'From Photo-News Service to Photo Centre'
27th January - May 2018
The Granary Gallery, Bridge Street, Berwick upon Tweed
When David Smith began his photo news agency in Berwick in 1951, demand for his work came thick and fast at a local and national level. An experienced journalist with a keen eye for a story, he captured a wide range of subjects, from a visiting celebrity to a runaway circus elephant, not to mention a host of wedding and portrait commissions. As the business expanded, Smith opened the Photo Centre on Bridge Street and was joined by his son Ian and a team of staff photographers. On Ian Smith’s retirement in 2012, the business' archive represented a remarkable record of the town and its people and was acquired by the Berwick Record Office.
Drawing on this unique collection From Photo-News Service to Photo Centre: The Archive of Smith, Berwick tells the story of this family run press agency and photo studio, and place it in the context of broader developments in photography.
The exhibition was kindly supported by Allan Brothers, Berwick Preservation Trust, Freemen of Berwick, Friends of Berwick & District Museum and Archives, Greaves, West & Ayre and the University of Cumbria.
This is a walkthrough video of 'From Photo-News Service to Photo Centre: The Archive of Smith, Berwick'
Wm. Cowe and Sons - An Exhibition
Between April 17th and 23rd, the newly restored shop at 64-66 Bridge Street, Berwick upon Tweed played host to my exhibition charting the history and restoration of the property.
Until 2010 the premises housed 'The Original Berwick Cockle Shop' owned by William Cowe and Sons. This exhibition brought together material from a number of sources. Documents and ephemera discovered during the restoration filled the wall space along side paintings by artist Brita Granstrom. Photographs of sweet making from Berwick Record Office illustrated how confectionery presses from Berwick Museum were used. To show the buildings in their more recent state, film from 2010 by Ian Fenton and Jacob Polley played to give visitors a visual tour of the property.
During the week the exhibition was open it attracted over 1100 people, most of whom remembered the shop and the Berwick Cockles. Several visitors were even ex employees. Being present for the duration of the exhibition allowed me to record oral testimonies of those visitors who remembered working or shopping here.
© Cameron Robertson 2019