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Rough annotated sketch showing buildings at King's Mills, Castle Donington, Leicestershire, c 1913-1
Scarratt, F W
About this image
This image is included here as an appendix to DCHQ010244 because of its historical importance and is intended to be viewed in conjunction with it.
DCHQ010244 is a photo looking south-east at King's Mills showing Gray's Lodge (later known as the Priest House) on the left and the plaster mill on the right. Derby-based postcard publisher F W Scarratt took the photo and allocated it the number 788 in his series. This sketch is the original annotated negative envelope he prepared, which provides an explanation of what is shown in the photo, plus further information on what happened subsequently, as well as evidence of how some of the photographer's original glass plate negatives came to survive long enough to be added to Picture the Past.
From his notes we learn firstly that the derelict-looking single storey portion to the right of Gray's Lodge is about to be pulled down in connection with renovation of the remainder 'as a residence for the Commandant of the regiment guarding the German Officer Prisoners at Donington Hall' (the refurbished building can be seen in DCHQ010280, a later view by Scarratt).
Secondly, in relation to the buildings on the right he tells us that 'This was up till recently used as a plaster mill'. The mill went out of use in the early 1900s and was destroyed by fire in 1927.
Thirdly, Scarratt has added a message to the bottom of the envelope: 'I rather think this one selected will be too much out of date so sending Boat House'. The latter is probably a reference to DCHQ010173 and the message is almost certainly addressed to the Editor of the Derby Evening Telegraph. In the latter part of his career Scarratt (who retired from business in 1938) was a source of photos for the Telegraph, who appear to have retained the negatives he sent them and for whom we have to thank for their survival. Unfortunately, most of the images that were kept by Scarratt himself were destroyed after his death in 1964, their importance not being recognised at the time. This means that Scarratt's significant recording work - which produced thousands of images over the period from 1905 to 1938 - is only represented by those he selected to publish as picture postcards and by the negatives he loaned to his local newspaper. Most likely, this is only aa fraction of his total output.