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Online free daily newspaper for St Helens, Merseyside - sthelensnow.com @sthelensnow #sthelensnow #sthelens - Updated every day at 7.00am

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St Helens Through The Lens
  Updated Tue, 20 Jun 2017 15:01:07 +0000
Description Exploring the George Street Photography Collection
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Inspiring young photographers
Category Event, archives, Carmel College, Debbie Adele Cooper, digitisation, George Street Photography Collection, heritage lottery fund, Kevin Crooks, photography, Photography students, St Helens Through The Lens
Published:
Description: As part of the HLF supported St Helens Through The Lens project, artist Debbie Adele Cooper has used the 1950s George Street Photography Collection to inspire A Level Photography students from Carmel College.  Debbie discussed her work on this project as well as introducing them to the work she has produced in response to other archive collections. The students were introduced to various…  more...

As part of the HLF supported St Helens Through The Lens project, artist Debbie Adele Cooper has used the 1950s George Street Photography Collection to inspire A Level Photography students from Carmel College.  Debbie discussed her work on this project as well as introducing them to the work she has produced in response to other archive collections.

Kevin Crooks - Carmel College 3

Inspiring young minds with old techniques

The students were introduced to various items of photographic history, including glass plates, tintypes, 35mm slides, cyanotypes, photo etching plates, pinhole cameras, chemigrams and instant film.  Debbie commented “photography is a relativity young medium that has changed so much over the last 160 years; it was great to inspire these young artists to explore other techniques and styles of photography”

Kevin Crooks - Carmel College 2

Debbie discusses various methods of photography

Debbie also admitted to being inspired by the students herself, “many of the students shared their photography and film work with me, it was inspiring to see the quality of work they are producing at Carmel College, and I look forward to seeing what work they make for their end of course exhibition.”

Kevin Crooks, Head of Photography at Carmel College remarked that, “it was really helpful for our Photography students to see how a local photographic archive is being used and responded to. The techniques and processes that Debbie went through have provided our students with a range of ideas that can be used to creatively develop their own photography. Debbie also provided inspirational advice about working as a practicing professional photographer and how to potentially secure their own creative commissions.”

Kevin Crooks - Carmel College 1

Instant film photograph of Kevin Crooks with students


Austin Rhodes: A Saint in Focus
Category Photographs, Alex Service, Austin Rhodes, Geoff Williams, George Street Photography Collection, Saints Heritage Society, St Helens Rugby League, St Helens Through The Lens, Tom Van Vollenhoven, Volunteers
Published:
Description: Many thanks to Alex Service (Saints Heritage Society) for this article. ?St. Helens Through the Lens? is a ten month Heritage Lottery Fund supported Heritage and Arts project based in St. Helens Library and Arts Service. This unique project aims to engage residents in uncovering the local history documented in the collection. It includes 3,000 glass plates discovered…  more...

Many thanks to Alex Service (Saints Heritage Society) for this article.

?St. Helens Through the Lens? is a ten month Heritage Lottery Fund supported Heritage and Arts project based in St. Helens Library and Arts Service. This unique project aims to engage residents in uncovering the local history documented in the collection. It includes 3,000 glass plates discovered in a former photography studio in 1984, most taken by local professional photographer Geoff Williams, who also took hundreds of images of Saints? matches for the local newspapers over the years. It is a generic collection, however and, overall, provides a real snapshot of local life in St. Helens in the 1950s. The images have been digitised and are being catalogued and described essentially by volunteers.

Saints? fans amongst them were quick to spot a full-length portrait of double Challenge Cup winner Austin Rhodes in the collection and Project Archivist Victoria Brokenshire was only too pleased to send a copy of the image to the man himself.

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Despite still possessing a razor-sharp memory on rugby league matters, Austin could not actually recall the occasion. ?It might have been connected with me getting my club blazer,? he recalls, ?although that?s as far as it goes. After all, it was a while ago!? His wife, Marlene was delighted: ?That was certainly the man I married! Although there are some blemishes on the photo itself, it?s great to see that Austin?s actual image is clear as a bell. We?ll be sending this to our daughter in Australia ? she?ll be thrilled!?

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Amongst other images on the project?s website, you will find Austin?s great friend, Tom van Vollenhoven judging a beauty pageant. ?It sounds like a tough job to me, but somebody had to do it and Tom stepped manfully into the breach,? joked Austin.

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Indeed, some of the other images from the collection can be viewed here. I wonder how many of the people whose portraits are on view were Saints? fans?


Past Mayors of St Helens
Category Photographs, digitisation project, Geoff Williams, George Street Photography Collection, glass plate negatives, Old photos of St Helens, past mayors of St Helens, people, photography, St Helens Through The Lens, St Helens Town Hall
Published:
Description: Billinge and Seneley Green ward councillor Joe Pearson has recently been announced as the new Mayor of St Helens for 2017-18. Below is a selection of some of our favourite archive images of past mayors of St Helens.  These photographs are all from the George Street Photography collection and have been recently digitised from glass plate negatives.  They were all…  more...

Billinge and Seneley Green ward councillor Joe Pearson has recently been announced as the new Mayor of St Helens for 2017-18.

Below is a selection of some of our favourite archive images of past mayors of St Helens.  These photographs are all from the George Street Photography collection and have been recently digitised from glass plate negatives.  They were all taken by Geoff Williams in the 1950s/60s either at his photography studio at 16 George Street or at various locations around St Helens.

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Jane Donald was mayor of St Helens in 1955, she was the third female mayor of St Helens

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Percy Millington Lowe was mayor of St Helens in 1956, this portrait hangs in St Helens Town Hall

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This photograph was taken in St Helens Town Hall in 1956 of Percy Griffiths, who was mayor of St Helens in 1952

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James Francis McDonnell was mayor of St Helens in 1959, here with a group of Girl Guides who have visited the Town Hall to display their crafts

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Joseph Murphy was the mayor of St Helens in 1960, here various dignitaries, councilors and representatives gather on the town hall steps for ‘Mayor’s Sunday’.

To see more past mayors of St Helens, click here: PastMayorsPhotos.


Artist workshop: Explore the Magical History of Photography
Category Event, activities, archives, art, Debbie Adele Cooper, digitisation, George Street Photography Collection, glass plate negatives, heritage lottery fund, Parr Library, photography, St Helens Through The Lens, Thatto Heath Library
Published:
Description: Join artist Debbie Adele Cooper to explore how photographs were made in the past using handmade glass plate negatives from the 1950s George Street Photography collection. Colour in images from the collection or learn how to make your own old-fashioned photo on your mobile phone or tablet. FREE workshops suitable for all ages but children must…  more...

Join artist Debbie Adele Cooper to explore how photographs were made in the past using handmade glass plate negatives from the 1950s George Street Photography collection.

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Colour in images from the collection or learn how to make your own old-fashioned photo on your mobile phone or tablet.

FREE workshops suitable for all ages but children must be supervised:

Parr Library, Wednesday 31st May at 11am-1pm
Thatto Heath Library
,Wednesday 31st May at 3pm-5pm

 

Parr and Thatto Heath - Artist photo workshop poster

 


Talk: ?Pictures From The Past?
Category Event, activities, digitisation project, discovery, George Street Photography Collection, heritage lottery fund, local history talk, memories, Old photos of St Helens, Pictures From The Past, St Helens local history, St Helens Through The Lens, Thatto Heath Library, Tom Preston
Published:
Description: Find out more about images from the George Street Photography Collection through a engaging talk led by local historian Tom Preston that will explore key images and delve into the heritage of St Helens and the wider area in the 1950s. Thatto Heath Library, Friday 9th June at 2pm  more...

Find out more about images from the George Street Photography Collection through a engaging talk led by local historian Tom Preston that will explore key images and delve into the heritage of St Helens and the wider area in the 1950s.

Thatto Heath Library, Friday 9th June at 2pm

Poster ACL Local History - Thatto Heath Library


Nurses of the 1950s
Category Photographs, 1950s nurses, Black & white, digitisation project, discovery, George Street Photography Collection, glass plate negatives, International Nurses Day, photography, St Helens Through The Lens
Published:
Description: International Nurses Day is celebrated every 12th May, a date which celebrates the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. To celebrate the nurses of St Helens, we would like to share some of our favourite archive photographs of 1950s local nurses that appear in the George Street Photography collection. Thank you to all nurses for your care, kindness and dedication. Do you…  more...

International Nurses Day is celebrated every 12th May, a date which celebrates the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

To celebrate the nurses of St Helens, we would like to share some of our favourite archive photographs of 1950s local nurses that appear in the George Street Photography collection.

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Nurse Duff and Nurse Clearey in uniform, circa 1955

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Two nurses in uniform seated in a studio, circa 1955

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Nurse Kennelly and Nurse Hickey wearing nurses coats, circa 1955

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A portrait of Sister Hughes, circa 1955

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Nurses sing Christmas Carols in St Helens Hospital, circa 1955

Thank you to all nurses for your care, kindness and dedication.

Do you recognise anyone in the photographs or have any stories or memories to share? Please comment below.

The George Street Photography collection is an archive of over 3000 glass plate negatives that were discovered in a former photography studio in St Helens and have been digitised and preserved as part of the St Helens Through The Lens project, thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Sunlight Printing Workshops
Category Event, archive photographs, art, Chester Lane Library, Debbie Adele Cooper, developing photographs, Eccleston Library, fun, George Street Photography Collection, Haydock Library, photography, photograpy, St Helens Through The Lens, sunlight printing, Sunprint
Published:
Description: Join St Helens Through The Lens project artist Debbie Adele Cooper for a fun free creative workshop suitable for all ages! Explore hidden archive photographs, develop your own sun-prints and learn more about photographic techniques and the George Street Photography Collection from the project artist. Tuesday 25th April 4pm-6pm: Chester Lane Library Wednesday 26th April 4pm-6pm: Eccleston Library Thursday 27th April…  more...

Poster Sunlight Printing x3-page-001 (1)

Join St Helens Through The Lens project artist Debbie Adele Cooper for a fun free creative workshop suitable for all ages!

Explore hidden archive photographs, develop your own sun-prints and learn more about photographic techniques and the George Street Photography Collection from the project artist.

Tuesday 25th April 4pm-6pm: Chester Lane Library
Wednesday 26th April 4pm-6pm: Eccleston Library
Thursday 27th April 4pm-6pm: Haydock Library

 

 


Strike a pose at The World of Glass!
Category Event, 1950s, activities, fun, George Street Photography Collection, half term, Half Term activities, people, photography, St Helens Through The Lens, The World of Glass
Published:
Description: Join St Helens Through The Lens artist Debbie Adele Cooper at The World of Glass this half term for fun activities inspired by the George Street Photography collection. Debbie will be at the museum on Thursday 13th April, inviting people to have their portraits taken at her pop-up portrait studio to be included in a new piece…  more...

Join St Helens Through The Lens artist Debbie Adele Cooper at The World of Glass this half term for fun activities inspired by the George Street Photography collection.

Debbie will be at the museum on Thursday 13th April, inviting people to have their portraits taken at her pop-up portrait studio to be included in a new piece of art.  This art piece will use new portraits, as well as ones discovered from the 1950s, and will be installed in Central Library.  The portraits are free and you will receive a digital copy of the image taken.


There will also be colouring sessions for all ages! Choose a 1950s image from the archives to hand-tint and bring to life with pencil crayons, water colour pencils or pastels.


These activities will be held at The World of Glass museum, Chalon Way East, St Helens from 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 4pm.

To find out about more about upcoming activities, click here.
To submit your own portrait to be included in the artwork, click here.


Preserving glass plate negatives
Category negatives, archives, cataloguing, conservation, George Street Photography Collection, glass plate negative preservation, glass plate negatives, heritage lottery fund, preservation, St Helens, St Helens Central Library, St Helens Through The Lens, volunteering
Published:
Description: Glass plate negatives are subject to unique damage and deterioration.  Glass is very fragile and can easily crack or break, the emulsion on the glass can flake and the glass plates are also subject to damage from water, fungus and mould.  The risk of damage and the rate of deterioration of glass plates negatives can be greatly reduced if correct storage techniques and handling methods…  more...

Glass plate negatives are subject to unique damage and deterioration.  Glass is very fragile and can easily crack or break, the emulsion on the glass can flake and the glass plates are also subject to damage from water, fungus and mould.  The risk of damage and the rate of deterioration of glass plates negatives can be greatly reduced if correct storage techniques and handling methods are implemented.

Thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the glass plate negatives from the George Street Photography Collection have each been digitised and are now being rehoused into archival standard packaging by our team of project volunteers.  The process we are carrying out is described below.

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Glass plate negatives in their original paper envelopes

Handling, cleaning and rehousing glass plate negatives

Glass plate negatives must be handled on a clean, flat, dry surface.  At St Helens Local History & Archives, we work on top of a sheet of Plastazote, a non-reactive dense foam that reduces the risk of damage.  Plastazote can also be cut to size to separate and protect the glass plates once housed in storage boxes.

Gloves should always be worn when handling glass plates, to increase grip, prevent fingerprints and also any physical injury from the glass.  Non-vinyl nitrile gloves are recommended as cotton gloves can be slippery when handling glass and could also snag flaking emulsion.

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1. Take a glass plate negative.  This George Street Photography Collection includes mostly 4″ x 5″ glass plate negatives.

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A glass plate negative in its original envelope

2. Remove the glass plate negative from its envelope in order to identify the image.  Always handle glass plates by two opposite edges, never one edge or a corner.

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Always wear gloves to handle glass plate negatives

3. Once the image has been identified, write the new reference code and title onto the new enclosure.  This should be written before housing the plate, to avoid putting pressure on the glass.

The glass negatives from the George Street Photography Collection are being rehoused into acid-free pHoton four-flap paper enclosures.  Glassine, PVC or coloured envelopes should not be used as they are not a suitable storage medium for long-term preservation.

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A pHoton four-flap cruciform paper enclosure

4. Remove any dust or debris from the glass plate using a soft, natural brush.  Care must be taken on the emulsion (dull) side of the glass plate.

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Carefully remove dust and debris

5. Close the four flap enclosure onto the plate.  When folded, the enclosure forms a secure unit around the plate without the need for glue.

 

6. Place the negatives in their new storage box vertically on their longest edge – this puts the least pressure on the glass plates.

The below shows temporary storage.  The glass plates from the George Street Photography Collection will be eventually housed in Premier Hinged Lid Boxes, 1300 Micron, 132 x 164 x 118mm.

IMG_32322

Glass plate negatives must be contained in stable, dry and cool storage conditions.  The glass plates from the George Street Photography Collection will be stored on static stainless steel shelves within monitored conditions, between 16 – 18°C and between 35 – 45% relative humidity.

There are various resources for more information on the preservation of photographic materials, for example: The National Archives ‘Caring for Your Photographs’, The British Library ‘Preservation of Photographic Materials’ or The National Media Museum ‘Conservation: Glass Negatives’


A trip to Paris in the 1950s
Category Photographs, Uncategorized, 1950s, Audrey Hepburn, George Street Photography Collection, Paris, Paris in the 1950s, Passport photographs, photography, St Helens, St Helens Through The Lens, studio portraits, vintage holidays
Published:
Description: In the George Street Photography Collection, around 800 images are passport pictures or studio portraits.  It has been intriguing to imagine why the passport photographs were taken and where the subject might be going. We were delighted to find out the story behind two of the photographs when some recent visitors to Central Library recognised their relatives.  Josephine Dolan and…  more...

In the George Street Photography Collection, around 800 images are passport pictures or studio portraits.  It has been intriguing to imagine why the passport photographs were taken and where the subject might be going.

We were delighted to find out the story behind two of the photographs when some recent visitors to Central Library recognised their relatives.  Josephine Dolan and Eileen Isherwood were an aunt and niece who won a raffle with the Rotary Club, and the prize was a trip for two to Paris.  This was around 1955 and would be their first holiday abroad, so they visited Central Studios to have their passport pictures taken.

Paris in the 1950s was a bohemian city of romance and adventure, and must have felt a million miles away from St Helens.

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Audrey Hepburn in Paris filming Funny Face (1957)

Parisian fashions, shops, restaurants and streets would have been memorable sights.  Josephine and Eileen might have enjoyed a boat trip on the Seine or may have been enthralled by the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Moulin Rouge and of course the Eiffel Tower

Many thanks to Barbara and Jillian for providing information about the photographs of Josephine Dolan and Eileen Isherwood.

Do you have a relative who might have had a passport picture or portrait taken at Central Studios in the 1950s? Check the gallery or visit St Helens Central Library to see if you recognise anyone.

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Display of unknown portraits at Central Library



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