Friday, 2 December 2016

Another side of the remarkable and popular Manchester photographer Robert Banks

Uppermill circa 1890
Robert Banks was one of those remarkable Victorian self made men, who went from being a woollen piercer in a mill in Uppermill to a celebrated and sought after Manchester photographer who eventually gained the title by Royal Appointment.

Now I have written about him on a number of occasions, but knew nothing of the man or his achievements until my friend Sally began sharing his pictures.

And it would appear few other people knew much about him either and sadly the one book published on his work is now out of print.**

So not deterred by such minor obstacles I went looking for him and as you would one of my first ports of call was Uppermill and the Museum at Saddleworth.

And Mr Peter Fox the curator was able to supply both more of the story and some wonderful earlier images including this delightful advert dating from March 30 1867


Reverse of a photograph, circa 1890s
“ADVERT : R. BANKS, PHOTOGRAPHIC STUDIO, UPPERMILL
R. Banks respectfully informs the Public that he has now opened a Photographic Studio at Uppermill, Saddleworth - Open daily from 9 till dusk.****

I wondered at how Robert Banks had managed to set himself up given his earlier occupation but it appears he had joined a photographic club drew on their advice and I guess either borrowed or saved for his first camera.

So I shall leave you with this early Banks photograph from  Uppermill, and promise you more.

Picture; courtesy of Saddleworth Museum, http://www.saddleworthmuseum.co.uk/





*Robert Banks, http://chorltonhistory.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Robert%20Banks

**Manchester From the Robert Banks Collection, James Stanhope-Brown, 2011, the History Press

***Saddleworth Museum,

****Oldham Chronicle

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