British photographic history

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Victorian Photographer: Rev. Montague (Monty) Bird - Walton on the Wolds.

A friend, while playing with her sister in the Loft of there home - the Old Parsonage in the early 1950's - discovered many glass photographic plates taken by the Victorian Photographer, the Reverend Montague 'Monty' Bird.

He was a fine and enthusiastic photographer and pioneer motoring enthusiast - who took many images of local events and characters ....... and specialised in humorous PhotoMontages (skeleton dinner parties/ winged car flying over the Rectory (somewhat pre dated 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang').

As they are deteriorating, I have high resolution scanned the the available ones onto digital files to help preserve them for posterity (the others were left with the local Records Office in the 1950's) BUT they now appear lost!!

I am researching 'Monty's' life locally BUT am writing to enquire if any Members may have come across him (I understand he may have been a member of the Linked Ring/London Photographic Salon) in there photographic researches ............... ?

Many thanks,

Alan.

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Comment by Alan M. Preston on November 24, 2010 at 17:53
I have had for a while (bought from a Doctor in German Slovakia) an unusual (what appears to be a prototype) 1932/3 Leica 250 DD (DRP on the bottom line of the rangefinder housing); no serial number; it has a well engineered 250 Spool locking system; a single extended Base Plate Locking Lever (identical to the Electric Motor extended levers) with a Locking End Pin (similar to the production Leica's). It has fairly standard looking wind knobs (not the later 250 frame counter) The 'Vulcanite has some wear patches to it (as if used routinely) BUT the rest of the Camera is in remarkably unrestored good condition (with only minor brassing). Can any Leica BPH members add any information about this Leica 250 DDcamera ................................ I did eMail some images BUT they don't seem to have appeared on my BPH web page. If anyone has an interest, I'll try to send them again. Alan.
Comment by Alan M. Preston on November 7, 2010 at 21:39
I am also researching the great interest of Thomas E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) and his friend George Bernard Shaw in Photography (as I have just finished helping my late old friend (94) to research a very comprehensive biography of Lawrence's other great interest - the famous Brough Superior motorcycle) ........ my old friend raced supercharged 'Broughs'; was a great friend of George Brough, and knew many people who were friends of Lawrence. If anyone has a similar interest/contacts ..................... Many thanks. Alan.
Comment by Alan M. Preston on November 7, 2010 at 21:11
Hello Lucy,
Many thanks for the wonderful photographic information about your Grandfather, Monty Bird - my friends in this village found the Glass Slides in the Attic of the Old Parsonage (where they lived) in the adjacent village of Hoton ....... where they were playing as schoolgirls in about 1953. Yes, the Glass Slides were donated to the Leicester Records Office in about 1955 for 'safe keeping' BUT I too have made enquiries, and it appears they have now been LOST ?? .............. BUT my friend still has about 20 Slides of mainly local characters and scenes, which I have high resolution scanned for posterity, as some of the original Emulsions are sadly beginning to deteriorate.
I am in contact with the present family at the Rectory in Walton on the Wolds - and we are hoping to find, and reunite the Plates again - as Prints, in an exhibition at the Rectory. My eMail address is: am.preston@btinternet.com - as a vintage photographer/biographer,I look forward to trying to find the outstanding Plates, and discussing your Grandfather's life further ......................... Kind regards, Alan M. Preston (Donington Park Pre War Racers Association)
Comment by Lucy Gillies (nee Bird) on October 30, 2010 at 1:41
Dear Alan,
Monty Bird was my grandfather. I have copies of a number of his trick photographs, but no originals unfortunately. I am now living in the USA, but my cousin still lives in the UK and has a number of copies of his photographs aswell as research of the family history. My father was orphaned at the age of nine and I believe that a number of his father prints etc where looked after by a friend in the village called Mr Briggs. however, when he passed away I believe they were sent to the local records office. My father tried to contact them to retrieve these prints and negatives but without any success. If you would like to send me your email address I can pass on my cousins contact details - I know he would be very interested in your research.
Kind regards
Lucy Gillies (nee Bird)

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