Place de l’Eglise

Just over a year ago, I bought a book* about the history of the Haute-Vienne departément of France, illustrated by old postcards. It’s a fascinating series of snapshots of life a hundred years ago and more in what is still a very rural area of the country.

I had a fancy to find the locations of, and try to reproduce, these postcard images. This project, which I rather grandly call ‘Autrefois’ (literally ‘another time’), hasn’t really got off the ground yet, although there is one post extant in the thread. However, Cee’s challenge of posting a sepia image this week gives me an ideal opportunity to double my output.

Our local village is called Mézières-sur-Issoire, and this is an old postcard of the church, reproduced from the book:

Church PC

And here is my take on it. As you can see, not that much has changed over the past hundred years or so, apart from the ubiquity of the motor vehicle and the related signage. The space in front of the church is now commonly used as a car-park, so I counted myself lucky that there was only one van (which actually belongs to one of the builders who did most of the renovation work on our house) there when I went along with my camera.

Church ed

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Sepia

* Fabienne Texier & Paul Colmar: ‘La Haute-Vienne Il ya 100 ans en cartes postales anciennes’

Autrefois: Bussiere-Poitevine

This is the first post in a new category of ‘Autrefois’, in which I’ve tried to reproduce, as closely as possible, the modern look of views shown on old picture postcards of the Haute Vienne departément.

Bussiere-Poitevine: the tram station

Between the two wars, there was an extensive tram network in the Limousin region. Today very little remains, apart from some of the old stations (gares), with their distinctive checkered brickwork around doors and windows and corners.

Bussiere gare PC

The gare at Bussiere-Poitevine is one of the better-preserved and now does service as a municipal building.

Bussiere gare ed


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Bussiere-Poitevine: Maison Leger Montel

I’ve no idea what kind of shop Maison Leger Montel was, although when the picture for the postcard was taken they had a sale (‘Soldes’) on.

Bussiere shop PC

Today, it’s a hairdressers.

Buss shop ed

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