 for ever.

This book will be a wonderful present for anyone who wants to read an extraordinary story and see the world as it looked over a century ago. It is available, price £16.95, from ‘Daisy Blue’ on Llanfyllin’s town square, from Llanfyllin Library or from Pauline Page-Jones pauline@page-jones.com 07989766220.