Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Puck's Dream and Murray Dowding

Puck's Dream, Murray Dowding, @1910

My grandfather, Murray Dowding, was quite a talented photographer and from @ 1895-1935 took thousands of photographs around Yate, centred mostly in Chipping Sodbury, Iron Acton and other fascinating English towns.

Judging by Puck's Dream, I'd say my grandfather would love my Weird Stories Gone Wrong series of horror stories for kids!

The photo of his little terrier dog, Puck, was taken in his studio apparently while Puck was having a rather bad dream (after swallowing spirits?). My dad always told me that although very well trained and particularly attached to Murray, the little dog was "irascible." On the right is Murray as a young man (@1910?). I've grown up listening to stories about Murray and his photography, since as a boy Dad helped drag his father's heavy camera equipment and glass plates all over the countryside.

This week, google showed me this: Murray Dowding Calendar

The Chipping Sodbury historical society and a local photographer, Rich McDonough, have collaborated to create a then-and-now 2016 calendar featuring my grandfather's work coupled with modern day photos of the same spot. They've very generously sent me a few copies, thank you! A very special thanks to Jim Elsworth from the Chipping Sodbury historical society for sending me fascinating jpg images of my grandfather's work, and also many thanks to Alexandra Womack from the Gloucester Gazette, for getting me in touch with everyone. More to come in the weeks ahead when the calendars arrive, but for now, please enjoy some of Murray's online images.

The Long and the short of it, 1916

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