British photographic history

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Capt Sir Tom Moore, Keighley and photography

One of the more heart-warming stories coming out of the UK's COVID-19 lockdown was the fund-raising garden walk of centenarian Tom Moore, who raised over £30 million and was knighted for his efforts. There is a photography angle to this and the following text from the Keighley and District Photographic Association is used with permission: 

In May 2020 we were contacted by Amy Roth, a Producer from North One Television, who was working on an ITV documentary about Captain Sir Tom Moore. North One Television had interviewed Captain Sir Tom and he had mentioned that he had been a member of our club between 1934 and 1936. Amy wondered if we could help track down some of his work.

As one of the oldest camera clubs in the country our club archives include several hundred glass slides that date from the 1890s to the 1950s. In 2016, having found that some of these glass slides were beginning to show signs of deterioration, we had decided to digitise them so that the images were not lost. We had completed nearly two  hundred slides by the time Amy contacted us; the digitisation process being tackled in batches of 25, as and when we had time. Amy’s contact spurred us on and the next twenty five slides were pulled out and we were immediately attracted to two slides in particular; one slide was marked as the work of W Moore and the other the work of T S Moore. Amy was asked to confirm with Captain Sir Tom’s family if W or TS were relevant initials for members of their family. Their response was that TS was not relevant, as Captain Sir Tom has no middle initial, but W could be his father, Wilfred, who was a keen photographer.

By luck, in the glass slides already digitised there were two that captured our teams that, in 1920 and 1955, had won Yorkshire Photographic Union’s prestigious Keighley Trophy, named in honour of Alexander Keighley, our co-founder. These two images were sent to Amy in the hope the Moore family could identify one of the members as Wilfred. They could! He was part of our team that won in 1920. So, one hundred years ago, in the year that Captain Sir Tom was born, his father helped us win the Keighley Trophy.

We renewed the search of our archives and made a significant find - a box labelled ‘Wilfred Moore Slides’ containing over one hundred of his glass slides. Amy selected twenty that she wanted us to digitise for possible inclusion in the documentary. The production deadlines meant that we only had a few days to do the necessary work and Club President, John Raven, rose to the challenge.

In July North One Television held their second interview with Captain Sir Tom and they showed him the prints of his father’s images. In one of the images he was able to identify his grandfather. In the 1920s Keighley Trophy team photo Captain Sir Tom remarked that his father was younger than in any other photo he had ever seen. This is the picture above - Wilfred Moore is back row, left. On August 13th ITV broadcast their documentary ‘The Life and Times of Captain Sir Tom Moore’ and we were delighted to see a number of our Wilfred Moore images were included and that we were listed in the credits.

We have invited Captain Sir Tom to become an Honorary Member; it would be wonderful to welcome him back after all these years.

Text and image used with permission and © Keighley & District Photographic Association. With thanks to Alan Peacock.  See: https://www.kdpa.co.uk/

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Comment by Tom Ruffles PhD, ARPS on September 13, 2020 at 9:40

How lovely.

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