Friends attend Talbot Conference showcasing major photographic archive

Friends were offered a fascinating glimpse into 20th century Lancashire working life and culture at a February conference highlighting exhibits from a major photographic archive. The inaugural Talbot Conference showcased the extensive works of Blackburn-based photographers Wally Talbot and his son Howard, whose commercial photography was widely commissioned by regional and national news media from the 1930s to the 1990s, creating a vivid documentary of local life and social history of the period.

The archive ranges in subject from industrial life in the early part of the century and bucolic scenes of the Lancashire countryside to major news and events of the times, including visiting music stars and celebrities. It is the subject of a major digitisation project in collaboration with Blackburn`College. Peter Graham, a student in the Photographic Media Degree Programme at Blackburn and a key contributor to this project, is also undertaking a ‘live brief’ photography project at Haworth Art Gallery as part of his curriculum.  Stay posted for more about Peter’s work on the Friends’ blog.

The inaugural Talbot Conference covered a range of subjects including the social, political, historical and technical contexts of the archive and provided an excellent opportunity to view this eclectic mix of images, some of which have never previously been published. To see these images and read more about the Wally & Howard Talbot Collection, visit

A meaningful insight into local history and culture and a very welcome introduction to this amazing archive which more than merits a visit. A big thank you to Peter for the invites to the conference for our group!


2 Replies to “Friends attend Talbot Conference showcasing major photographic archive”

    1. Hi Catherine
      Thank for your interest in the Haworth Art Gallery and in the East Lancashire photographer Wally Talbot. He was indeed a very talented man. The exhibition our blog post refers to was at Blackburn College University Centre where post grad student Peter Graham had curated some of Wally Talbot’s work. Our Friends Group from Haworth Art Gallery were invited to attend the opening ceremony following some voluntary work Peter had done for us. This was a few years ago. However, some of Wally’s photographs and further information can be found on this link to the CottonTown website –

      I hope this helps you find more images by Wally.

      The Haworth Art Gallery is open to the public with free entry and has a various exhibitions on at different times. It also houses the largest collection of Tiffany Glass in Europe. Please see our home page for details of opening times.

      Best wishes
      Alison Phelan
      Treasurer and General Secretary
      Friends of Haworth Accrington

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