Old Photo Restoration

Coach Trip

A glimpse into the away days of the past. This photo had not weathered well. Multiple creases growing in severity as the years pass by. Slowly bits of important image data that cannot easily be reconstructed start to disappear. It’s important to catch it as soon as you can. This one was in for the full treatment. After an in-depth restoration it has been tastefully coloured with respect to vintage colours and tones.

Photograph Repair ServiceOld Photo Restoration

Do you have a photo in a similar condition you’d like restored or coloured?

Photo Restoration Repair

A Subtle Repair

A more subtle photo restoration from yesterday. A client emailed this photo looking for restoration. At first glance there doesn’t seem to be much wrong. On closer inspection there were a couple of small biro marks, some light fading to a corner, a good old fashioned coffee stain (it could be tea… I’m not one to judge) and the usual sepia tint – to some this can be a good thing.

Family Portrait Photo RestorationFamily Portrait Photo Restoration

After working through the list I gave it some treatment to balance the exposure, sharpen up the features and then gave it a new border. Not bad for a 68 year old photo! This was returned to the customer within a day. Now in digital format as well it should last a very very long time.

Photos for Order of Service

Order of Service

Mandy found us online after finding two wonderful photos she would like to use in her Mums funeral order of service. The photo’s were in OK condition but stained and a little creased. With work like this it is important to bear in mind that there will likely be a need for a speedy turnaround. These were completed and within 48 hours of our initial contact.

Photo Restoration Portrait BeforeChildrens Photo Restoration
Somerset Photo RestorationSomerset Photo Restoration

Thank you for your business Mandy. I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

Photo Colourisation Service

Maureen May Mitchell

Ellen requested a colourisation on this fantastic photo. Whilst involved I repaired a couple of light scratches and balanced the exposure. Taken at Bath Street in Chard, Somerset in about 1949. Ellen’s Mum – Maureen May Mitchell (nee Adam’s) with her eldest 2 brothers and her father in the background. I love the personalities in this one! Thanks again for your business Ellen!

Black and white photo colouringPhotograph Colourisation UK

If you’d like a photo colourised whether for a gift or yourself then please feel free to get in touch using the Request a Quote button below!

Military POW Stalag Luft Postcard

Letters from a POW

A more personal post from me… For a long time I have been researching my own family tree as well as helping others with theirs. There are usually months if not years between “amazing” discoveries. A large number appeared after my DNA test results came back from Ancestry. Others simply by scanning through ancestry’s records. This one discovery in particular knocked me off my feet.

I’ll start with a bit of backstory. My Grandad, John Victor Foster (Jack) was born in 1920 so was only 19 when WW2 began. He enlisted in the RAF at West Drayton and was trained at RAF Cardington and RAF Yatesbury. He was sent to France supporting the B.E.F but in June 1940 he was captured by the Germans at St Valery-en-Caux and spent the next 5 years as Prisoner of War No.89.

Jack was known for his sense of humour. Should you utter anything remotely funny people would say “You must get that from your grandad”. I remember him saying “If you were hungry you’d eat grass.” I was probably a little too quick to brush this off as his sense of humour.

My searches of Ancestry don’t tend to include the generations of family I have met, no hints are offered outside of the usual Birth, Marriage and Death results so they are left and what images and important documents exist in your own collection are added. A good while before he passed away he wrote down his memories of the war and produced a small book that was distributed amongst friends and family. I was re-reading this one day and decided to type his POW number into Ancestry. Several records appeared.

A chap called Rob from Boston, Massachusetts had uploaded the text from some postcards he’d found in his Grandmother’s belongings. I messaged him immediately and thankfully he replied. His grandmother was a red cross volunteer and plane spotter in the war, she was sending parcels to her assigned POW… and he was writing back! Here is what those postcards said…

4-1-43

“Dear Mrs. Frye,

Thank you so much for your welcome letter received today. I must first apologise for the postcard but we are rationed every month, and the letters I send to my people in England. My greatest need here is food. I have plenty of clothes. Such articles as coffee + tea, tinned meat + biscuits are very valuable. Also cigarettes. I will write again next month and tell you more about myself and my life here. In the meantime, cheerio.

Sincerely yours, J.V. Foster”

Letter from Prisoner of War 89
First handwritten postcard by J V Foster to Mrs Frye

6-3-43

“Dear Mrs. Frye,

I hope you received the card I sent last month. Since then you will be pleased to hear I have received Three parcels from you in less than a month. The first was dated 16-10-42. The second, 16-11(42) and the third 1-12-42. They all arrived in good condition. I was surprised to see the amount of food you were able to pack into such a small box, and especially so much of the (…missing fragment)… articles. That ultimately we never see … I haven’t told you much about myself up to the present. I expect you know I am English. My home is in the West country, in the county of Somerset. I have three brothers, one is in the navy, the others are still at school. I joined the Air Force before the war, and unfortunately was taken prisoner in June 1940. I am thoroughly fed up with prison life but manage to keep up a cheerful outlook. I would like to be home for next Christmas, but I have learnt not to be too optimistic. We have a lot of American boys here. They have been busy playing baseball during the past few days. Well I must thank you before closing for the very welcome food parcels, and I hope to hear from you shortly.

Yours Truly, J.V. Foster”

Letter from POW 89 - J.V Foster
POW Letter from Stalag Luft 3 written by J.V Foster
Letter from POW 89 at Stalag Luft 3
Second Letter from J.V Foster prisoner of war at Stalag-Luft 3

16-7-43

“Dear Mrs. Frye,

I received your letter today dated 21st May, also the food parcels you sent. So pleased you received my letter, they sometimes go astray. I find your letters very interesting, especially about the garden. I can picture you all together. We live in the country also, in Somerset (where the cider apples grow.) How I wish I could be there now. Our slogan is “The day will dawn.” We have moved to another camp, please note address.

Sincerely Yours, Victor Foster”

Letter from John Victor Foster to Mrs Frye from Stalag Luft 6
Third Letter from J.V Foster to Mrs Frye from a German POW Camp

8-7-44

“Dear Mrs. Frye,

Have received three big parcels from you, and also a book parcel in the last two months, but have been unable to send a card until now. I am still waiting for this war to end. Since I last wrote you we have had a lot of Americans here in another compound. Thanks again for all you have done.

Jack”

Postcard from Stalag Luft 3 by J.V Foster
Final postcard from J.V. Foster from Stalag Luft

I must say a big thank you to Rob who took his time to dig them out again and photograph them for me. It’s so lovely to have found them and at the same time it fills me with sadness that my grandad had to suffer. It was a shame that he wasn’t reunited with his letters, I wonder what he would make of them? I have no idea if he ever tried to make contact with Mrs Frye on his return, but I’d like to think he did.

Jack’s memories of the war are available in a short book called Sauerkraut and Boiled Potatoes which covers his time from enlistment through training, capture, his time spent in prisoner of war camps, his brush with death on the long march through to his return home.

A kindle edition is available.

WW2 Colourised Photo

J.V. Foster


(Far left, sat on chair) Photo taken in 1939 at RAF Cardington following training. Shortly after he wandered into Bedford to have his photo taken alone in uniform.

Military Photo RestorationRAF Photo Restoration and Colourisation

His next stop was wireless training school at RAF Yatesbury before being sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force where he was captured at Saint-Valery-en-Caux by Rommel’s troops.

Prisoner of war no.89.

His memories are available in a short book called Sauerkraut and Boiled Potatoes which covers his time from enlistment through training, capture, his time spent in prisoner of war camps, his brush with death on the long march through to his return home.

A kindle edition is available.

Photo Repair Service

Photo Repair

Here is a great example of one of our photo repairs. This doesn’t look particularly bad, just a few creases – unfortunately one of them falls right across the eye and being a portrait this is one of the more prominent features to lose. Luckily we have 2 eyes so with a bit of carefully reconstruction this can be repaired!

Old Portrait Repair and RestorationPhotograph Repair Service

Luckily we have 2 eyes so with a bit of carefully reconstruction this can be repaired!

Hand Coloured Photo Service

Young Elda Atyeo

Old Portrait Repair and RestorationCabinet card Photo Colourisation

This time a young Elda Atyeo sat for a professional photo sometime around 1920. The photo received a quick tidy (this one was very well looked after) A little sharpness was brought out in the eyes and then colouring.

With no reference as to colours, simple lighter shades looked as if they would work well. Due to the simple nature of the photo this was a very quick one to do.

Land Girl - Colour Photo

Pat Wyatt

The Women’s Land Army was established in World War One, but was re-founded shortly before the outbreak of World War Two. With much of our food being imported and all able bodied men required to fight there was shortage of labour to provide for ourselves. Here we see Pat, (now commonly known as Granny Wyatt) doing her bit as a Land Girl at Drewsteignton in Devon. Can you imagine that today?

Land Girl - Colour PhotoLand Girl - Colour Photo

Thank you to Kim for the chance to add some colour to this wonderful image of your Gran.

Colouring Old Photos

William Daniel

William Daniel or “Bill” joined the Royal Navy and like so many others, their families are now in possession of one of these portraits. This colourisation was made from a scan of a reasonably small photo. So some work was required to sharpen and restore the image before the colour work could start.

Military Portrait RestorationRoyal Navy Photo Colourisation

Colours were easy to match, examples of uniform can be found all over google images. Six tones were used on the face. In all a two hour job.

Photo Colourisation Service

Elda Atyeo

My first colourisation of a black and white photo was an image of my Great Grandmother Elda Atyeo. Born in 1898 and died in 1981 so I never got to meet her. My family are not short on stories about her though.

Photo requiring restoration servicePortrait Photo Restoration

The process took a couple of hours, the photo was in great condition and required no repair. I used multiple layers with a range of blend modes to achieve the colour.

Photo Restoration Blog 1

The story so far…

For the past 10 years I have been working on my family tree using popular Genealogy website Ancestry. This gives you the ability to share with family members… who in turn began to offer up information. In time I became the one who looks after the family photos. It wasn’t long before albums, carrier bags, suitcases and biscuit tins of photos started to appear. It’s my job… no… duty to make sure these are not lost. So I began scanning, cataloging and storing them on hard drives, DVDs and now in the cloud.

Whilst scanning an occasional gem of a photo would appear, sometimes a little worn, other times nearly beyond repair. Luckily I have spent over 15 years working as a photographer and obviously not without the latest version of Photoshop. I decided to tidy a couple of photos up, repair what I could. That lead to attempting to manually colour some of the photos. I added them to my social media accounts and the feedback was amazing! In fact, I had other people digging out their family photos for me to work my magic on.

The Photo Restoration Co. has arrived!