Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Business Winds Down

In 1953, Hardman's business begins to struggle and as the number of clients dwindled, he applied for numerous jobs to supplement his income. The jobs he applied for included a job with Kodak, a position as senior lecturer at Guildford's School and as a secretary to the Bluecoat Society of Arts.

It was during this time that Kenneth Burrell died in 1953 - although his association with the business had ceased completely in 1929, the pair remained friends and kept in regular contact.

In 1958 (also the year Hardman's mother passed away) the decision was made to close the Chester Studio as it was no longer financially viable. The Rodney Street Studio remained open until 1965, when Hardman officially retired, although he did still take portraits if they were requested. At this time, the annual turnover for the business was at £900 per annum and only part-time assistants were employed. Hardman was also teaching photographic classes for the Army to subsidise his income.

Edward Chambre Hardman with Rolleiflex, taken by Mrs Hewlett in 1969

It was during one of these evening photography classes at Chester Army Barracks in 1969, that the well-known image of Hardman with his Rolleiflex was taken. For the assessment at the end of the course, each student was required to take a portrait of another member of the group. Due to the fact that there was an odd number of students, Mrs Hewlett (who was the wife of the course organiser Colonel Hewlett) was paired with Mr Hardman. For many years, the photograph was incorrectly attributed to Margaret Hardman.

Here are just a few of the photographs taken during Hardman's evening classes at the barracks:

Abstract Pattern - taken during the 1950s
 This pattern was made using the light traces created by a swinging pendulum. Hardman's notes on the back of the prine read:  'A very wide field of Photography is covered in the Army Photographic Classes.'

Combs and Shadows - taken in the 1950s
This photograph shows combs arranged on a table with light shining through them to create interesting shadows. This was a piece created as a class exercise in table top photography at the Army Photography Class Hardman ran in Chester.

Illustration for Christmas Card - taken in the 1950s
This photograph is another table top photograph taken at the Army Photography Class Hardman ran in Chester. It is labelled 'Illustration for Christmas Card, Class Exercise in Table Top Photography, No. 26 A.E.C. Photography Classes’

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Birth of the Ark Royal

Edward Chambre Hardman took the Birth of the Ark Royal in 1950. This is an article about the photograph written by The Hardmans' House Custodian, Sarah-Jane Langley.

The Birth of the Ark Royal - taken in 1950

Edward Chambré Hardman made Liverpool his adopted home in 1924, setting up his portrait studio at 51a Bold Street. At the height of his business he was able to move his home and studio to the more prestigious address of 59 Rodney Street, with a second studio at 27 St Werbugh Street, Chester. Hardman would work three days a week at each of these studios, commuting from his Rodney Street home. It was during these regular journeys to Chester that he was able to view the ‘birth’ of one of the most famous aircraft carriers, The HMS Ark Royal. Replacing her predecessor (which had been torpedoed in 1941), the ship had been built over the course of five years at the Cammell Laird shipyard in Tranmere, Birkenhead. By 1950, the time when Hardman was a regular commuter past this historic shipyard, the ship was completed and painted with a white undercoat that made it stand out amidst the gloom of its surroundings. As Hardman himself remembered, ‘it stood out from the smoke and muck of Merseyside, in fact it was the smoke and muck of Merseyside that attracted me to it’

Having settled on taking a photograph of the newly completed ship, Hardman then had to find a good vantage point from which to capture this image. As a pictorialist photographer, Hardman saw his work as pieces of art rather than documentary records and as such was looking for a suitably artistic composition in his finished photograph. He scoured the areas nearby, taking photographs from different viewpoints, until he settled on a location at the top of Holt Hill. From here he could capture the Ark Royal in all its glory, seemingly floating above the rooftops of Tranmere. Again, in his search for a perfect composition, he decided to wait for a suitable subject to fill the otherwise empty expanse of foreground – by chance, a small boy delivering papers began to walk down the hill away from Hardman. Again, a number of photographs were taken, each showing the boy at different stages on his journey with Hardman choosing the most suitable one to be worked upon in his darkroom.

As he saw his landscapes as pieces of art, Hardman would often work extensively on the negatives to create the perfect image. In retrospect Hardman stated ‘I was trying to recreate what I had seen, to produce an effect, and anything that goes against the effect I want, I rule out’. The Ark Royal was no different, with thorough alterations being made to details within the composition: the gable end of the house was whitewashed as it clashed with the Ark Royal’s undercoat - using a red dye on the negative, he darkened it to ensure the focus was the ship in the background; while walking down the hill, one of the boy’s socks had fallen down around his ankle, again using a dye Hardman effectively ‘painted in’ the sock up to the boy’s knee; Hardman also used dyes to carry out minor ‘touch ups’, deleting litter from the floor and darkening any details that appeared too bright.

Once this work was carried out, Hardman printed the finished photograph in his personal darkroom at 59 Rodney Street, exhibiting it under the title ‘Where Great Ships Are Built’. It was under this title that it appeared in the British Journal of Photography, 1959. At a later date it assumed the more familiar title ‘Birth of the Ark Royal’, the name by which it is still known today, and has come to be considered as one of Hardman’s most iconic photographs.

Friday, 27 July 2012

The Rodney Street Studio

Staff on Doorstep of 59 Rodney Street - taken by E. Chambre Hardman in 1950

The lease on the Hardmans' Bold Street studio was due to expire in 1948, so the Hardmans decided to take the opportunity to improve their premises and move to a larger building. They sold their home in Barnston Village to fund this move and bought 59 Rodney Street on 14th January 1949 for £4250. At this time the business had a staff of 10 and an annual turnover of £3,800. Rodney Street is often called  'The Harley Street of Liverpool', housing many doctors and consultants and was an affluent and prestigious address. 59 Rodney Street was not only their business premises, but their home as well and the Hardmans occupied just 3 small rooms at the back of the house - a Bedroom, Living Room and Kitchen on the first floor with their Bathroom being situated on the second floor.

The Studio - Undated, taken by E. Chambre Hardman

They kept their Chester Studio on and Mr. Hardman continued to work there for three days each week taking portraits. The negatives would then be brought to the Rodney Street Studio to be processed and printed.

Here are a few of the photographs Edward Chambre Hardman took of Rodney Street:

Front Door, Rodney Street - Undated, taken by E. Chambre Hardman
Rodney Street from Upper Duke Street - taken by E. Chambre Hardman in 1960

Rodney Street - taken by E. Chambre Hardman in 1972

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Three Stacks, Barnston

Some time in the early to mid 1940s, the Hardmans moved form their rented flat on Hope Street to Barnston Village on the Wirral. They bought Three Stacks at 21 Private Drive. This was perfectly situated as it was positioned mid way between their studios in Liverpool and Chester. By coincidence, the designer of Three Stacks was Francis Xavier Velarde - a friend of Edward Chambre Hardman's.

Here are some of the photographs the Hardmans took of the Wirral:

Summertime on Bidston Hill - taken 1932
A Sand Yacht on the River Dee - undated

Capenhurst, Cheshire - undated

Country Lane and Bridge, Dibbinsdale - undated

Snowy Woodland, Barnston - undated

Thatched House on Wirral Peninsula - undated

Willaston Windmill - undated

Winter Sunshine in the Old Quarry - undated

Sunday, 8 July 2012

World War Two - Portraits from 1945

This is the last in our series of portraits of World War Two service people. These photographs were all taken in 1945:

Lieutenant H. G. Rowland - taken 23rd February 1945
Lieutenant H. G. Rowland of Pendower, Wrexham, in military uniform. Order placed on 12th March 1945 6 for 1 Special Small Gold Portrait.

Captain Rider - taken 17th April 1945
Lieutenant Rider of Cluny Cottage, Upton by Chester. Order placed 20th May 1945 for 3 small gold portraits and 3 miniature portraits.

ASO Wetton, RAF - taken 16th July 1945
Assistant Section Officer Wetton of Blackbrook, Heydock, St Helens. Order placed on 14th August 1945 for 2 Small Gold Portraits and 2 Special Small Gold Portraits.

Lieutenant N. F. Nicholson - taken 28th July 1945
Lieutenant N. F. Nicholson, of Wayside, Llanarmon, in Scottish Military Uniform sitting with his arms crossed. Order placed 19th January 1946 for 2 small gold portraits. Second order placed 15th August 1948 for 2 prints.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

World War Two - Portraits from 1944

More Second World War portraits, these ones are from 1944:

Captain McCoy - taken 14th February 1944

Captain McCoy and his Two Children - taken 14th Feb 1944

Lieutenant Chambers - taken 22nd March 1944

Second Lieutenant J. E. Entwhistle of Royal Marines- taken 12th August 1944

Pilot Officer J. R. Atherton RAF - taken 7th December 1944

Friday, 6 July 2012

World War Two - Portraits from 1943

Portraits of Service People taken during the Second World War, these photographs were all taken in 1943:

First Lieutenant C. D. Hopkins US Army - taken January 1943
 First Lieutenant C. D. Hopkins in full United States Army Uniform., with lapel badges showing that he was part of the Engineer Corps.

Miss D. Moody WRNS - taken 3rd March 1943
 Miss D. Moody of the Women's Royal Naval Service of 2 Kingdale Avenue, Caxton, Birkenhead , in full Naval Uniform. An order was placed on 18th March 1943 for two small gold portraits and ten miniature portraits. 

Miss P. Ackers WLA - taken 30th March 1943
 Miss P. Ackers, of the Women's Land Army in full uniform. An order was placed by Miss P. Ackers of Rhual, Mold, on 27th April 1943 for 10 prints. 

Lieutenant W. Bryce R. N. R. - taken April 1943

Mrs G. Carter - taken 13th April 1943
 Mrs Guy Carter in military uniform, of the Military Hospital, Liverpool Road, Chester. An order was placed on 19th May 1943 for 16 prints, including two tokens to be send abroad.

Major Stone's Army Group - taken 17th April 1943
 An order was placed on 17th May 1943 for thirty four photographs by A. D. Claims, 88 Watergate Street, Chester.

Miss J. De Bevere - taken 9th August 1943
Miss J. De-Bevere of 10 Linnet Lane, Liverpool 17, wearing military uniform with the Red Cross symbol sewn onto her sleeve, and a field service cap. An order was placed on 19th August 1943 for 10 miniature portraits and 12 passport photographs. A note on the customer card says of the passport photographs, 'wanted soon as possible, must show Belgium and red Cross on Sleeve'.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

World War Two - Portraits from 1942

More portraits of WWII service people - these photographs were all taken in 1942:

Captain Bowen Wright - taken January 1942
Captain Bowen Wright in full army uniform, his cap badge indicates that he was in the Medical Corps.

Lieutenant Tandevin - taken April 1942

Miss M. Ramsbottom - taken August 1942

Professor Blacklock - taken August 1942
 Professor Blacklock in Naval Uniform, he was later the Professor of Tropical Hygiene at Liverpool University, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. 

Captain E. K. King - taken November 1942

F. H. Reddicliffe RAF - taken November 1942
Sergeant F. H. Reddicliffe, wearing full RAF uniform with Field Service Cap and Observers' Half Brevet on his jacket.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

World War Two - Portraits from 1941

Here are some portraits of Service People taken at the Burrell & Hardman studios during the Second World War. They were all taken in 1941:

Pilot Officer Edward Nicholson - taken January 1941
PO Edward Nicholson of Druids Lodge, Tenryles Road, Hoylake, wearing full RAF uniform with great coat. Order placed on 15th November 1941 for 3 special small gold portraits. Order placed on 23rd March 1942 for 2 special small gold portraits. Order placed on 25th March 1946 to supply new glasss and re-framing. 

Colonel Simons - taken February 1941
Colonel Simons of Burrescroft, Curzon Park, Chester, in Army Uniform with Field Service Cap. First order placed on 28th March 1941 for 2 Small Gold Portraits Framed. Second order placed on 12th April 1943 for 2 Prints. Third order placed on 13th September 1943 for 2 Prints.

Captain Emlyn Jones - taken February 1941

Miss M. F. Wood, WAAF, RAF Sealand - taken April 1941
 Miss M. F. Wood, dressed in RAF uniform, Order placed on 26th April 1941 for 1 Large Gold Potrait, 1 Special Small Gold Portrait and 4 Minature Portraits.

Mrs Law - taken June 1941

Mrs Law of Greenbank House, Greenbank Lane, Liverpool, wearing Naval Uniform. Order placed on 3rd July 1941 for 1 special small gold portrait framed, 2 special small gold portraits, 3 miniature portraits and 1 leather wallet. 

Second Lieutenant R. A. Neter, RWF - taken August 1941
Second Lieutenant R. A. Neters, R. W. Fusiliers, dressed in military uniform. Order placed on 21st November 1941 for 1 small gold portrait and 1 special small gold portrait. Order placed on 4th May 1942 for 1 special size miniature portrait. Order placed on 7th July 1942 for 1 miniature portrait. 

Captain Thomas Panas and Miss A. Langdon - taken November 1941
 Captain Thomas Panas & Miss A. Langdon of 10 Cardwell Road, Garston. Order placed on 2nd December 1941 for 2 small gold portraits.

Mrs Saunders ATS - taken December 1941

Sunday, 1 July 2012

World War Two - Portraits from 1940

Here are some more portraits of Service People taken during the Second World War - these were all taken in 1940. They are roughly in date order and we have given extra information where we have it.

Captain J. P. Fairclough - January 1940

Second Lieutenant Porter - taken either January or February 1940
 2nd Lieutenant Porter of the Lancashire Fusiliers in full uniform.

Second Lieutenant K. S. Terry - taken February 1940
 Second Lieutenant K. S. Terry in full army uniform with the cap badge of the Staffordshire Regiment (Prince of Wales).

Lieutenant F. O'Neill - taken February 1940
 Lieutenant F. O'Neil in full Naval dress uniform. His sleeve insignia shows that he was part of the Electrical Branch.

C. K. Mathew Esq. - taken February 1940

Second Lieutenant Proctor - February 1940

J. H. S. Martin Esq. - taken March 1940

A. E. L. Boxer - taken April 1940

Lieutenant Marrack - taken April 1940
 Lieutenant Marrack in full uniform holding a cigarette. His cap badge indicates that he was in the artillery section.

Lieutenant Faning - taken May 1940

Captain D. R. Richardson - taken July 1940

Captain Mancroft - July 1940

Chief Petty Officer F. Dawson - July 1940

Second Lieutenant J. K. Evans - August 1940
2nd Lieutenant J. K. Evans of 19 Curzon Park, Chester, wearing full military uniform with field service cap. Order placed on 17th September 1940 for 2 small gold portraits and 3 miniature portraits. Order placed on 3rd October 1940 for 3 special small gold portraits and 3 miniature portraits. Order placed on 28th December 1940 for 2 special small gold portraits. 

Captain A. G. McPherson - taken August 1940

Major J. F. Colvin - taken August 1940

Mrs Charney's Son - taken August 1940

Miss A. S. O. Campani WAF - taken 15th October 1940
Miss Campani, dressed in Women's Air Force uniform. Address listed as RAF, Hooton Park, Cheshire. Order placed on 28th January 1941 for 2 Special Small Gold Portraits. Second order placed on 11th September 1941 for 2 Prints.

Miss J. Ward - taken October 1940

Mrs Harvey - taken October 1940

Pilot Officer Ayer - taken October 1940

Captain R. Lyon - taken 9th December 1940

M. W. Shand - taken December 1940