Hatfield photographer's historic discovery

IN 1987, Nigel Sorrell came across a remarkable discovery. At the time, Nigel was working as a police forensic photographer, and had been given an old roll of film to develop by a friend. The film, it transpired, belonged to

IN 1987, Nigel Sorrell came across a remarkable discovery.

At the time, Nigel was working as a police forensic photographer, and had been given an old roll of film to develop by a friend.

The film, it transpired, belonged to one Ralph Ponsonby Watts, a former lieutenant colonel of the British Indian Army, who had documented his adventures across the world from the early to mid 20th century.

Eventually, 33 more films were discovered in a biscuit tin at a house owned by the son of Lt Col Watts, each one providing vivid and fascinating snapshots of colonial India, China, Oman and Iran, to name but a few.


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After years of lovingly restoring the photos, and with the help of Lt Col Watts himself, Nigel is ready to show the world these remarkable pictures for the first time.

"It feels like a link between last century and this one," said Nigel, from Heathcote Avenue, Hatfield.

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For more photos, and an interview with Nigel, see next week's Welwyn & Hatfield Times.

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