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Surface Tensions

The problems of potholes

These photographs, which document road surface defects, were all taken by Sir Eustace Judley over a twenty year period, in and around the town of Wygarth. In total, there are 764 photos, all depicting the local roads and pavements which he found fault with. Sir Eustace would write, often on a weekly basis, to the Wygarth Courier, setting out the problem, and attaching a photo as evidence.

He would also send a copy of the letter to the local council. While initially his complaints were not taken seriously, leading him to be nicknamed Lord Pothole, over time they became a much-loved feature of the paper. Unfortunately, the letters have been lost, but several years ago, when undertaking renovation work, the owner of the Wygarth Courier, Harry Astor, returned the photos to Sir Eustace. Since then, they have resided in Judley Hall.

There are very few similar collections in the United Kingdom. Most council records of defects are destroyed after seven years (in line with national archival guidelines) and the majority of studies of the UK's roads usually focus on motorways and pre-Victorian routes