ONCE again we are shamefully plundering the work of a man who is passionate about local history.

Regular readers will know about Neil Mattingly and his wonderful website (freshford.com) and all his work on the famous local photographer Claud Hider.

Mr Mattingly has been collecting Hider postcards produced since 1922 of the area around Bridport, where he was based at 42 South Street.

At the time Hider was in business most postcards were printed mechanically he produced his in small numbers photographically at his shop.

Thus their quality is superb and they also also provide a unique social document of the era between the two wars as he would often record the people and vehicles as he saw them.

Mr Mattingly said: "Claud Hider was one of a number of photographers throughout England who supplemented their livings by producing small quantities of photographic cards of their neighbourhood.

"During the first three decades of the 20th century there had been a golden age of postcards with many hundreds of millions bought every year and often collected in albums, some of which have survived to this day.

"Before the telephone, they were used as a way of sending a message, as the postal service was cheap, regular and reliable. Often on the back of a card you would read that someone was inviting a friend for tea the same day and would expect them to receive it in time for them to come.

"As well as the large firms, such as Tuck, Valentines and Frith, there were smaller firms who would sell real photographic cards.

"These had a glossy finish, the photograph having been developed directly onto a piece of card with a postcard back. Many village photographers were able to produce their own postcards."

This week the focus is on Chideock.