In the 1880's a wide boulevard was driven through the medieval centre of the little market town. A local version of the Champs Elysees brought to deepest, deepest France profonde at a time when agricultural centres were wealthy. Palaces,churches and houses swept away by a kilometre long arrow of modernity. The town council used the well known architect Georges Haussmann (who redesigned Paris after the 1870's uprising) to implement the scheme. As Angus and the PONs head down towards the market we see that the local bank used to be a photographers studio. Not just a studio but a photographers ' building ' with a large marble advertising sign surmounted by a fancy coat of arms at first floor level. There must have been a time a hundred and fifty years ago when being a photographer was an extremely lucrative profession. The building,on which no expense has been spared, is a French provincial take on a Venetian palazzo. The pillars on either side of the doors at ground level are really very grand - in an understated way. Even the insertion of a plate glass window in the banking hall does little to diminish the structures grandness and sense of purpose. The day glo green bank signs are awful.
Now the little agricultural centre is a complete backwater but the photographers pride and joy lives on. This morning it is christened with a quick splash of Eau de Bob.