Monday, 1 March 2010

Edward Chambre Hardman-It Was Well Worth The Fight.

How can you measure what a small piece of culture means to a city. It’s a hard one but I feel very proud to have played a part in the saving for the people of Liverpool the Edward Chambre-Hardman archive.

I will write it up one day. It took several years and a lot of lobbying. It is interesting to note that a new exhibition is going to start this week, this time it is about his wife Margaret's work, also a keen photographer.

Margaret Hardman, wife of Edward Chambré Hardman, was the powerhouse behind his highly successful photographic business for more than three decades.
Now, for the first time, the life and times of the energetic perfectionist are being uncovered in a new exhibition at their former Rodney Street home.
Margaret hired, fired and ran a staff of up to 30 people, and was a perfectionist, inspecting every one of the thousands of images taken by Hardman for his clients throughout the city and beyond.
Born in 1909, Margaret joined Hardman's photographic business, “Burrell and Hardman” in 1926 when his studio was on Bold Street.
She was a competent character and a keen photographer, and the fact that Hardman left her, a young woman, in charge of the business when he needed to go abroad showed his confidence in her.
A romantic relationship – not without turbulence – began to blossom, and Edward and Margaret married in 1932.
Chambre Hardman
It will also include some of her own photographs, many of which capture performers at the Liverpool Playhouse.
It was over 6 years ago that I read in the Daily Post about the closing of Chambre-Hardmans house. The article was by Peter Elson of the Daily Post who put in a lot of his time, devoting himself to the cause of saving the archive. We embarked on a long and vigorous campaign that ultimately led to the National Trust acquiring the house after it was threatened with closure.  Mike McCartney, Pau'ls brother saying it was a good thing to have the archive sent to a museum in Bradford. He was a waste of time, a lazy man with Liverpool's history while living on the Wirral. He was a secret trustee of the archive. One of the trustees was a curator of the museum it was to go to.  We managed to get the BBC involved and a bit of research found that the trustees has wasted 300 grand. It was damn hard work but was well worth it to have a little piece of Liverpools culture on view for all to see.

Cameras and Camisoles opens on March 17 and runs until October 31,Wednesday to Sunday, 11am - 3.30pm. Admission to Rodney Street is by timed ticket only. Call 0151 709 6261.

Wayne Colquhoun

1 comment:

  1. Hardman photographed former inhabitants of the house I am currently working on, relics of a gentler time.