Alan Griffin is a Southam person born and bred. He is well know as a local historian and although now living in Leamington Spa he retains his contacts with Southam and has contributed greatly to researching and publishing the history of the town. Not the least of Alan’s efforts is a unique book focussing on the men from Southam who gave their lives for their King and Country in the first world war. Alan’s book “Lest We Forget” pays tribute to these men, and is available from the Southam Heritage Collection.
Over many years Alan amassed a very large collection of photographic images relating to Southam and the surrounding area. This collection was taken with a 35mm camera and the films developed by Alan himself. In the years before digital photography, when one could not be sure the correct exposure had been made, the standard practice was to take multiple shots of a scene using different camera settings. Alan took, on average, 3 pictures of each scene and these were methodically filed in film books and catalogued in a series of exercise books, much like those used by school children of the time.
Alan decided to donate this archive to the Southam Heritage Collection and it had been digitised and indexed in an Excel database by several volunteers over a two year period so that any picture can now be easily searched for and immediately displayed on a computer screen. The scenes captured by Alan have already proved useful to people doing research into local industry and wanting records of their houses as well as providing much material for Exhibitions developed by the Southam Heritage Collection and for the annual “Old Southam Calendar” which provides a welcome revenue stream for the Collection.