This week’s pictures are much more up to date than recent ones: July 1991, when the late Marlow cameraman Joe Green took these two spectacular views from the steeple of All Saints Church, undergoing a complete refurbishment.

In fact in the top picture, looking down on the bridge and the former Rowing Club headquarters, a scaffolding pole can be seen on the lower right.

Prominent in the second picture are the Masonic Hall (grey building) and Marlow Place (red brick building).

Joe once told me the story that he was initially denied permission to climb the various ladders on the scaffolding for safety reasons, but he was accompanied by fellow Marlow historian Arthur Boarder, and, when Arthur announced that he was a Police Sergeant, Joe was allowed through “at his own risk”.

Arthur stayed at ground level but took the inserted picture of the church from the Causeway, shrouded in scaffolding and sheeting.

A few years before this date, in the 1980s, fairly basic ladders had been attached to the steeple in order to repair and refit the golden cross.

Not much scaffolding then, apart from a small platform at the top, so presumably a scarier climb than Joe had!

Brave photographers who scaled the dizzy heights at this time included Shirley Arnold and Robin Cooper, and I have other pictures from them both.

There also exists an 1898 picture from a slightly lower level when the entire steeple was being rebuilt following storm damage.

That was one of the early photos used in this column many years ago but perhaps it is due for a repeat showing soon (the Marlow Free Press has plenty of new readers!) so hang onto this page for a few weeks and you can compare the two views 93 years apart.

n Contact Michael at or 01628 486571