Museum seeks detail on Tindale pictures

Delighted child with pumpkin.

Delighted child with pumpkin.

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The people of Whitby are being invited to view precious pictures of the town and its people in an attempt to add as much information as possible.

The black and white photos being exhibited at Whitby Museum were all taken by John Tindale, who was a freelance photographer for the Whitby Gazette.

Classic game of conkers

Classic game of conkers

Mr Tindale was a chemist and photographer who worked in the family chemists started by his father Charles, for a shrot period.

His roles included going out on his bike collecting film for processing for customers, before going to university and later serving in the Second World War.

Around that time, it was common for chemists to have a photographic side to the business and John opened a studio and pharmacy in Skinner Street in 1947.

He worked for many years as a freelancer for the Gazette. Much of his work was commissioned by local public bodiews, resulting in an extensive record of Whitby.

John Tindale

John Tindale

A large collection of his prints from the 1950s on wards was donated by the former Gazette owners, the Horne family, to Whitby Museum.

The exhibition at the museum is now under way and the people of Whitby are encouraged to go along and see if they can help provide more information on when and where the photos were taken and who is on them.

Each photo has a reference number so any further detail can be added to the records.

One of the current photos on display, for instance, shows a child with a pumpkin, but no information.

Registrar at the museum, Denise Gildroy, said: “Someone out there knows who that child is so the photo becomes more important.

“It’s like a living memory but if we don’t get the information now, we’ve lost it completely. We decided to scan what we had and put it out there to the people of Whitby.”

The images are proof prints so they are not as crisp in focus as if they were professional prints for sale. The images passed on, complete with finger prints, creases and folds, were ones which Mr Tindale failed to give away before he sold his business.

The photos are just a small representation of Mr Tindale’s work, but a new selection will go on display in the first week of each month to keep it fresh. There is also a 20-minute slideshow on TV with more than 80 images to view.

The exhibition will run until February. The museum is open 9.30am to 4.30pm Tuesday to Sunday. Entry is free for Whitby residents and children.