Listen to Aberystwyth historian Will Troughton talk about an exhibition of photographs by Pickfords of Aberystwyth in the video above.

Older people may remember local photographers Pickfords who operated a shop and studio in Pier Street until 1972.

Pickfords was the ‘go to’ place for all sorts of photographic needs – wedding photos, passport photos, baby photos, developing and printing, enlargements and more.

After the shop closed it was believed the entire archive was lost.

Fortunately through the recent discovery of a box of negatives, most unseen until now, we can experience the Aberystwyth of our parents and grandparents.

Shopping in the Aberystwyth of 60 years ago was a much different experience. There were no supermarkets, no rows of empty shops and few chain stores.

Instead there were numerous small grocers, butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers – 13 shops alone were kept by various Jones families.

Photographs of many of these small shops are featured in an exhibition at the National Library of Wales showcasing the work of Pickfords.

Peacocks store in Terrace Road
Peacocks on Terrace Road, circa 1935 (Will Troughton/Pickfords)

Also included in the exhibition are other facets of life here all those years ago – pantomimes, civic events, car showrooms, The Kings Hall, commercial vehicles and three generations of the Royal Family.

Many of the photos were taken for advertising purposes including the numerous hotels with dining rooms exquisitely laid out with white linen tablecloths and serviettes; lounges full of floral covered armchairs, neat little bars and an air of post-war optimism.

The exhibition is in the Upper Central Hall of the National Library.

It opened on 7 December and will run until early summer.