Postcards show lost villages beneath Ladybower Reservoir

Image caption,
Most of the postcards show Ashopton but there are also some of Derwent, some of the dam being built, and a handful of Derbyshire in winter

Rare postcards showing two lost villages that were submerged to make way for a reservoir are "going home" after being sold at auction.

Ashopton and the neighbouring village of Derwent were both sacrificed in the 1940s to create Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire.

Some descendants of the villagers of Ashopton now live in nearby Bamford.

The collection has been bought by Bamford and District History Group for £310 and will be put on display.

Image caption,
The album contains more than 160 postcards showing life in the late 19th century and early 20th century
Image caption,
The postcards will join the history group's archive of photos and documents and will go on display at meetings at Bamford Village Institute

Kathleen Hearnshaw, chair of the history group, was one of three phone bidders who battled to buy the collection.

"I have never done anything like this before and I am so pleased," she said.

"We were excited about the prospect of buying the postcards but also anxious about securing them. Lots of people rang us offering donations to help the group buy them."

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The villages were flooded in the 1940s to make way for Ladybower Reservoir
Image caption,
One of the postcards shows construction of a dam

They were collected over three decades by the seller, who wishes to remain anonymous.

"Ashopton postcards were like gold dust because they were so rare," she said.

"I dealt in postcards myself in the early 1980s and liked to collect them because I was fascinated by the story of the village."

Image caption,
One of the postcards shows the spire of Derwent's church emerging from the water
Image caption,
There was said to be "strong opposition" to the flooding of the villages

Historical buildings, limestone cottages and entire communities were lost when the valley was flooded to serve the growing cities of Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham and Leicester with water.

Charles Hanson, from auctioneers Hansons, said there was "strong opposition" to the move but the authorities insisted on going ahead.

"It's hard to imagine the feelings of the inhabitants of the Derwent Valley as they watched the place they once called home enveloped in a watery grave," he said.

Image caption,
One of the postcards shows young people gathered on a bridge in Derwent

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