Fifty-one years ago on July 30 1971 starting early in the morning Worcester photographer Michael Dowty began taking photographs of Malvern. By the time he had finished in the evening around 9pm he had 202 pictures of aspects of local life. Michael called the collection Malvern in a Day.
Jan Condon a volunteer at Malvern Museum of Local History has been working on the Dowty photographs (now in Malvern Library) as part of a project to preserve the library’s important historic collections. The original photos have been digitised and provided with archive standard storage to protect them for use in the future.
For some time during the Covid outbreak the photographs were not available. Jan came up with the idea to collect memories of people who were around in Malvern in the early 70s. Over 30 people have sent in or made audio recordings of their memories- many of these memories complement the Dowty photos which are now the basis of a wider archive.
Summer seems the ideal time for an outdoor exhibition and we are lucky in Malvern to have an ideal public venue outside Waitrose and Wilko along Church Walk. This is where during July and August you can stroll along and browse the posters which show sixty of the photographs singly or in groups, many of them with short quotations from the memories project.
Admire the haircuts and fashions! Did you know hot pants could be dry cleaned? Compare the children’s play facilities with those we have today…and what about the variety of shops and services. How have things changed?
Jan hopes that you will recognise some of the people and places in the photos and may want to contribute your own memories. Pick up a leaflet in Waitrose, The Tourist Information Centre, Museum or Library with information on the project and how to get in touch.
Come along to Church Walk and see for yourself…and why not take the Now and Then Tour of Great Malvern Shops too. The Exhibition is being displayed until the end of August 2022.