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rita tait
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Thomas of Guildford update
1 Reply

Since posting news of the research into Ifor & Joy Thomas (Guildford School of P hotography) we have been delighted with the response which is already in. Several members of the family are now…Continue

Tags: Dylan, Reimann, School, Guildford, Thomas

Started this discussion. Last reply by rita tait Mar 14, 2010.

Guildford School of Photography
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If anyone knows anything about Joy & Ifor Thomas, former photography teachers at Guildford in the 50s will they please get in touch.

Tags: Guildford, Thomas, Joy, &, Ifor

Started this discussion. Last reply by rita tait Feb 25, 2010.

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Ifor & Joy Thomas Guildford

My husband photographer Jack Tait & I are involved in research concerning the highly acclaimed teachers at Guildford School of Photography in the 1950s. I shall give all details if anyone out there is interested in helping with a project that gives long overdue honour to this pair who were so important in the history of photography teaching in the UK.

Posted on December 2, 2009 at 17:59 — 2 Comments

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At 19:59 on June 6, 2011, Damian Hughes said…

Thanks for such a quick response Rita. Sorry to hit you at such a busy time. I hope the festival went well. Given your message, I am guessing you have a fairly heavy involvement?

I am researching 1950s British photography for an MA dissertation. Specifically, I want to look at Picture Post and Jane Bown of The Observer to suggest a transition in photographic practice during the 1950s, from staff photographer to freelance, from photojournalist/documentary to a more subjective independent photography. I hope to place this in a broader context by looking at the practice of a few other photographers of the time, the debate surrounding the Combined Societies, and the wider context of "subjective photography in Europe and the USA.

As part of my inquiry, I want to understand how aspiring photographers of the period developed their approach - what were they were looking at for inspiration and what were they  learning 'in training'? Jane Bown of course was trained by Ifor Thomas at Guildford - hence my present interest. I have posted some more specific questions on the BPH discussion pages at

If you or Jack have any answers to offer, I'd be really grateful.

I will also be heading up to the National Media Museum in Bradford shortly, to see what I can find in the journals. If I come across anything relating to Ifor and Joy, I will of course let you know.

I understand you need some R&R after the festival so please don't feel pressured by my request for help. I will give you a breather before phoning.

Thanks again - hope to talk to you soon.


At 10:37 on May 15, 2010, Jeff Gould said…
Hi Rita,
Wondered if you had any chance to cotact your friends yet ?
I am trying to work out when I can get to Hereford to visit the museum, would be great if I could meet with them at the same time.
best regards
At 18:59 on May 3, 2010, Jeff Gould said…
Dear Rita,
From your descrition this seems to be some sort of Bee meter. The box should be brown, have metal corners and have the price of 5/- on it. There are a whole series of Bee meters, what your husband has is part of a group desgined for different makes of cameras, so I would efinitely like to have a photo of it.
kind regards
At 14:55 on May 3, 2010, Jeff Gould said…
Hi Rita, I am very interested in your comment to my blog. I am new to this sort of thing so have no idea how you reply to a blog comment (advice welcome !). I would love to see a photo of your husbands Watkins meter. I have a collection of about 40 different Watkins meters; I estimate that there are more than 100 all together, with the different varieties of each model. If you can send me a photo the best e-mail address to send it to is:
By the way, I live in Guildford, anythins I can do to help your research ?
kind regards
At 10:17 on March 15, 2010, Christopher May said…
This is sounding VERY interesting! again, unfortunately I am still at sea so am out of phone range but will let my Mum know ASAP!
At 14:47 on February 22, 2010, rita tait said…
Thanks for that.
At 14:37 on February 22, 2010, Christopher May said…
Hi Rita, she's back in Chiddingfold on Monday 8th March.
At 12:22 on December 8, 2009, Mark Haworth-Booth said…
Dear Rita

I have a suggestion for your research if you would like to contact me offline.

Best wishes, Mark Haworth-Booth

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