Dark Lane Village 1840

1840 Dark Lane Village Mixed Media.  120 x 120 x 30 mm

May 30th 1840

Sweet Little One,

It has been many days since I left you and all my friends at Dark Lane, the travel is difficult and tiring, but my father has insisted that I visit many more pig-iron foundries, before I return home.  I find it very weary.  However, my tour of such places is equipping me with many fine subjects for my photography, I have many plates of both children and women for my collection, my skills as a photographer are growing daily ,and I look to showing both you and Mr Botfield of my pictorial studies.  I of course miss my sweet little one.  I have given this letter to a trusted friend inside another missive so we can be as circumspect as possible from my family.  They constantly remind me of my duties to my betrothed, and it is essential that we keep up secrecies so not to alarm them. But know flower petal, that my heart is yours and despite my fathers wishes, I intend not to be an engineer but be a reported photographer and live with you in your fair England.  Until we meet again my love.  MB. [letter artefact]

Developed in response to a local historian’s publication (Dark Lane: The forgotten Village of Telford by Dennis J. Rogers) found in Telford’s Southwater Public Library.  The village was torn down to make way for the new town of Telford in 1960.  Dark Lane Village is an artefact that reveals a love story between a local girl and a European industrialist visiting the region.  It was used to inspire children at a primary school, in a creative, investigation of their local heritage.


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