The beginning of the end

Happy smiling faces in 1970 – twelve years before the closure of C  & T Harris in 1982. No irony then about the ‘Join Harris’ sign above the heads of the youngsters posing on the carnival float.  All their parents or relatives worked at Harris’s, and perhaps their children would have wanted to follow in their footsteps. The option was there then. Their future employment, however, would be somewhere else.

I have included the featured image in the chapter called ‘Down Memory Lane’ – my favourite chapter. I loved collecting people’s memories of life at Harris’s. The real deal.  I’d have loved the whole book to have been made up of them. However, I had to cover 250 years of Harris’s history and something had to go. A lot!

The biggest challenge of the book was putting the final images together along with their captions – selecting the final 150 from the 300 I had amassed.

An easy way of handling the images was by printing off a contact sheet . Made it easier to see them all at a glance to match up with accompanying caption.

It’s all sent off now to Amberley Publishing and I’m left with clearing up the mess in my dining room which has been my writing space for nearly a year. So much paper left behind, and books and albums of photos to sort out which I no longer need. I have started to return books and folders which I borrowed from the Heritage Centre.

FMC newsletters – a very valuable resource for me for information about the period 1962-1982 when FMC owned The Harris Group.

I kept a hard copy of everything as it was easier to work on paper towards the end.  Lots of paper clips hanging around. Sorting out where things were meant to go, changing images around, seeing what the chapters would look like in print.

I love paper clips. All sorts of sizes and colours – even ones with  pom-poms.

I’m sure the publishers will make a good job of it all. They’ve produced many books like this. I am really looking forward to seeing how it all looks and whether I made the right choices. And the cover. No  idea what that will look like. I sent them six images to play around with way back last year.

No publishing date yet, folks, I’m afraid. I’d love to be able to say that C. & T. Harris (Calne) Ltd: an illustrated history will be in everyone’s Christmas stockings this year.