Saturday, 30 June 2012

The Hardmans and World War Two

Lewis Jones Esq. in Battle Dress - taken in November 1939

Edward Chambre Hardman was not conscripted during the Second World War as photography was a reserved occupation, but he did work as an ARP Warden. Business thrived during the war years as Hardman took numerous photographs of service men and women before they went away to war. We have hundreds of these photographs in the archives. Sadly, in many cases, these were the last photographs ever taken of some of the service people. There are also many photographs of the families and sweethearts left behind who would send these on to their loved ones fighting abroad. 

Another contributing factor to the high demand for studio photography was the fact that supplies were incredibly difficult for amateur photographers to acquire. It was a struggle to maintain normal service at the studios, even with photography being a reserved occupation - at one point the water supply to the Bold Street studio was cut off and staff had to grab buckets and queue up to get enough water for the processing.

To keep up with the increasing workload, the Hardmans employed more staff, taking the total number of employees up to about fifteen. As a result of the studios being so busy, the Hardmans had much less time to travel and take landscapes during the war years.

Here are just some of the photographs of Service People taken during WWII - they are shown roughly in the order they were taken and we have provided extra information such as addresses where we have it. These photographs were all taken in 1939:

Captain F. D. Agnew - taken September 1939. 

 First order placed from Caldy Grange School, West Kirbyon 28th November 1939 for 1 small gold portrait and 1 leather case. Reorderd by Mrs Agnew of Thornthwaite, Spital Park, Bromborough on 1st December 1939 for 10 prints altogether, including two in a leather case. A third order was placed on 18th January 1943 for 1 miniature portrait.

Captain T. Stone - taken September 1939  
 Captain T. Stone of 140 Liverpool Road, Chester. Order placed 6th October 1939 for 1 large gold portrait and 12 prints.

Major F. V. R. Woodhouse - taken September 1939
 Major F. V. R. Woodhouse, of the Leasowes, Church Stretten, Shropshire, in full military uniform.
Order placed on 19th September 1939 for 7 prints. Reorder placed on 23rd November 1939 for 1 print. Reorder placed on 7th January 1946 for 1 print. 

Major Ian Begg - taken September 1939

Lt. C. R. Harrison Esq. - taken 28th September 1939

 Lt. C. R. Harrison Esq. dressed in military uniform with Caubeen Field Service Cap. Order placed for 1 Large Gold Portrait. 

Captain Bell - taken in October 1939
 Captain Bell of the 6th Irish Battalion, Kings Regiment, Drill Hall, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool. He is wearing a Glengarry Field Service Cap. An order was placed on 16th July 1940 for three large gold portraits, framed. 

A. D. Miller Esq. - taken October 1939
A. D. Miller Esq. of Olive Bank, Menlove Gardens South, Liverpool, wearing Highland Military Uniform. Order placed 15th November 1939 for 1 small gold portrait, 2 prints and 1 frame.

Second Lieutenant H. K. Mathews - taken November 1939

Second Lieutenant Robin E. D. Campbell - taken November 1939
 2nd Lieutenant Robin E. D. Campbell order placed c/o Mrs Leverson, 60 Albert Court, London. First order placed on 25th May 1940 for 1 Large Gold Portrait.

Surgeon Lieutenant Critien - taken November 1939
Surgeon Lieutenant Critien of 28 Mayfair Avenue, Crosby, also HMS Nubian 4th Tribal Destroyer Flotilla. Order placed on 2nd November 1939 for 2 large gold portraits framed, 4 small gold portraits, 2 miniature portraits and 1 leather case. Reorder placed on 28th November 1939 for 4 miniature portraits and 1 leather case. Reorder placed 25th September 1940 for 4 miniature portraits. Reorder placed on 15th December 1942 for 2 small gold portraits.

M. E. S. Higgin Esq. - taken 9th December 1939
 M. E. S. Higgin Esq. of Puddington Hall, Wirral. Order placed on 4th January 1940 for 1 Large Gold Portrait Framed, 3 Special Small Gold Portrait Framed and 3 Miniature Portraits. Second order placed on 7th February 1940 for 1 Small Gold Portrait and Leather Frame with Regimental Badges.

Major Rougier - taken December 1939
Order placed 8th July 1940 by Mrs Rougier for 2 photographs. 

Matthew Lees Esq. - taken December 1939
 Mathew Lees Esq of The Old Hall, Flookerbrook, Chester. First order placed on 3rd February 1940 for 2 Large Gold Portraits, 1 Special Small Gold Portraits and 1 Special Size ( Large Miniature Portrait) Second order placed on 13th March 1940 for 2 Special Small Gold Portrait and 1 Special Size ( Large Miniature Portrait) and 1 leather case.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Twitter Competition

Formby Dunes (undated) - by Edward Chambre Hardman

Hurrah! We've reached over 500 followers on Twitter - to celebrate and to say Thank You; we're giving away an Edward Chambré Hardman mounted print.

To be in with a chance of winning a print, all you have to do is:

1. Follow @NThardmanshouse on Twitter
2. Retweet the following:
For your chance to win a mounted Chambre Hardman print, just follow and RT. Winner chosen 2pm 5th July - Ts&Cs here:

Competition closes at 2pm on 5th July

Terms and conditions:

The first correct answer selected at random by an independent person will win a mounted Edward Chambre Hardman print - your choice of either The Copse or Formby Dunes.

This prize draw is open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man aged 18 years or over excluding employees and their families of The National Trust.

Only one entry per household.

The judge's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

The winner will be notified by Twitter direct message within 24 hours of the closing date which will give them an email address to respond to. If a winner does not respond via the email address specified setting out their contact details and address within 3 days, the Promoter has the right to pick another winner from all valid entries.

The Copse - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman, 1934-36

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Photographs of Chester

 Here are some more photographs Edward Chambre Hardman took of Chester:

Fairground, Chester - undated

Dee Promenade Footpath - 1940s

Dee Promenaders - undated
By the River, Chester - 1940

Ice Covered Dee - undated

Weir on the Dee at Chester II - undated
Old Dee Bridge and Tree - 1940s

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Chester Studio

In 1933, Edward Chambre Hardman is admitted as an Associate Member of the Royal Photographic Society and was elected as a Fellow in 1935.

Christmas Window Display at Chester Studio - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in the 1950s

In 1938, the Hardmans opened a second portrait studio at 27 St Werburgh Street in Chester, to cope with an increase in business. Hardman worked at the Chester Studio 3 days a week taking portraits, and he would then bring the negatives back to liverpool to process them and print the negatives. In between sittings, Hardman would often go out with his camera and there are many photographs of Chester in the collection.

Here are just a few photographs Edward Hardman took of the city:

Watergate Row North with Figure Leaning on Rail (undated)

Falcon Cafe (undated)

From the Eastgate - undated

City Walls from Newgate - undated

Newgate, Pedestrians - undated
Platform Two, Chester - 1947

Rainy Day in Chester - 1947
Hardman said of this photograph: 'Moments when the street traffic sorts itself into a simple and satisfactory composition are rare, and much patience has to be exercised. When the right arrangement comes about it is a matter of a split second'

Northgate Street in Chester - Undated
This photograph was taken from the same place as Rainy Day in Chester at a later date, probably during the 1960s, as a comparison.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The Hardmans' First Home

After their honeymoon in 1932, the Hardmans moved into Flat One, 53 Hope Street. Here are a couple of photographs from the collection taken when they lived there.

Barrow Boy Stops for a Light - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in 1934
This photograph was taken from the second-floor window of the Hardmans' flat in Hope Street. The iron railings belong to the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral and these were later removed for scrap for the war effort. This photograph was exhibited in the London Salon of Photography in 1977.

Anglican Cathedral Under Construction - taken by Margaret Hardman 19th April 1934

The note on the back of this print reads: 'Work in progress on the great Central Tower of Liverpool Cathedral - the second largest Cathedral in the world. This photograph was taken today by Mrs E. Chambré Hardman, 53 Hope Street'.

Thursday, 21 June 2012


The Hardmans visited Switzerland several times in the 1930s, including once for their honeymoon in 1932. We don't have any exact dates for these pictures, but they were all taken in Switzerland in the 1930s - so some may even be from their honeymoon:

Edward Chambre Hardman with skis - probably taken in Engelbert, Switzerland by Margaret Hardman, 1930s

Margaret Skiing (Looking down on Engelbert) - taken by Edwrad Chambre Hardman, 1930s

Engelberg in Snow - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in the 1930s

Skiers in Switzerland - taken in Spannort, near Engelbert by Edward Chambre Hardman in the 1930s

Swiss Hillside - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in the 1930s

The Great Spannort, from Gerschni - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in the 1930s

Thick Snow, Mountain Landscape - Probably taken at Spannort, near Engelbert by Edward Chambre Hardman in the 1930s

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Hardmans' Honeymoon

The Hardman's honeymooned in Engelberg, Switzerland in 1932, accompanied by their friend Paul Zacharias and his wife. Here are some of the photographs they took on their Honeymoon:

Break in the Mist - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in 1932

A Swiss Pathway - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in 1932

Nursery Slopes - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in 1932. This photograph was exhibited in the London Salon of Photography in 1947

Engelbert in Winter - taken by Margaret Hardman in 1932

A Swiss Pathway Variant - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in 1932

Village in the Sun - taken by Edward Chambre Hardman in 1932

Monks on Skates - taken by Margaret Hardman in 1932

'Cleverly seen and caught by my wife on the skating rink of a Swiss monastery'
Aren't they beautiful? Monks on Skates is a favourite here at the Hardmans' House too.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Hardmans' Wedding

Edward and Margaret Hardman on their Wedding Day

On 10th August 1932, the Hardmans married in Rainhill Parish Church. He was 33 and she 23 and she wore a beautiful blue lace dress, which was on display in the house last year after a successful campaign to fund its conservation and restoration.

Margaret Hardman on her Wedding Day, seated outside the church

Edward took their wedding photographs himself using a timer on his camera - clearly he couldn't trust anyone else with the job!

The Hardmans' Wedding Party
 After their wedding, they honeymooned in Engelbert, Switzerland with their friend Paul Zacharias and his wife. We'll show you some of the pictures of their trip in our next post.