Tributes for talented Padiham photographer Jack who produced his first image at the age of 10

Tributes have been paid to a talented amateur photographer from Padiham who has died.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 12:45 pm
Tributes have been paid to the well known Padiham photographer Jack Swindlehurst who has died.

Jack Swindlehurst was a stalwart of the Padiham and District Photographic Society Club which his father Horace had founded in the early 20th century at a time when most photographic images were produced using darkroom techniques.

Jack soon became involved in the 'magic' of photography and by the age of 10 he had produced his first monochrome print.

As a child, Jack lived with his parents at a house near the railway in Padiham where his father produced most of his monochrome prints in a darkroom needing long exposures.

Consequently they had to be printed when no trains were passing otherwise the vibrations would ruin the print.

Jack then joined the Padiham club, which was at that time was based in the community centre in the town ,as their youngest member.

But as Jack was christened out of a trophy that belonged to the renowned Padiham photographer Edgar Bradshaw a life behind the lens was perhaps Jack's destiny.

At the age of 16 Jack met Rona, his future wife, while queueing for fish and chips at the Victoria Road chippy. The couple were married at the Padiham Unitarian Chapel in 1956 and had six children.

Jack served his time as a fitter at Padiham power station before being enlisted for two years in the RAF where he became a corporal technician teaching aircraft radio communications technology.

On his return to civilian life he resumed working for the electricity authority and specialised in overhead and underground supply cables.

Later he became a training instructor with the electricity board at Agecroft teaching new recruits both from this country and abroad.

Eventually Jack and Rona opened a "live in" arts and craft shop in Burnley Road covering the hobbies of painting and photography and on their spare evenings Rona painted and Jack taught new and existing members the ins and outs of camera work including the transition from wet processing to computer created images.

During his life long membership of the club he undertook all the official offices of the society.

At the turn of the century Jack headed a small team of members which produced an audio visual DVD of 'Padiham past and present' which is still available from the club

A spokesman for the society paid tribute to Jack saying: "Jack was the mainstay of the society for many years and was always willing to pass on photographic techniques to all members until failing health problems eventually took their toll.

"He will be greatly missed both by the society members and all those who knew him from his craft shop days."