Wally and Howard Talbot: a lifetime capturing Lancashire through a lens

Shire horses enjoying a drink at Thwaites brewery in Blackburn in 1964 from Talbot Archives collection
Shire horses enjoying a drink at Thwaites brewery in Blackburn in 1964 from Talbot Archives collection
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One of the finest collections of photographs of Lancashire in the last century is being preserved for future generations.

Acclaimed photographers Wally and Howard Talbot worked as news photographers in Blackburn and 6,000 of their images have been collated in ‘The Talbot Archive.’

The archive catalogues Lancashire life from the 1930s through to the 1990s and captures events from Royal visits to big news 
stories and to sporting events.

Howard Talbot said: “My father, Wally, and I worked across all areas of news, sports and commercial 
photography so the collection showcases a wide range of local people, places and 
activities. Each image captures a snapshot of Lancashire life and celebrates places of significance, many of which have since changed beyond recognition.

“Many of the images have come from our private collection, which we hadn’t initially intended to share. It is very satisfying to know that these images will be shared with local people, especially as many will have personal connections and memories of Lancashire’s heritage.”

John Harrison, head of art and society at the University Centre at Blackburn College, is helping oversea the digitisation process.

Wally and Howard took thousands of images and to digitise the whole catalogue will require an investment by Blackburn College

He said: “The Talbot 
Archive is such an important collection of social documentary photography.

“Wally and Howard took thousands of images and to digitise the whole catalogue will require an investment by Blackburn College: 
already our staff and students at the University Centre at Blackburn College have, so far, scanned and 
edited over 6,000 images.”

The Talbot Archive images will be shared in a celebratory event, The Talbot Conference, at The University Centre at Blackburn College on February 24 and 25.

The all-day event is free to the public and will feature talks by acclaimed photographer Professor Paul Hill.