A box of mostly broken glass slides was found in one of the Town Hall’s basements along with a few photos. They had been badly stored from years ago and no one knew they were there until we were clearing one of the basement rooms.  They were the remains of a photographic exhibition held in Nuneaton in 1919 to celebrate the centenary of Mary Ann Evans’ (George Eliot) birth.  These are the photos.  The glass slides are with the museum, hopefully awaiting restoration.

Gainsborough Mill on the River Trent.  It is believed that George Eliot based the mill in her book ‘Mill on the Floss’ on Gainsborough Mill.

The Lily Pond at Arbury Hall.  Astley Church tower can be seen in the background.

Bridge Street at Bull Ring Nuneaton leading up to the canal bridge over the Coventry Canal.  Even today, a hundred years later, this street scene is immedately recognisable.  On the left hand side now stands Bridge Street Sheltered Housing Complex built in 1964.

The Oriel window in Gainsborough Old Hall.  This s where the bazaar was held in George Eliot’s ‘Mill on the Floss’ which was was set in Lincolnshire.

Entrance to Corley Hall, said to be the Hall Farm in George Eliot’s ‘Adam Bede’.

The Dame School  that stood opposite Griff House on what is now the Coventry Road.  George Eliot attended the Dame School as a young girl.  The Dame School was pulled down long ago.

Top of the canal system on Arbury Hall.  It was from here the coal was sent down to the Coventry Canal and from there all over the Midlands via the canal systems.

On the back of the photo is written ‘Lawyer Dempster’s Children’  We suspect that the photo is of children dressed up for the 1919 celebration.  Lawyer Dempster was based on the real life Nuneaton lawyer James Buchannan.

The tombstone of James William Buchannan who is buried in Coton Church graveyard.  Lawyer Dempster was based on Buchannan in Eliot’s novel ‘Janet’s Repentance’.