Welcome to Old Clitheroe. The vast majority of these photographs were taken by my Great Grandfather Edward Pye who started the family photographic business around the turn of last century. The shop first started at 51 Peel Street around the early 1900's. After a few years Pyes of Clitheroe then moved to 1 Cowper Avenue or Ribblesdale Studio as it was known at the time. By 1918 a very old Clitheroe photographic business that had been going since around the early 1870's run by one Benjamin Satterthwaite who was just past the retirement age, was up for sale. Edward Pye took upon the opportunity to expand his business and bought the business 'Fixtures and fittings' from him. Which today makes the shop an incredible 130+ years old. Colin Harding the curator of photographic technology at the Bradford Photography Museum states that Pye's of Clitheroe is definitely one of the oldest photography shop's in the UK. To his knowledge there is only one shop older and that is Edward Reeves Photography down in Lewes, Sussex which amazingly has been going since 1855 to the present day. Also included in this site is some of photographs taken by the former owner Benjamin Satterthwaite taken from the original large glass plates. Which vary between around 10" x 8" to 14" x 12. To the best of my knowledge these massive old glass plates were his work, though if anybody knows better I would like to hear it!
It's all been avery enjoyable learning curve for myself. I first started messing about putting afew of the photographs on the internet back in 1998 with the idea of learning about the creation of website design. On and off through the years I have slowly ploughed my way through all the old photographs and glass plates lying around the business. In this time I have picked up a very strong interest in the history of the area. I must confess I do enjoy a good pint in various hostelries around the area and so the first book I read was the excellent 'The Old Inns and Ale Houses of Clitheroe', which really captured my imagination and still my favourite to this day. It's shame it's so short.
As mentioned in the above book, Clitheroe through out the years is a small version of what has happened nationally though the years and to an extent hopefully covered in these webpages. From riots to royalty, from Mahatma Gandhi to the legendary band MC5. It's quite incredible what you can unearth in this little town through the years.
I first started a serious attempt at this site around 1999 when I was messing around with the computers at Psalter Lane Art College in Sheffield, enjoying at the time being surrounded by so much art. This might sound a bit pretentious but after working on these photographs over the past few years, time itself is one of the greatest art forms.
On a final note many of the early glass plates have been destroyed by the damp. So if anyone has a photograph taken with E. Pye on it. I would gladly like to see it. Also what is left of Benjamin Satterthwaite's plates is very small compared to his life times work were there must of been thousands of photographs taken by him through out his career. If anyone has anything taken by him I would again very gladly love to see it and if possible scan a copy.
I designed this website at 800 X 600 d.p.i. (true colour) and viewed at anything else things might look abit lopsided. I hope you enjoy your look into the past.
You can also contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org