Time-travelling images bring Rugby's past into the present - The Rugby Observer

Time-travelling images bring Rugby's past into the present

Rugby Editorial 12th Dec, 2019 Updated: 12th Dec, 2019   0

HISTORY has been brought to life – and into the present – by a Rugbeian who has created a series of unique images of the town.

Former professional photographer Mark Hickman first came up with the idea of combining vintage photographs from the beginning of the 20th century with his own modern pictures of the town last year.

He painstakingly spliced the antique photos with his own – taken from the same viewpoints – to create a collection of pictures of Rugby landmarks in which faces from the past and present come together.

North Street, then and now.

It started as a labour of love for the IT professional, who initially used the images in a 2019 calendar for his friends and family – but interest from other Rugbeians has prompted him to release a book full of new images in time for Christmas.




Rugby: Moments in Time features more of Mark’s trademark time-travelling images, alongside a written history of Rugby.

The 56-year-old from Hillmorton said he got the idea after seeing the original photographs with which he worked.


He said: “I saw these Victorian pictures and I was quite impressed by them. I realised that lots of the buildings and background scenery were very similar to what we have today.

Mark Hickman spliced antique photos with his own to create pictures in which faces from Rugby’s past and present come together.

“I realised that there is quite a bit that hasn’t changed. Some things such as fashions have changed, but many of the buildings are still the same as they were.

“Whether that’s unique to Rugby I don’t know, but it gave me the idea of going out and taking pictures from exactly the same viewpoint and then combining the two.”

Mark found good-quality copies of the old photographs, and decided to use photos of the places he recognised – especially ones with people in them.

“It just seemed interesting to compare it to the modern day environment,” he said. “It was a matter of working out where the picture was actually taken from.

“I’d get the original picture printed out to start off with, and then find roughly where the right place was and take my picture from there.

“I also tried to get something of interest in the modern pictures, and had to make sure the lighting was right so that I could match the two together. The rest of it was done in Photoshop.”

Mark said it just seemed like a good idea at the time, and never set out to make a statement.

“It was just to compare the attitudes and the state of the environment to what we have these days,” he said. “It tends to bring the old pictures more to life if you do a comparison to what was and what is now.”

Visit www.rugbynowandthen.com for more information.

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