Browsing posts in the category: Humphrey Spender

Pioneering documentary photographer who captured everyday life in Bolton for the Worktown Mass Observation project

Past and present future

The original photograph was taken by Humphrey Spender on Davenport St, Bolton, in September 1937.

Spender and the Conservative ladies

A small number of Humphrey Spender’s written observations have survived in the Mass-Observation Archive. These texts really bring the photographs to life giving both factual information and an insight into Spender’s experiences photographing in Bolton. The observation below was made at the Conservative Club Rooms, in Farnworth on January 24th 1938 where volunteers were helping […]

Hear Hear Labour! Hear Hear Conservatives!

As we approach this week’s local elections across the UK it is interesting or perhaps depressing to see how little party political rhetoric has evolved in 74 years. Mass-Observation recorded which statements by candidates got a ‘hear, hear!’ from the audience at pre-election rallies for the 1938 Farnworth parliamentary by-election. The accompanying photographs were taken […]

The funeral of J. Shaw

The funeral of J. Shaw of Davenport St. Heaton Cemetery, 21st September 1937, 2.00pm. 1993.83.1.27

Spender’s favourites

‘Yes, there’s a photograph, one of my favourite photographs.…where I came across this notice, this rather primitive beautiful painting, with words “Truth is Stranger Than Fiction” and I thought this really described what I was after, what I was doing, was to describe a certain kind of truth. And indeed it seemed to me that […]