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Volunteer blog – ‘Medal’ & ‘Receipt of bills of sale’

Joanna has been spending some of her lockdown time delving into the history of the business. She has written two blogs: 

Medal – Winter’s Fine Art Exhibitions 

W.W. Winter was descended from a family of East Anglian artists. As a young man he worked alongside his artist father (also a photographer) as a painter of animals (1861 Census). It is evident from many newspaper reports that after he came to Derby and set up the Midland Road studio that the buying and selling of fine art was a major part of his business alongside photography. He also sold artists materials. Also, he had begun to exhibit his photographs and to style himself as an ‘artist in photography’. 

The first exhibition aimed at encouraging art work in all of its various forms was held in 1984 and was open to amateur and professional artists. There were six exhibitions in total the last being in 1890. We have copies of the catalogues for the 1st, 2nd and 6th exhibitions and have a photocopy of the prospectus for the 3rd exhibition. The catalogues list entries in the various classes, names of judges and patrons, and names of those who donated prizes and medals. Entries could be deposited at various places around the UK for despatch to Derby. The exhibitions ran for approximately 4 weeks. Medals were silver or bronze. 

The medal presented to Mrs Harold Nadin in 1886 was given at the 3rd exhibition November 2 – December 13 1886. This was opened by Lord Denman and his wife presented the prizes. The design is based on the ‘buck in the park’ which is part of the Derby coat of arms. The Danes named the town Derby which translated means ‘field of deer’. From the catalogue for the 2nd exhibition held December 2 1885 – January 26 1886 we see Mrs Nadin won a prize for painting on china. In the catalogue for the 6th exhibition May 8 – 31 1890, Mr and Mrs Harold Nadin are listed as patrons and Mr Nadin donated a silver medal.  

In 1891 surplus works of art, art materials and bric-a-brac were sold off. Following building work/alterations  Mr Walter Winter announced the opening of new showrooms displaying examples of Art Photographic Portraiture. 

 

W.W. Winter – receipts and bills of sale. 

The 2x bills of sale dated 1883 and 1884 were issued at the time when the sale of art materials and fine art were a major part of the Winter’s business and at the time when Winter was planning his first fine art exhibition at the studio. Interestingly they are both signed by Henry Mosley, Winter’s chief cashier at the time, who was dismissed in 1886 for irregularities in the accounts. Mosley brought a case against Mr Winter for wrongful dismissal which was reported in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 13 August 1886. Mosley lost the case. 

The Henry Wilmot portrait was bought by George Sutherland, a local schoolteacher and later headmaster of St Andrew’s School near the studio. The availability of these cabinet photographs was advertised in the Derby Daily Telegraph 4 June 1884 as a ‘reduced sized copy of the portrait of Sir Henry Wilmot being prepared by Mr Winter from a large one in the Derby Conservative Club’. Sir Henry Wilmot was awarded a Victoria Cross for bravery at an action in Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny. He was a local politician, alderman and honorary colonel of the local Volunteers of which Walter Winter was also a member. He also opened the 2nd Fine Art exhibition at the studio in December 1885 and donated prize medals at that and subsequent exhibitions. 

Volunteer blog – ‘A Puzzle’

Blog from Joanna –  A  Puzzle 

  I have been occupying myself with an interesting puzzle this last month. Whilst researching some other matter I reached for the Winter’s copy of Kelly’s Directory for Derbyshire for 1891 which I knew to be in the collection at the studio. Directories are a mine of information of the who, where, how and what of an area at the time.  Whilst checking the names I wanted for my research I noticed that on the flyleaf at the back was a list of place names and dates all written in Mr Winter’s hand, a style I recognise from many hours of looking at glass plate negatives!  

  The dates are in chronological order between April and August of 1893. The seven dates in April and May are weekly, 4x Tuesday, 2x Monday and 1x Wednesday. There are no dates in June and July. The August dates are a Tuesday and a Saturday of the same week. Against the dates are a list of towns and villages – Clay Cross April 11,      Winster, South and North Wingfield  April 18.  The places range from Hathersage in the north to Willesley near Ashby De La Zouch in the south. 

 What was this all about! I surmise that the list could refer to journeys undertaken by Mr Winter to photograph something. Could these places be reached in a single day and what was the subject.  I checked the place names in the directory and found that they were all within a short distance of a railway station and they all with one exception (Pilsley) had a church. Inspection of the convenient map in the Directory showed that with planning and changing trains, the journeys could be made by train to include the places named in the group on the given date. The network of main and branch lines belonging to the Midland Railway and Great Northern Railway that criss-crossed Derbyshire at that time was amazing, enabling easy access to  North/South and East/West travel.   However, it was possible that journeys were made by horse and carriage.  

  So, what may have been the reason for going to all these places. There are a large number of prints and glass negatives of the exterior and interior of many churches in the collection and chance remark in some family correspondence revealed that Mr Winter was interested in photographing fonts. I will need to check in the archive and see if there are any prints and negatives of these particular churches and see if the negative numbers relate to the time. 

  Practicalities are that Mr Winter would have to carry a camera, tripod and a leather bag of prepared plates in their wooden holders, all very heavy. Did he take an assistant with him? This and other questions remain to be answered and there is more research to be done by looking at the negatives.  It has been an interesting exercise and I will of course let you know if I find out more!   

Volunteer blog – ‘Returning to the studio’

Another Blog from Joanna as we return to the studio, post lockdown. 

 With lockdown easing some of the volunteers are back at Winter’s on a rota basis, keeping our distance in the members’ room and carrying on with the accessioning and scanning. I think I can say for all of us ‘it is good to be back’. 

  I for one found picking up where we left off a bit daunting as we left very suddenly. We were in the middle of a box of glass plate negatives – mayors of Derby and a series of other unrelated glass negatives of various dates. However, we soon got into it and it was great to find a negative which may explain a print we found last year. The print was of a medal presented to Ada Parnham of the Deaf and Dumb Institute (now known today as the Royal School for the Deaf) by W .W. Winter for a painting on opal at a Spring Exhibition in 1882.  The medal is shown in a frame. Up until now no information about this exhibition had been found. The negative shows a craft exhibition at the Institute, and I wonder if this was an annual event at the time. Ada was 8 years old at the time that she won the medal. News reports of the AGMs of the institute show that Ada won other prizes during her time, for scripture, sewing, freehand drawing and writing. She went on to marry and to have two daughters. She and her husband Frank Bradley lived in the Alfreton area.  

If anyone has any information about Ada, the medal or the exhibition, please get in touch with the studio, we would be pleased to add to this story 

Volunteer blog – ‘A Man of Many Parts: The Family Man’

In this last blog of the current series Joanna links up the different parts of Winter’s family:

I think it is probably known that Mr Winter married three times. First to Sarah Ball the widow of Emanuel Nicolas Charles who opened the first studio; secondly to Emily Pakeman a sadly short marriage which had lasted barely a year when she died of TB. His third marriage was to Hannah Ruddle by whom he had three children. This marriage lasted 35 years ending with Walter’s death in 1924, Hannah passing away six years later. I intend to leave this part of the story for another time and refer in this piece to the Winter family into which Walter was born.

Walter is descended from an East Anglian family which lived in the area around the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Walter’s grandfather John was an artist in stained glass. He had twelve children and among these and their children there were artists and photographers. Walter’s father Cornelius Jansen Walter Winter was his fourth child. Cornelius was an artist and photographer and Walter worked alongside   him before moving to Derby in 1862. Walter’s mother was Anna Shipston the daughter of a local butcher. Walter was the eldest of the four boys and two girls. Sadly Neville died aged one and Anna passed away shortly after the birth of Ellen.

From family letters we learn of the close relationship with his father throughout his life. The pair sent work to each other to be sold or finished when Walter was established in Derby. Cornelius exhibited at the fine art exhibitions held at Walter’s studio between 1884 and 1890. Walter travelled to Norwich to be at his father’s side when he died. Walter also sent money to him, his brother Holmes and sister Ellen known as Nellie. Walter’s brother Arthur and sister Elizabeth died as young adults. We also know that Holmes and possibly Cornelius and Nellie visited Derby. It was to Nellie that Walter wrote about his intention to ask Hannah Ruddle to marry him and asking her (Nellie’s) opinion! Walter sent Nellie’s daughter Coralie gifts of an almanac and a quarterly diary. One of his prize winning portraits was ‘Coralie’. Unfortunately this has not yet been traced. Holmes also wrote regularly with family news and presumably Walter reciprocated sending him frames to help him with his artistic career. Later, letters written just before Walter’s departure to Canada relate the problems that he (Walter) was experiencing.

One of Walter’s aunts married a photographer in London and their son Arthur was a well-known photographer in Preston. Other aunts, uncles and cousins also found their way to London and it is wondered whether Walter spent time in London with them before settling in Derby. Certainly Hannah Ruddle was born in London and we surmise that the two met there.

This will be the last blog for a while. Hoping all readers have had a better summer than we thought we may have. Keep safe and I will resume our news at a later date.

Volunteer blog – ‘A Man of Many Parts 3’

This week Joanna continues to delve in to Winter’s public life:

This week I will write about two aspects of Walter Winter’s life which illustrate ‘Winter the man’. When doing family history I always try to find out about an ancestor other than a birth, marriage and death as it makes for a fuller and more interesting picture. One does have to be prepared to find skeletons in the cupboard however, and I appreciate that not everybody’s ancestor led as full a public life as Mr Winter!

Mr Winter – the freemason. The United Grand Lodge of England Freemason Membership Register available on the Ancestry website shows that Walter Winter was initiated into the Arboretum Lodge in 1869. The meeting place was at the Arboretum Hotel on Osmaston Road, Derby. Members included William Abney (photographer), Michael Thomas Bass MP., and Thomas Roe, friend and fellow council member. When the Masonic Hall was opened in Gower Street in 1876, Walter is listed as having ‘withdrawn’. There are glass plate negatives and prints of freemasons in their regalia in the Winter’s collection.

Mr Winter – the Volunteer. This information is the result of finding a newspaper article about Mr Winter’s attendance at a dinner given by members of the Litchurch Branch of the Working Men’s Association in 1878, and reported in the Derby Mercury.

Loyal toasts were duly honoured an ‘the Army, Navy and Reserve Forces’ was proposed by Mr W. W. Winter who as an old volunteer expressed his own willingness and that of many others who had passed through the ranks to shoulder the rifle again should the necessity arise.

His obituary in the Derby Daily Telegraph in 1925 mentions that Walter joined the Norfolk Volunteer Force as a young man in Great Yarmouth in 1859. The Volunteer Force was created in 1859 in response to the threat of war from Europe. It called for rifle and artillery corps to be set up. East Anglia and its ports were seen as being particularly vulnerable, and Great Yarmouth was fortified with twelve guns at the time. Volunteers were expected to attend twenty four times a year for drill and exercise. Over the years the Volunteer Force became increasingly integrated into the British Army and became the Territorial Force in 1908. Although not as a Volunteer, Walter Winter enrolled as a special constable at the time of the Fenian Rising in 1866-7, which sought to bring about the separation of Ireland from the United Kingdom.

Next time I will take a look at family matters.

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.

Volunteer blog – ‘Winter the Artist’

This weeks blog describes the studio as a hub for art of all types!

More from the newspapers: Winter the Artist

Walter Winter styled himself as an artist in photography. One only has to look at the hand coloured photographic portraits he produced to realise that he was extremely skilled in this field. Walter Winter came from a line of East Anglian artists. His grandfather John Winter was an artist and painter of glass and his father Cornelius and brother Holmes both worked as artists. One wonders what might have been if Walter hadn’t turned to photography.

The 1861 Census has Walter living in Great Yarmouth with his father and described as an ornamental painter. Cornelius is described as an artist and painter of animals and portraits. He is known to have been a photographer being described as such in White’s Directory of Norfolk for 1854. This was not unusual, many artists turned to photography, and early directories listed artist and photographers under the same heading before separating the two in the late 1860s. Walter and his father retained close links when he moved to Derby. From correspondence we know Cornelius visited the town and they passed work to and from each other – photographs for finishing and works of art for sale. The transactions are listed in a small notebook found at the Winter’s premises.

Newspaper articles reveal that Walter dealt in fine art and antiquities, particularly china, holding sales at auction rooms in Derby and Leicester. The business had its own fine art department, and after the premises were remodelled following the fire an annual art exhibitions. Newspapers reported the event and described the exhibits. As well as the traditional oil and watercolour, there were paintings on silvered glass, china and terracotta. Needlework was also a feature. Exhibitors numbering up to 350 professional and amateur artists came from the UK and abroad. Prizes and medals were awarded. A recently discovered print shows the medal awarded in 1892 to an Ada Parnham. One wonders if readers know of any other medals still in existence – if so Winter’s would be delighted to hear about them! The Fine Art Department came to an end in 1896 when Walter Winter announced its closure and the sale of many items. The space was needed to provide a showroom for specimens of Art Photographic Portraiture.

Walter Winter’s early training as an artist is reflected in the superb quality of his photography which came to be acknowledged in the UK and abroad by the number of medals he won. He was as he advertised…..an artist in photography.