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A Century of Cambridge News from 1888 - Photography and Photographers, by Mike Petty          

We are most grateful to Mike Petty for allowing us to carry this article.

The ‘Century of Cambridge News’ index records information on more than 100 aspects of Cambridge life, including health, transport, politics, local government, education, war, planning and religion.

In 1988 I was commissioned to produce the Cambridge Evening News centenary picture book and decided to take the opportunity to index headline stories for Cambridge topics from 1888.

I went through each of the newspaper cuttings file maintained by the Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library since 1958. I also scanned the ‘Review of the Year’ and ‘Peeps from the Past’ articles in the Cambridge News and the ‘From our old files’ in the Cambridge Independent Press. When there were years without such a record I went through the papers themselves.

This has been supplemented by stories that I have carried in my ‘Looking Back’ column covering the years 1897-1914, 1922-1939, 1947-1964 & 1972-1989.

For these I have scanned files of the Cambridge Daily News, Cambridge Independent Press or Cambridgeshire Weekly News.

I have included the date that story appeared in the original newspaper in the form YY-MM-DD or ‘CDN 20.5.1904’. I may well have full copies of the stories summarised. A reference in [ ] relates to handwritten notes, a copy of which are held in the Cambridgeshire Collection.

The Cambridgeshire Collection at Cambridge Central Library has maintained newspaper cuttings files on 850 topics since 1958. They are far more comprehensive than this summary.

There will inevitably be mistakes, please let me know of those that you spot and I will correct them.

This information is being constantly updated.

It is made available in the hope that it may assist your research. Please make use of it what you may. Please remember where it came from.

Mike Petty 14th September 2014

Mike Petty, 13a Reads Street, Stretham, Cambs CB6 3JT – 01353 648106 –www.cambridgeshirehistory.com/MikePetty

This file has been updated  2014 12 08

Cambridge Camera Club members at film show

Cambridge Camera Club members at film show, 1962                                     149.99

c.65.5 – photography

History of Cambridge photography – 60 08 22

Cabinet-size portraits were invented in the spring of 1866 and John Werge visiting Cambridge two years later was surprised to find Cambridge men had not adopted it; writing in ‘Photographic News’ of 10 April 1868 he says: ‘while there is a rush for cabinet portraits  in Oxford, Cambridge holds aloof. … lukewarmness of Cambridge photographers. Carte-de-visite size was most popular – 37 09 18a

1888    Stearn took photo at fatal rowing accident [2.1]

1889    R.H. Lord wins prize Vienna competition, exhibits photographic society GB [2.3,2.4]

1889    Hills & Saunders take photo of Backs in frost which issue as Christmas card [2.5]

1898    A small fire occurred at the premises of Messrs Thomas Stearn and Son, photographers, at Bridge Street, Cambridge. The conflagration broke out in the darkroom and was probably caused by woodwork becoming overheated by gas. A considerable amount of photographic apparatus was destroyed by the flames, and some of the chemicals exploded with some violence in the heat. About 16 firemen turned out with a hose cart and three reels, causing no little excitement in the neighbourhood, but by the time they arrived on the scene the outbreak had already been extinguished by the inmates, by means of buckets  c1898 06 15

1898    The photographer who is also an artist has a great advantage over the photographer who is merely a mechanic. One may realise this very clearly by paying a visit to the studio at St Mary's Passage, Cambridge, of Mr Clement A. Shaw. His first love was painting but in his portrait work he found the advantage of being able to take a photograph of the subject, in that tedious sittings could often be curtailed. His studios are covered with specimens of his work. There are photographs in all processes - opals, miniatures, pastels and oil paintings. There are several pictures painted on an enlarged scale from photographs which are very meritorious indeed   c1898 10 15

1899    There was a special temptation to the members of the Cambridge Wanderer’s Cycling Club yesterday. It was “photo day”! We went away slowly for were we not mindful of the fact that a perspiring group would not make the best of photos? Moustaches shining in all the glory of a recent application of cosmetic had also to be studied. Our destination was Ditton Plough and when we arrived there was a general “spruce up”, so anxious were we that such a “galaxy of beauty” should not be lost to posterity. Mr Lord placed us in position, endeavouring to look pleasant, keeping our heads on high and remaining perfectly still all at the same time. Three plates were used. That photo should be a good one c1899 06 28

1900    From time to time the announcement goes forth that at last colour photography is a fait accompli, but the statement proves without foundation While we wait for a solution there is something to go on with in the way of chromotype views. Messrs Boots took the lead in Cambridge and have just issued a new set which are beautifully printed and well worth framing. The set is packed in an elaborately designed wrapper, tied with Cambridge blue ribbon and would make a very acceptable gift c00 10 23

1901    A meeting of professional and amateur photographers met to arrange the Cambridge meeting of the Photographic Convention. The following were elected to the Committee: Messrs W. Refern, Tyndall (Ely), Bolton (Ely), Wilson (Saffron Walden) and Stearn Bros. Mr Sanderson (Palmer Clarke) was voted to the chair. Mr Sidney Johnson, a University man, an amateur photographer and a contributor to the photographic papers was nominated as secretary c01 08 14

1901    A photographic exhibition was held, this is an entirely new feature to Cambridge and the object is to encourage photography and more especially to bring out the artistic instinct. There were a many good photographs. The judges, Messrs W.B. Redfern and J. Palmer Clarke considered artistic as well as technical merit. The challenge cup for the best photograph went to Mr J. Johnson for a seascape of exceptional artistic merit. Mr F.J. Stoakley illustrated the Sanger Shepherd process of colour photography and produced some magnificently coloured studies as near to the colours of nature as possible c01 09 14

1902    Coronation 1902. A Proclamation. Messrs Starr and Rignall, the people’s photographers, being confident that every loyal subject of H.M. King Edward will appreciate some memento of this the most eventful year of the present decade have decided to give everyone the opportunity of securing one of their high-class cabinet portraits, finished in their best style, for one shilling. See window for special babies’ offer. 108 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge. – advert  CDN c16.4.1902

1902    Cambridge welcomed the Photographic Convention of the United Kingdom, numbering some 350 amateur and professional photographers. Quite early this morning numbers, with their indispensable cameras, were to be seen about the town and many impressions of the most interesting spots and ancient buildings will doubtless be taken away. Permission has been obtained for small parties of members wearing their badges to photograph in various colleges and churches. The official group photograph is invariably taken by a local photographer and as so many are competent the post was decided by draw and Mr T.B. Hunt was successful. c02 07 11

1902    The Horticultural Society’s photographic exhibition was a great improvement on last year. The amateur photographer was apt to follow the lead of the professional and be influenced by his window exhibits. The professional photographer had absolutely the last chance in the world of producing the best photography because he had to work at a price and gain a livelihood. The Rev H.R. Campion, Ely, won a silver medal for a photograph of the entrance of Bishop West’s Chapel, Ely and A.G. Swannell was commended for a study of Houghton Mill. c02 09 16

1902    There was a large attendance at a meeting to discuss forming a camera club in Cambridge. A long time ago there was a club but it had died through lack of interest. Prior to that there had been a club in connection with the University. In the early 1880s it was going fairly strongly but ultimately closed. Since then there was a club in conjunction with the YMCA but what they wanted was a club unsectarian. It ought to be social, but not political. Mr Tindall said he could get ten members from Ely and they had promises from villages all around Cambridge. c02 09 25

1902    At Cambridge Photographic Club the President (Dr Bansall) said pictorial work – by which he meant the making of pictures and not “fuzzygraphs” - was one of the most delightful branches of their art. It was easy to obtain a really high-class portrait for a reasonable sum of money, but the re-toucher polished away all the defects of the sitter’s face. Cambridge was fortunate in having a first-rate colour photographer in Mr Stoakley who would give a demonstration of what he had done in this wonderfully interesting work. c02 10 22

1902    W.B. Redfern told Cambridge Photographic Club that he remembered a man standing at the corner of Parker’s Piece taking photographs of a most ghastly character. At the time they thought they were works of art. Many of them were daguerreotypes and they saw a sort of ghost of themselves. Now Cambridge had some of the best photographers in the kingdom. Mr F.J. Stoakley lectured on photography in natural colours and the Sanger Shepherd process. c 02 11 11

1902    Cambridge Photographic Club started at a horticultural show in the Corn Exchange in September 1902 when W.C. Squires and Addison organised a small photographic exhibition run by the YMCA. It was founded at the Prince of Wales’ Hotel in October when several people came from Ely. Some of the early meetings featured a talk by Mr Stoakley on colour photography. W. Tams was a founder member  - 38 03 02

1904    Since the introduction of picture post cards by Messrs Raphael Tuck five years ago much rapid strides have been made in the development of this delightful form of art. The 1904 productions surpass everything had has been previously issued. Each card in the ‘Oilette’ series is a veritable miniature oil painting, so perfect that to use it as a postcard seems profanation. The demand for these cards is simply unprecedented. Every particle of the work is entirely of English production and the previously undisputed superiority of continental colour cards is a thing of the past. CDN c 25.2.1904

1904    Newmarket is being well catered for in the way of pictorial postcards. A delightful set of six views in colour has been issued by Mr Ernest Parr, stationer. Having seen them one can well understand the enormous success with which they have been received. The cards are selling at the rate of 250 a day. The series includes views of St Mary’s church, horses returning from a morning gallop, the royal entrance to the Jockey-Club grounds and the High Street on market day – CDN 22.3.1904

1905    Cambridge & District photograph society notes [2.6]

1905    W. Farren article in Country Life re pics birds [2.7]

1905    notes on postcard ‘a bit of old Cambridge’ issued one week after buses start & bus running over dog [2.8,2.9]

1905    With the next issue of the ‘Cambridgeshire Weekly News’ will be presented an art supplement containing photographs of the late Bishop of Ely and his successor. Both have been specially taken by Messrs. Scott and Wilkinson and are remarkable likenesses. They will be printed on specially prepared art paper in a style suitable for framing. Much disappointment will be saved if those who desire a copy will let their newsagents know without delay. Only a certain number will be printed and the issue will not be repeated. 05 08 19a

1905    A number of fishermen and fireman had an enjoyable outing on board the ‘Majesty’. A photo was taken by Kidd and Baker of St Mary’s Passage. On arriving at Upware they sat down to one of Host Peachey’s liberal dinners after which the fishermen went fishing and the remainder had a trip to Ely, returning for tea and games. The return journey was enlivened by songs accompanied by Mr Sid Smith on his banjo. They reached home by 10 pm. 05 08 29d

1905    Thomas Stearn, the photographer, has died. He was one of the first resident photographer in Cambridge 60 years ago, though an itinerant exponent of the art known as Sarony had previously experimented with the faces and features of people at his van on Parker’s Piece. He practised the wet process by which the unfortunate subject has to compose his features for at least 30 seconds until in 1880 the ‘dry’ process reduced the exposure to a fraction of a second. His wife had the distinction of being the first lady photographer in England. His two sons, Harry and Walter, continue the business.  05 09 07

1905    Sir – I believe the earliest Cambridge photographer was George Proctor, formerly a tailor living on the Market Place and later he removed to 32 New Square and carried on the business of a draper. It was here he practised photography until he died somewhere about the year 1850. About the same time Sarony, a celebrated photographer, was allowed to carry on his business in a caravan on Parker’s Piece near the University Arms. Then in 1865 Thomas Stearn who had previously described himself as a tailor now calls himself a dealer in fancy goods. In 1869 for the first time he appears as a photographer. Farren, Mayland, Monson, Nichols, Proctor, Pugh and Sheldon were all in business as photographers between 1850 and 1860. At that time Nichols had a flourishing business and he removed from Slaughter House Lane to St Mary’s Passage, and later his son to Post Office Terrace. He took my own portrait in 1854 and it is as good today as it was then. The late Mr Stearn was a tailor by trade and for many years was in partnership with his father. Mr Farren is still living as are also some of the children of George Proctor – ‘Three-score and twelve’   05 09 13a

1905    Cambridge photographic club dinner – 05 09 29 b & c

1905    Photographic club – J. Johnson ‘Wilbraham Fen’, Miss Robson Magdalene Street, W.H. Hayles three-colour printing on paper, photographic survey  - 05 11 01 & a & b

1906    We deeply regret the death of Harry Cotterill Stearn of the famous Cambridge photographic firm. He asked to be laid at rest in the new cemetery, Newmarket Road, ‘within sound of my work’ – the commotion caused by the University boat races where for many years his slight figure has been familiar to successive generations of undergraduates.    06 02 08a

1906    Harry Stearn funeral arrangements – 06 02 12d

1906    The court was crowded when a servant girl said he’d gone to a village shop and asked for a copy of the Cambridgeshire Weekly News and some ‘funny’ postcards. Accused took her up in his arms and carried her into the next room, pulled her clothes about and took her photograph. She did not know there was no film in the camera. Magistrates found it was a trumped-up charge by a mischievously-disposed young girl. 06 07 13 a b c 

1906    Photographic exhibition – details – 06 10 31a-c

1907    Fred Stoakley makes first three-colour photo seen in Cambridge [2.10]

1907    Cambridge Postcard Company organise 2nd limerick competition [2.11]

1907    lecture on colour photography starts with Clerk Maxwell in Cambridge [2.12]

1907    Cambridge photographic club – P.R. Salmon lecture – 07 03 27

1907    New photographic process – T.J. Sowden on Ozobrome – 07 05 09b The photographic world is agog just now in regard to the new colour photography. Two methods for producing plates in natural colours have been recently discovered. Now Fred Stoakley, who made the first ‘three-colour’ photograph seen in Cambridge, has produced an autochrome plate using the Lumiere or starch grain process. It is a flower study of geraniums, asters and petunias. 07 01 01

1907    At a lecture by Fred Stoakley on ‘Real Colour Photography’ the original photographs taken by Prof Clerk Maxwell, the pioneer of colour photography were shown, having been loaned by Prof J.J. Thomson. In Maxwell’s method three successive plates had to be taken; now by the autochrome process the whole work is done on one plate.  07 11 23a

1907    Photographic club exhibition – 07 11 13 & a

1908    The antics of ‘The Castle End Musicians’, a band of boys and girls, have caused endless entertainments to the inhabitants of that part of Cambridge. A lad who has had some experienced of the Boy’s Brigade is the commander of the band, who form up in martial order, large and small, girl and boy, and parade up and down the streets with colours flying, playing the most extraordinary collection of musical instruments ever seen including toy drums and mouth organs. Now a local photographer has elevated them to picture postcard celebrities. CWN 08 09 18 p5 [2.14]

1908    A Horsley Hinton, photographer, appreciation – 08 03 05c

1911    The landlord of the Rising Sun, Somersham said a lodger, William Ward, alias William Wilson, with a camera told him that he was a photographer for picture postcards and was going to work the nearby villages. He had not paid his bill. The cook at Hemingford Abbots rectory said the servants had their picture taken in a group and had ordered a dozen postcard size prints. They had never been received. The man told the court he had been a travelling photographer for some years but trade had got so bad he was forced to resort to this sort of thing. He had been to every village in the district but not actually taken any photographs.  11 02 03b   11 01 27e

1912    Sidney Campkin, the Mayor, recalled when photographs of family groups were taken on glass plate negatives. It took the greater part of the day and the result was not satisfactory. One advantage was that if one recognised people, they soon faded away. Dr Haddon told the Cambridge Photographic Club dinner that natives on a tropical island had cried when he’d shown the photographs of somebody who had since died but laughed to see someone who was alive. While developing in the tropics in a close atmosphere it was possible to wash your plates from the drippings off your nose!  12 09 27 & a

1912    Scott & Wilkinson & Stearn & Sons both received commands to take photographic groups of the King and his friends in the grounds of Trinity College – 12 09 27g, photo 12 09 27j

1913    A man entered Scott & Wilkinson’s photographic premises and tried to steal money from the safe, but it was empty. He then visited Mr Mason’s studios nearby and stole 25 shillings from the cash box before going to Kidd & Baker’s photographer’s studio to book a sitting, saying he would pay about 25 shillings for the photograph. Being suspicious, Mr Kidd followed him as he went into various shops, then called a policeman. But the suspect gave a satisfactory account of himself and disappeared. Had they known of the earlier thefts he would have found it much more difficult to satisfy the officer. 13 05 02 p9 CIP

1913    Cambridge Photographic Club opened new rooms in Park Place fitted up with enlarging and developing rooms together with a reference library. There is a permanent lantern screen over the mantel piece and beautiful specimens of photographic art are hung on the walls. Coton Church Institute also opened its new buildings with pictures of local celebrities on the wall. Games of bagatelle are provided and it is hoped to get a billiards table. 13 10 17 p7 CIP

1913    Kinemacolor visit Guildhall – includes colour pictures of Cambridge 13 10 24 p12 CIP

1913    Photographic Club exhibition – Prof McKenny Hughes uses photos 13 11 14 p7 CIP 

1913    Autograph Christmas cards with Judge’s real photographic views of Cambridge 13 12 05 p5 CIP

1914    John Titterton, an artist, sportsman, photographer and antiquarian lived in Ely nearly 60 years. He became fascinated by astronomy. He was a successful photographer in the time of the wet plate process and it was pathetic to look through thousands of old negatives and realised how many Ely friends had passed away. He was a clever artist his famous picture ‘The building of Ely Minster’ and a racy and versatile writer. As a representative of the Press he wrote a great deal of copy relating to old Ely. His father, Governor of Peterborough Gaol and superintendent of rural police at Cambridge, had taken part in the Battle of Waterloo and rescued the Duke of Wellington when mobbed at Apsley House. 14 07 24

1914    John George, photographer gives evidence divorce 14 08 21 p3

1918    Photographic club lecture by F Stoakley on making negatives using dyes made at University chemical laboratories Ch 18 10 30 p3

1922    W.C. Squires honoured as picture hung International Exhibition London by Royal Photographic Society - bromoil [2.13]

1924    Cambridge men have become very prominent in the photographic world. Famous are the remarkable examples of colour photography produced by Mr F.J. Stoakley, and the fine examples of pictorial photography by D.J. Scott, Palmer Clarke and others, not forgetting the clever natural history studies by Mr W. Farren. Cambridge is also noted for its very large numbers of lady photographers c24 06 28

1924    The large body of photographers from the Royal Photographic Society. who visited Cambridge recently were much impressed by some very artistic coloured portraits in the window of J. Palmer Clarke’s establishment in Post Office Terrace. They are something quite new, and of a very high artistic quality, as nearly like oil paintings as camera portraits are likely to be made. The method of colouring is the personal work of Mr C.E. Goodrich  - 24 07 22

1924    My fiancée said she would like a photograph of me. I was shown into a room that appeared to be an artist’s studio and the artist himself appeared and produced a camera from somewhere. The man had the effrontery to treat his business as though it were an art. He shifted a blind or two in the glass roof, put a few deft folds into a velvet curtain at one side of me and returned to his instrument. I was about to adjust my features to the desired expression when I heard something click. I looked up and saw the idiot had actually exposed a plate c24 09 08

1924    Holiday Snaps. Why don’t you make lantern slides of your holiday snaps. You will be surprised what pleasure it will give the youngsters to see themselves on the screen. Call and ask us about it. The winter evenings are coming on. Get ready for them, and make the youngsters happy. W.F. Turner, the Camera House, Trinity St, Cambridge – advert  c24 10 14

1926    Amateur photographers will find a warm welcome at the exhibition of the Cambridge Photographic Club. Mr Langdon-Davies has a very nice collection of oil prints, which show great artistic feeling; his local scenes include St Clement’s church and the University Press. Mr L.J. Jarman has a set of six prints, particularly pleasing is his picture of snow on the Backs. Mr R.H. Bullen has four exhibits, of which “Fairy Barges” strikes one as perhaps his best. The Misses M. & A. Johnson were bold enough to invade the precincts of the club and were awarded with two excellent impressions of Mr R.T. Bellamy, one being inscribed “The minutes of the last meeting c25 02 23

1926    Miss Olive Edis whose photographic portraiture is well-known in Cambridge has come again to St Columba’s Hall. The collection is the fruit of many visits to Cambridge during recent years. There is an interesting collection of colour plates, some being fine examples of the Lumiere plate and others in the new gum-grain Agfa plate. The scarlet gowns make effective touches of colour and the portraits include Sir Arthur Shipley at the gateway of the Lodge at Christ’s and a fine head of Sir J.J. Thomson which gives a far more natural portrait than most of his paintings, with colour. A view of King’s College from the Backs is an exquisite example of what Miss Edis can do in landscape work and portraits of children and well-known nonagenarians and centenarians play an important part c26 10 16

1927    C.E. Goodrich spoke of ‘Some joys and sorrows of a professional photographer’. A very irritating thing that every portraitist experienced was when a lady bought back her proofs with the statement that neither she nor any of her friends knew for whom they were intended; no one recognised them, in fact. On one occasion the complaint was met by a profuse apology from the photographer for having in error sent her another lady’s proofs. Woe to the photographer who, catering for the general public in a moment of inspiration sought to apply some of the principles of art by suppression of some surplus furniture so as to allow the face of his sitter to become the centre of interest, for he would be though to be working with a defective lens and not giving value for money.  CDN c14.1.1927 [1.15]

1927    Deep regret is felt at the news of the death of Mr Frederick James Stoakley, chief laboratory assistant at the Chemical Laboratory for fifty years. He made a life-time study of colour photography and made the first ‘three colour’ photograph seen in Cambridge. He was one of the first to handle the Autochrome plate and produced some remarkable renderings of chemical objects. He was in great demand as a lecturer on colour photography and his photographic studies have been exhibited in all the big exhibitions. He was one of the founders & past President of the Cambridge Photographic Society  CDN c 16.1.1927

1927    The work of maintaining a pictorial record of the streets and buildings of Cambridge is greatly facilitated by modern photography and much credit is due to those enthusiastic amateurs who perpetuate these important historical records. There are some excellent examples of the work of the Cambridge Photographic Club on exhibition at the Borough Library and the short time required to view the photographs will not be wasted. CDN c14.2.1927

1927    Cambridge Photographic Club celebrated its 25th anniversary. They were doing admirable work in conjunction with the Cambridge Antiquarian Society in securing a preserving a photographic record of various places which might disappear in course of time. Ald Starr said he had joined Hills & Saunders as a lad in 1880. They used wet plates at that time and had to coat them and sensitive them, and they would not keep for more than a few hours. c27 09 30

1927    Cambridge Photographic Club had made progress with the photographic survey of the county and over 100 prints were produced. There was still a great deal to be done and this should be regarded as one of the most important parts of the club’s work. A collection of photographs of Cambridge was exhibited in the Public Library. The East Anglian Federation had held its summer meeting in Cambridge, but the weather was not in favour of photography. c27 10 09

1927    No woman has photographed more Royalty or distinguished people than Miss Olive Edis, the well-known expert in the production of monochrome and colour photography. She has her third annual exhibition in Cambridge, although she has worked in the town for some 20 years. One wall has a display of portraits of well-known Cambridge people but the greatest attraction will be the colour photography of local scenes c27 10 15

1927    Dr W.M. Palmer is chairman of the joint committee of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society and the Cambridge Photographic Club which is engaged in the formation of a collection of photographic records of old buildings and other objects of interest in the county, particularly those which are likely to disappear. He displayed 160 lantern slides made by him during the last two years of old houses, taken from the outside and from the inside, and a number of old photographs showing buildings now vanished and costumes that are no longer worn. The record will be of great value to the historian a hundred years hence c27 10 17

1929    Mr Walter James Stearn, the Cambridge photographer, has died. He was a son of Thomas Stearn, the founder of the photographic business, and with his brother Harry made it well known in University circles. His success as a sporting photographer meant that he was known to more undergraduates than any other townsman. In his younger days he was a keen sportsman, rowing being his principal interest. He was president of the Rodney Dramatic Club and always sent bouquets to all the lady members of the cast of the plays, but could never be persuaded to appear on the boards  CDN c 10.2.1929 [1.9]

1929    Percival Rodrigo, a canvasser … obtaining photograph … from Gertrude Thompson … said he was setting up a branch in Fitzroy Street and canvassing photos for advertisements – would enlarge it .. represented the Westminster Studios. Albert Chandler, photographer printed leaflets warning about canvassers  - CDN 22.3.29

1930s   Bansall Club 1930s – history – Snelson - 84 11 03 .36.94

1930    undergraduates make cinema play of student life [1.11]

1930    Alderman Ralph Starr entered the photographic studios of Messrs Hills and Saunders as a young man but then started a studio of his own and became one of Cambridge’s most eminent photographers. He was Mayor in 1918 at a time when there was unrest among the ex-Service men. Trouble broke out in Luton and he was asked to send 20 constables to keep order. For the next three days Cambridge, which might have flared into disorder, was deprived of a considerable proportion of her own protectors but the danger passed.  30 07 15

1930    Sir – does Cambridge derive much pecuniary benefit from the photographer who blocks our busy street near the Post Office? I cannot believe that it was for this purpose that the graves were removed opposite Woolworth’s. Other photographers would probably like the same privileges accorded to the one who now blocks our path – ‘Old Cambridge’  30 10 06a

1931    A fire broke out at Messrs Towgood’s Film Factory at Sawston but was quickly extinguished by the staff brigade. It was confined to a part of the factory where benzine was used, and the damage kept to one dyeing machine and the roof of the building over it. Some film was involved, but this being non-inflammable, did not burn  31 12 11c

1932    Photographic club – how newspaper blocks are made – J.W. Scott, manager CDN Photo Engraving Dept  - 32 03 24b

1932    Inquest Henry Watson, photographic artist of Newmarket – worked for Frank Griggs – 32 05 13a  and 32 05 20d & e

1933    When the Cambridge Daily News was founded in 1888 it was produced in premises in Camden Place. All who pass the Theatre Buildings will see we are taking over the premises vacated by D.J. Scott, the photographer The present site, once an arcade of shops and offices in the passage leading between the New Theatre and Scott and Wilkinson, was acquired in 1901-2. Now we are expanding with new presses to enable a 24-page weekly paper, modern Linotype plate casting machinery and a larger photo-engraving department. We have also introduced a fleet of efficient delivery vans   33 02 14a & b

1933    H.S. Johnson on colour photography – 33 03 29e

1933    Snelson lecture on River Cam – 33 03 24b

1933    Briscoe Snelson lectures on Ouse with camera – 33 11 02

1933    David John Scott had been engaged in photographic work all his business life. He first started in 1884 in partnership with Mr Wilkinson at 47, St Andrew’s Street. They bought an existing business for £300 and traded for five or seven years before the partnership was dissolved and he bought Wilkinson out. About September 1932 he had to leave those premises and remove to 59 Regent Street, which affected the business. Trade had declined and people were not having their photographs taken as much as they used to.  33 06 15c

1933    Anderson (Andy) Broom was keenly interested from a boy in amateur photography and became the first Press photographer in Cambridge, having been for 20 years on the staff of the Cambridge Chronicle. Before that he worked for 37 years with the firm of Flavell and Ellis, decorators. He was member of St Giles’ parish dramatic society and an athlete, chiefly engaged in cycling and skating. 33 09 12

1933    Photographs taken during a holiday in Russia are displayed at Ramsey and Muspratt studio in Post Office Terrace. Two studies, ‘Dneiprastron: the new town’ and ‘Moscow: the Kremlin’ show there is beauty in the new and old. The human side is captured in a fine study of the ‘Intourist’ bus driver and a Young Pioneers’ demonstration while ‘The Infants School’ shows the Russian child. ‘Prison Settlement’, is a photo of another aspect of Russian life  33 11 02

1933    Making of photographic blocks by CDN Engraving department manager – 33 12 06

1934    C.E. Goodrich, the photographer, started working at Cambridge under Mr Palmer Clarke and with Mr Sanderson took over the business, continuing alone after Mr Sanderson’s death. He retired last summer. For over 25 years he was known for the special colour photographic process which he devised and used with great success in portrait and landscape works. He had photographed in colour most of the important members of the University and was always engaged to take pictures of new laboratories when they were erected   34 01 20

1934    J. V. Spalding lecture on amateur portraiture   - 34 02 09

1934    suicide Douglas Gavin Reid  34 11 02b, 34 11 03, 34 11 12

1935    W.C. Squires exhibition – 35 02 16

1935    Briscoe Snelson gave a lecture of exceptional interest on the Ouse and its tributaries, showing several beautiful slides of the scenery. This was a stretch near the Godmanchester-St Neots road where the river ran alongside the rail-road and every morning an enthusiast would wait to race the ‘Flying Scotsman’ with his motor boat. “Elsworth was a photographer’s paradise. It has no traffic problems, is on the bus route and has no petrol pump. It is a typical Cambridgeshire village, and I hope it will not change”, he said. 35 03 21a & b

1935    Ramsey and Muspratt’s photographic work will be even more distinctive by the use of the solarization process in certain of their portraits. It produces quite different results from the usual photograph as by chemical means a black line is made to outline the face of the subject giving it the appearance of a drawing. Their other work captures not only the face but the character of the subject. An exhibition of photographs features Dr Alex Wood and Cavendish Laboratory scientist Mr Searle together with charming child studies full of the joy of living. Others are of commercial work, showing interiors and pictures from unusual angles. 35 10 25b

1935    Cambridge University Camera Club heard how the aerial camera acts as a kind of detective of the air, picking up clues helpful to the soldier, the prospector, the map-maker, archaeologist and even the tax-collector. Wing-Commander H.M. Taylor from the School of Photography at Farnborough told how on one housing estate an aerial photograph was fixed at the entrances as a guide to the streets for strangers. Panochromatic film was used to combat moisture. Showing an aerial view of Cambridge he commented; “There’s always a lot of dust and haze over this town – there must be a lot of hot air talked!” 35 11 18

1935    Briscoe Snelson gave a talk, illustrated by lantern slides on ‘The River Ouse with the Camera’   35 12 07

1936    Percy Clark left Cambridge for a life of adventure in South Africa. Today he is famous to visitors at the famous Victoria Falls because of his picturesque huts which house photographs and mementoes for the delight of the traveller. In his autobiography, ‘An Old Drifter’ he tells how, after working as a photographer with Mr R.H. Lord, he went to Rhodesia where he worked as a travelling photographer. Having returned to Cambridge to be married he went back to find that the man he’d left in charge of his photographic business had decamped, having sold nearly all the furniture. But his young wife made the best of it and they have two strong sons.  36 04 22a

1936    “I never let people pose” said Mrs Lettice Ramsey at an exhibition of modern photography. Her Solarised photographs are striking and new, giving the effect of charcoal drawing, while the unusual angle in the beautiful picture of Mrs Victor Rothschild is becoming as well as arresting. But the child studies are the most interesting: none of the usual sentimental darlings, but vigorous, animated children, almost walking out of their frames. Feminine sitters appreciate a women photographer’s experience in matters of clothes and hair dressing while men – often vainer than women – can be flattered into good humour. Here is something new and original in photographic technique  36 06 04b

1936    A pilot summonsed for flying at a low altitude over the Cam at Fen Ditton told the court he was carrying a photographer for the Sport and General Press Agency. Herbert Cook was taking pictures of the Bumping Races from a side window using an ordinary camera with a long focus lens. They had to fly across the river and would not have got good photographs if they’d come down to the tree tops. There were a number of other planes from Marshall’s flying about. Spectators complained he was too low and had caused one of the waitresses at The Plough to spill the things on a tray in the tea garden. The case was dismissed. 36 10 01 & a

1937    Briscoe Snelson lecture ‘With a camera in East Anglia’ – 37 01 22c

1937    Percy Salmon gave a lantern lecture on Melbourn to Cambridge Photographic Club. One drawback was a lack of water supply and this was a serious matter to a photographer. The method of washing slides at the village pump was slow, but healthy, while dangling them in the mill pond merely provided a free picture show for the stickleback, who ruin the slides by their curiosity and rubbed the gelatine off. He deplored the ‘slum clearance fever’ which has swept Melbourn. It has made the village more healthy but less picturesque and no longer a hunting ground for photography  37 10 20c

1937    Cambridge Photographic Club’s annual competition was ‘Street characters and customs”. There were interesting entries depicting well-known characters and street scenes. Graham Turner submitted a picture of ‘William Davis, pedlar’, Capt C.G.M. Hatfield was awarded a certificate for a photograph of ‘Banjo Joe’, a familiar figure on the Backs, while Graham Turner and T.E. Collier were praised for their entries  37 12 15c

1938    W.F. Turner pictures of Old Cambridge – interesting notes – 38 02 03a

1938    Briscoe Snelson lecture on East Anglia with a Camera – 38 02 10

1938    Ralph Starr, photographer recalls early advertisement in CDN – 38 05 31k

1938    Cambridgeshire Photographic Record exhibition – includes watercolours of areas impossible to photograph including view of Fitzroy Street and Burleigh Street corner from roof of Laurie & McConnals painted by Beryl Pickering; other sketches include the Saxon Cement Works, Eagle Hotel yard, Hobson Street from King Street end, Miss M.C. Greene paintings of yards – Ninepin, True Blue, Ram Yard, Falcon Yard. Last thatched roof in Blackamoor Head Yard  - 38 12 13a

1939    Turner & sons of Trinity Street was founded by John Leach, chemist and photo dealer 50 years ago and taken over by W.E. Turner in 1912. It has one of the most modern photographic developing and printing factories at Humberstone Road – 39 08 02b

1941    Briscoe Snelson has 6 photos Royal Photographic Society show [1.6]

1945    Cambridge University Committee for Aerial Photography started when Prof John St Joseph began taking photographs in 1945 after his wartime experience showed him the value of aerial observation. In the first ten days he took 788 photographs. Until 1958 he used an RAF training aircraft but in 1962 the Department purchased its own plane. They have surveyed the whole of Cambridgeshire in colour.  89 07 07b

1947    Mrs E.H. Galsworthy has established a reputation as a photographer under the professional (and maiden)  name of Miss Olive Edis. She started taking photographs 41 years ago and has no less than 35,000 ordinary negatives stored away. Mrs Galsworthy has specialised in colour work, using Lumiere plates and her collection must be almost unique for it comprises a cross section of some of the most notable men and women of the last generation. There are a number of Cambridge personalities, many of whom were personally known to her for Cambridge is what she calls her "third home". They include Lord Rutherford, Sir J.J. Thomson and Dr M.R. James (Provost of Kings). Connections with the town date back to her early days and before her marriage she held annual exhibitions of her work in St Columba's Hall, St Andrew's Street c47 12 30

1950    Mr Ralph Starr, twice Mayor of Cambridge & once described as ‘the best-known man in the town’, died at his home. Few men have given so much of their life in the service of the town. He was first elected to the Council in 1904 and served continuously till November 1945. At a time when there were few Labour members of the council he was looked upon as the ‘People’s Mayor’. As a young man he entered the photographic studios of Messrs Hills & Saunders where he remained for eight years before starting the business to become well known in Cambridge & Ely as ‘Starr & Rignall’  c50 08 24  [1.8]

1955    Albert Grainger, the Burwell photographer, has died aged 69. A cheerful character he had made a host of friends during his 31 years in the photographic business. He worked as butler-valet for Lord Glanely at Exning House until in 1923 he set up in business at Burwell. His first job was a wedding the day after the shop was opened. Throughout his career he was assisted by his wife, Dorothy, who carried on the business for some time after his illness. 55 07 08b

1956    W.C. Squires had been a founder-member of the Cambridge Camera Club; he was a master of the technique of bromoil, his work being exhibited overseas, and an enthusiastic lantern slide worker. But he refused to lecture and many of his slides had never been shown. His speciality was the portrayal of open landscape and he aimed for a natural effect, be the conditions stormy or sunny. He loved the fen country round Reach 56 01 20d

1956    Baron the famous photographer (Mr Stirling Henry Nahum) commenced his career in Cambridge after his mother gave him a £16 camera. In 1935 he started a correspondence course with the Mallinson School of Journalism and Photography in Rose Crescent and had his lessons posted to Monte Carlo where he was living. He already showed promise and the School sold several of his photographs during the two years he was with them. 56 09 08e

1957    A.C. Barrington-Brown, photographer on trip to Far East – 57 09 04b

1959    Melbourn’s most familiar figure, Mr Percy Salmon, has died aged 87. He was correspondent for the ‘Cambridge Independent Press and Chronicle’ for many years. Nothing could ruffle his even temperament although his articles were often controversial. In his youth Mr Salmon travelled the world as a press photographer and his lantern lectures were a popular entertainment when he first came to the village in the late 1920’s. He was also an expert archaeologist. 59 08 26b funeral 59 08 28

1960s   The Cambridgeshire Collection has detailed newspaper cuttings files from this date

1960    Perse new school film  60 03 23a       

1960    Mrs B. Gaye portrait photographer moved Cambridge from Thaxted – 60 11 16

1961    Cambridge Camera Club photographic feature – 61 06 30c

1962    Camera club exhibition includes photographs by J.H. Scoon – 62 06 06

1970 Stearns joined Eaden Lilley, negs maintained [27.10.2]

1978    The Sunday Times devoted many pages to portraits of such people as Burgess and Maclean photographed during their undergraduate days in a “relaxed” style then very usual. They were taken by the famous Cambridge photographers, Ramsey and Muspratt in their studios at Post Office Terrace. The article also mentioned the 50,000-odd negatives left behind there by generations of photographic firms, but there could be even more. In a separate building at the back are cupboards, not opened for at least 70 years, that are absolutely stuffed with glass negatives. But now a selection of them have been printed by the Cambridgeshire Collection  c78 05 15

1978    Cliff Squires and Briscoe Snelson were two of Cambridge’s most talented amateur photographers, good friends who often photographed the same scene, though from their own distinctive viewpoints. Squires, founder of the Cambridge Camera Club died not long after his friend Snelson was widowed and in 1953 Mrs Kathleen Squires became Mrs Snelson. She remembers both husbands as simply, “lovely men”. Now their widow has deposited a horde of their photographs with the enterprising Cambridgeshire Collection, who are planning to hold lunchtime lantern-slide shows this autumn. c78 09 10

1982    Frith photographs being sold by Cottenham firm – 82 05 05a

1983    At Anglia Photo works in Devonshire Road they know the party season is in full swing. There was a time when you could guarantee there would be hardly any photographs to process after September, said Tom Johnson, but the emergence of d cameras with built-in flash has changed all that”. The average number of prints processed per film is now 22, much higher than it used to be. Now picture after picture flows from the processing machines and every one is personally scrutinised and inspected  83 12 10 p14

1984    KP Professional Sales started in 1968 when its position on King’s Parade was ideal for building up business with university departments. But it outgrew its space in the KP Camera Shop, moving to Sussex Street and then Quayside before opening new premises in Clifton Road. It supplies Government departments, the armed forces and a host of professional photographers who need a vital piece of equipment at the last minute. There is a lot of new electronic equipment but as far as taking pictures is concerned Ian Bedson, the managing director, doesn’t envisage any major innovation.  84 12 05 & a

1985    The rambling photographic premises in Post Office Terrace are best known as Ramsey and Muspratt’s studios. It was in 1931 that Lettice Ramsey and Helen Muspratt took over the business previously run by Palmer Clarke. They built up the portraiture side of the work, photographing most of the university students in the 1930s and carefully filing their negatives. In 1978 the business was taken over by Nicholas Lee and then Peter Lofts but has now closed. All the glass negatives of previous photographers at the studio, dating back to the 1860s, are now in the Cambridgeshire Collection. 85 02 01b & c
1985    Lettice Ramsey, a member of the Bloomsbury Group and Cambridge photographer extraordinary, has died at the age of 86. Born in Ireland, she was educated at Newnham College and married Frank Ramsey a brilliant King’s philosopher who tragically died three years later. Left with two daughters she studied briefly at Regent Street Polytechnic and set up in business as a photographer in Post Office Terrace with Helen Muspratt. She was instantly successful and rapidly became fashionable, photographing the influential and up-and-coming throughout the 1930s including Anthony Blunt and Virginia Woolf. She retired in 1978  85 07 18

1985    Cambridge Darkroom exhibition of Fen photographs – 85 11 18

1986    Starr and Rignall photographs given to Cambridgeshire Collection. – 86 04 04c

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