Okay, I admit it - it's a very grandiose name for what amounts to a motley collection of old cameras. Most were donated by various people, some were bought at jumbles and others procured at the going rate. The whole thing started when I was handed my first Camera - a 1954 Dacora 120 roll film job, very much a hand me down from my mother. The next serious injection came in 1984 when my Grandmother gave me the first camera she owned aged twelve, a lovely Butchers Cameo quarter plate in absolute mint condition - dating from around 1910 it was secondhand when she first had it. I resolved that it should take pictures again after its long period of rest, so it did - and still does. This camera is featured on every page of the museum, for it is the back button.
This then is the rule of the collection - any camera that needed rescuing, I personally like and can be cajoled into taking pictures again. The cameras are alive and well! (well, mostly anyway) You won't find the exotica in here, the Leica's, Contax and Rollei's are the photographic elite of this world, instead this is the home of the humble, the ordinary and the everyday camera, with the occasional rescued gem.
Now, forgive me a personal note. My Grandmother and Gramp's were married in 1935, Gramp's had a good eye for a photograph and practiced his art with a humble 1927 unmarked and unremarkable German import. Some of his photographs will appear on later pages. The camera joined the collection after time had taken its toll of its shutter. Unfortunately time takes its toll of people as well as cameras, and both Grandma and Gramps are gone now. When their house was cleared, a box of negatives came to me. I looked through them and found many familiar to me from various albums. One in particular I found was taken with the German import when they were courting, they had probably asked some passer by to do the honours - as we all do. I took the camera from its case and placed the negative in the back where it had been exposed fifty five years previously - where the light from my Grandparents had struck it and chemically altered it forever. I do so wish I could shine a light back through that negative, out of the same lens to have them back again.
This then, is dedicated to them.
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