About the Book
The marshes around Ely, March and Wisbech were comprehensively drained in the 17th century to create an open expanse of fields originally intended for grazing. Punctuated by drains, dykes and straightened rivers running above low-lying land, the East Anglian Fens are now home to agriculture on an industrial scale. With huge skies and panoramic views, the Fens can simultaneously challenge and inspire, but reward a closer view, at a distance where the detail, character and variety of this hard-working landscape snap into focus. Old postcards have a special appeal. At first sight ephemeral mementos of holidays, but at another level a vernacular record of a specific time and place, and through the messages they carry, a snap-shot of our lives, past and present. The Fens are not picturesque in any conventional sense, but deserve their own postcards, both as testimony to a unique landscape and to prompt memories of what it means to live and work here. I have tried to do just that in this set of fifty black and white postcard-size photos taken within fifteen miles of Ely Cathedral, and its companion set of fifty in colour, both of which were featured in a travelling exhibition supported by Arts Council England and organised by the Babylon Gallery in Ely.