A BURFORD man has built up a collection of hundreds of images depicting the town from the late 19th century.

Alf Jewell, 83, has been collecting postcards and photographs of Burford and the surrounding villages for the past 50 years.

He now has about 700 or 800 in his collection of Burford alone and said he now rarely comes across one he has not already got.

A display of his photographs was one of the highlights of the Cotswold Heritage Fair held on the opening weekend of the Burford Festival earlier this month.

Mr Jewell, a retired stonemason, said: “I don’t smoke, so I spend my money in other ways. It’s just a hobby really and it has just snowballed.

"I used to keep birds and when I packed them up, I took up collecting postcards instead.

"I do pick up one or two occasionally but it’s very rare to find one I have not already got now.”

The postcard that began his collection was a picture of Fulbrook – just across the River Windrush from Burford – where he lived at the time, of residents celebrating the Coronation of King George VI on May 12, 1937, with a tea party.

He said he did not have a particular favourite image in his collection, but added: “There are one or two I think are very good.

“I have quite a lot of postcards by Mr Foster, Burford’s former postmaster, from about 1901 or 1902. They are all absolutely crisp and sharp.”

The oldest postcards Mr Jewell has feature photographs of Burford dating from the 1870 and 1880.

Mr Jewell added: “It’s funny, because the buildings haven’t changed at all, it’s the people who live in them that have changed.

“They were all working class back then, but there are none now.”

Asked what his wife, Sylvia, 77, thought of his collection, Mr Jewell said: “Sometimes she gets fed up with them, I think. There are stacks of them all over the house.”