Our October visit was to the business of W.W.Winter in Derby. Unknown to all of
us until recently, Winters are the oldest photographic business in the country,
and possibly the world, having been established in 1852. They have been in the
same premises on Midland Road, near Derby train station, since 1867.
We heard about the origins of the business, at a time when photographic
studios could be found in many towns and cities. Their business covered all
types of photography, from family portraits to commercial businesses, and at
one time they had a contract to photograph all the premises of Derby Co-op.
They are supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and hope to establish a Trust
so that the premises survive and become a centre for education about
photography. Much building work is needed, and we were told that the building
is very cold in the winter; there is quite a lot of hardboard partitioning probably
dating from the 1960s, and some very impressive cast iron decorated radiators.
There is more information about Winters on their website, and they also have
videos on YouTube.
As is customary, the Grumpies then retired for lunch, to the Brunswick Inn
nearby. The building is next to several streets of railway cottages, built to house
railway workers in the 1840s.