Volunteer blog – ‘A Man of Many Parts 2’

In this weeks blog Joanna talks us through Winter’s ‘other’ career in local politics which spanned 35 years:

Local politics played a big part in Walter Winter’s life. His expanding business gave him an opportunity to meet and serve a wide range of prominent Derby citizens. He was a churchman and like many men of the time and he saw it as part of his duty to do the best for his fellow man and the community in which he lived.

The local newspapers of the time reported in detail all local government issues and it has been possible to build up a chronological picture of Walter Winter’s political career.

In 1875 WWW was elected to the Litchurch Local Board. Litchurch at that time had its own Local Board set up in 1860 as a self-governing body for that area. It later became integrated back into Derby under a Local Government Reform Act. He went on to represent this area on the local board and the Derby Council as a local and independent candidate eight times, six of them unopposed. The newspapers reported his regular attendance at many meetings only missing them because of illness for which he apologised to the ratepayers of Litchurch through the newspapers and thanking them for their kindness and good wishes. As well as full council meetings he attended the estates committee, the special drainage committee and school board meetings. In 1903 he was elected JP (justice of the peace), and in March 1904 his dedication to council work was rewarded when he was elected an alderman in recognition of his many years of service.  He was one of the few to be elected alderman without first serving as mayor. He served on the council right up to his departure to Canada in April 1910.


Volunteer blog – ‘A Man of Many Parts 1’

This week Joanna starts to look at different aspects of Winter’s life:

The following quotation appears in the Winter Scrapbook which was found at the premises by volunteers sometime in the past 5 years. The scrapbook is a collection of newspaper cuttings about Walter Winter and the business. Unfortunately many of them are not credited to the newspaper in which they appeared. Walter Winter was a man of many parts; this cutting from the scrapbook sums up Mr Winter well, ‘trade, commerce, religion and philanthropy have all claimed his attention, as has the welfare of his fellow citizens’. His contribution to trade and commerce has been covered so I will now look at other aspects of his life.

W. W. Winter the churchman.

Walter had strong connections to the church from his early days. The Winter family had connections to both the Church of England and the nonconformist church. Family baptisms took place in church and chapel. He attended Holy Trinity Church on London Road being married there to Sarah Charles on 17 May 1864. He was received into that church on 27 February 1875 his name appearing in the baptism register. He had a long association with this church up until the time he emigrated to Canada in 1910 being churchwarden for many years. Accounts in local newspapers report his attendance at meetings, outings, bazaars, men’s bible classes, and Sunday school. Letters to his family show a deep belief in God and knowledge of the Bible as is shown by his use of quotations. This was particularly so at the time of his illnesses and financial difficulties.  During the early 1900s he became involved in the Kensit Crusade which was against ritualism in the Church of England. John Kensit founded the Protestant Truth Society to oppose the influence of the Oxford Movement which sought the reintroduction of ‘catholic’ or Roman Catholic thought and practice to the Church of England. On moving to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, he was appointed a lay preacher in 1912.  He extended the existing Mission Room in Happy Valley and built a meeting room, school room and reading room known as the Trinity Mission Hall. In 1915 he was ordained deacon in the Reformed Episcopal Church and presbyter in 1917. 

Next time I will look at Mr Winter’s role as local politician.

Volunteer blog – ‘Slowing Down’

Last week’s blog covered an peak era for Walter William Winter. This week Joanna brings news of Winter’s work at the very end of the nineteenth century.

Further to last week’s blog, my research has continued to see if there were more than the sixty plus medals won by W. W. Winter in the twenty years between 1884 and 1894.

The end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries were increasingly difficult ones for Walter Winter with periods of ill health and a decline in business brought about with the availability of inexpensive cameras and increasing ease of home photography. The time also had its highs; photographing King Edward VII during his visit to Rangemore and also Princess Mary wife of the future George V and her family. Walter was also elected Alderman, a fitting reward for his long service to the local council. Trawling the newspaper archives it is noticed that he and his wife enjoyed an active social life attending council, society and church events. Many of his portraits were presented to Council and society representatives. He also continued to exhibit his portraits in Derby as a non-competitive entrant alongside other well-known Derby photographers C. B. Keene, C. Dereske and F. Birch. One surmises if this was a decision on Winter’s part not to exhibit outside Derby due to expense and time. Winter also continued to experiment showing a rough proof of a flashlight photograph of members of the group taken by himself at a meeting of the Derby Photographic Society in May 1900.

Now as a man approaching 60 maybe the time had come to slow down. Walter became increasingly involved with the church and the religious movements the Kensit Crusade and the Irish Church Mission. He also as churchwarden oversaw the rebuilding of Trinity Church, London Road. In 1904 William Henry King who had joined the business in 1896 was appointed head operator and manager.

Volunteer blog – ‘What’s in a Name’

This week Joanna talks about some of the information that can be found on artefacts, i.e. the prints in our collection.

When I am cataloguing prints I always turn them over to see what is written or printed on the back – usually it is the Winter’s business stamp, sometimes there is a name, date, title, negative number or random number (which in the future might mean something as we discover more). All these things are recorded. Cabinet cards which are photographs mounted on cardboard 8×6 inches (203x153mm) are printed with the photographer’s name on the front and designs on the back. When Mr Winter started winning medals in the 1880s the number of medals won, numbering over sixty, and the venues where the exhibitions took place were recorded. These ranged from across the UK to Europe, USA, and India .There is evidence that Mr Winter won his first award, a certificate for superior productions in photography in 1866 in Nottingham, his first medal came in 1884 at the Bedford Fine Art Exhibition with a print entitled ‘Meditation’. The top prize was a gold medal or a 1st silver medal followed by bronze medals and certificates. There were classes for professionals and amateurs. Classes included portraiture and landscapes, and single exhibits or groups.

During the last few weeks Angela and I have been trawling the newspaper archives and internet to find the names of the prints, exhibitions and details of the exhibits.  The aim is to hopefully find the prints/plates relating to the exhibits. Names of prints include Miss Gibbs, Miss Beresford and her sister and Viola, but others have names which had me thinking ‘what’s in a name.’  There is ‘Amid the Bracken’, and Blushing Sixteen’ – some clues there! Then there is ‘Contemplation’, ‘A Quiet Moment’, ‘Undecided’, ‘A Reverie’, ‘Just Off’, and ‘The First Pipe’ reported as being ‘a juvenile act in 3 parts’. One wonders if this is about underage smoking! Two of the award winners  ‘My Mammy’  and ‘Does Granny like Butter’ were registered for copyright and are in the National Archives so we can recognise them. Some are described in newspapers; ’The Undecided Voter’ is a portrait of a man sitting reading a paper and scratching his head.  ‘The Poet and His Victim’, sometimes exhibited as ‘The Village Rhymester’, portrays two well-known Derby personalities George Miles (an insurance agent) and Samuel Borrey. The Sheffield Daily Telegraph gives an excellent description of the photograph. They are pictured in a snug room with a decanter of Madeira on the table and a pervading incense of tobacco. A man is reading to an elderly listener, Mr Borrey, asleep in a chair.

Mr Winter became renowned for his portraiture as is evident from the number of awards and accolades he received. Hopefully it will be possible to match the awards to the subjects as more plates are cleaned and catalogued.