Whilst in Aberystyth, I visited the Ceredigion Museum: http://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=14752
Some images of the museum itself:
There was an exhibition of photographs showing the town of Aberystwyth and how it has changed. The first set of photographs were taken circa 1900 and the second set in 2009/2010. Unfortuantely photography was not allowed, but this website does have some of the early photographs that were displayed: http://abertig.com/tig_gallery.php
It was interesting to see how the town has changed over the years into the town that I know it as. The first obvious difference between the two sets of photographs was the quality. The original images were taken with a very early camera and the modern ones used a 12 megapixel digital camera, so the difference was unbelieveable. The old photographs were grainy and blurred, especially in comparison to the modern technology used. The second major difference was how the town has changed to accomodate modern society. Roads have been tarmaced and one way systems created, traffic lights and roundabouts all put in place to help the flow of heavy traffic since the invention of the motor vehicle. In the old photographs there are cart tracks with horse and carts and the simple tracks make our modern road systems look complex. The streets in the old photographs were lined with trees; a fashion of the time; which made it feel very suburban; like that of an american suburb; where now those trees have been taken up to make way for roads. The final difference is how the town centre has expanded; cottages have disappeared and shops, pubs, restaurants, hotels have taken their place. On saying this though, on the whole not much has changed. The majority of the buildings; particularly the second storeys; remain the same as they were in the original photographs except for slight restoration. Fire is the major reason for buildings that are no longer there; most of the buildings that no longer stand in the town were destroyed by one or several serious fires, redeeming them beyond repair. Fire took away hotels, shops, a cinema and a large emporium. This highlights how serious fires were in Edwardian/Victorian times; buildings could be stripped to nothing from one simple ember; a striking difference to modern society. The town is still very similar though, the buildings have been restored to keep them the same and prevent them from being demolished and the new building built; such as the library and new town hall; have been made to fit in with the older structures. It was interesting to look at how the town I know arrived to be the place it is. It made me think about how much society and life have changed and how technology has adapted with it. This has seen the development of the consumer and the audience and now there are target audiences and demographics of the ever-developing media and marketing world. I was also pleased to find a book in the museum shop entitled ‘Enamel Advertising Signs’ by Christopher Baglee and Andrew Morley.