I visited Whitby at the weekend to see the lovely photographic exhibition at the museum in Pannett Park on The Many Faces of Whitby which features images from the museum’s extensive photographic collections covering roughly the period from the 1870s to the 1970s.
There was a wonderful selection of photos of people at home, work and play, mainly by Tom Watson, the Dorans, Hugh Lambert-Smith, Hugh Kendall, John Tindale and Frank Sutcliffe.
In contrast I was very disappointed, when visiting Lythe, to see the deteriorating condition of photographer Tom Watson’s studio. Watson (1863-1957) produced some excellent portraits and landscape views and his studio merits restoration. I took photos of it a couple of years ago and was sad to see the deterioration since then. The darkroom section of the building looks watertight, but the rest needs urgent attention as it is partly open to the elements. In the short term a protective tarpaulin would prevent further damage. In the long term perhaps the building could be saved as part of Whitby and district’s heritage, one possibility being to use it as a local history or photographic museum.
Ruth Wilcock. Brentwood, Essex by email