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Joseph Hardman’s diary and photos up for auction

21 large black and white photos, by renowned photographer Joseph Hardman, of the building of the road over Honister Pass, are up for auction on 6 Feb

[A] DIARY, a Camera and over 1000 images by renowned Lakeland life photographer Joseph Hardman, taken between the 1930s and the 1960s, are up for auction on Tuesday 6 February at 1818 Auctioneers on the Lancashire, Cumbria border.

The 1961 Lett’s Diary, which could sell for as much as £150, contains hand written entries by Joseph Hardman of events, people and places the freelance photographer is likely to have taken. Born on the 21 January 1893, it is a record of a very active man in his late 60s, travelling by taxi around the region capturing a rapidly disappearing way of life and recording historical moments.

An entry in Joseph Hardman’s 1961 Lett’s diary, it is up for auction on Tues 6 Feb

One example is the entry for Monday 26 June which lists ‘Dolphin stranded at Arnside, Personalities at Arnside and Silverdale, Presentation to Scouts, Buckley speed bid’. Saleroom manager Bill Nelson suggests the Norman Buckley reference could be a further attempt by the Manchester solicitor, a friend and contemporary of Donald Campbell, to beat his 1956 one hour world record on Windermere.

“The diary provides a unique insight into the life of a perpetually busy and prolific photographer” said 1818 Auctioneer’s Bill Nelson.

“It demonstrate his huge breath of interest with entries that include the handing over of the tender at Arnside Fire Station, presentations by the Duke of Edinburgh and a note to take snow pictures at Cartmel Fell. On many days there are multiple entries as well as evening and early morning appointments. The entry for his birthday says ‘Inter Counties Badminton Competition’ and ‘Children’s party in Burneside’.

One of 21 large black and white photos, by photographer Joseph Hardman, of the building of Honistor Pass road are up for auction on 6 Feb
A series of 21 large black and white photos, by renowned photographer Joseph Hardman, of the building of the road over Honister Pass are up for auction.

As well as the diary there approximately 30 further lots of black and white photographs and glass negative plates, mainly of farming, rural life, sports, and the landscapes of the Lake District, Morecambe Bay, Lancashire, Ribblesdale and Blackpool. Of particular interest are images of ‘sea turfing’ – the sea washed turf produced the finest bowling greens and was in demand all over the country – and cockling at Morecambe Bay. There is also a series of 21 large black and white photos of the building of the road over Honister Pass, the B5289, in the north west of the Lake District. One of the steepest roads in the country it climbs from Borrowdale to a height of 1167 feet, before plunging down a 4:1 gradient to Buttermere.

A first consignment of images and a suitcase, from a local house, made £4835 when they were sold by 1818 Auctioneers last December. Amongst those who queued to view the images was a lady who Hardman photographed as a child.

Anyone interested in finding out more can view the catalogue online at www.1818auctioneers.co.uk or visit the saleroom at J36 of the M6, the Rural Auction Centre. Viewings are on Friday 2 February between 1pm and 4pm, on Saturday 3 December between 10am and 2.30pm and also on the morning of the sale from 8.30am. The sale will start at 10am (on both days) and bids can be made in person or left – further details can be found on the website or by calling 1818 Auctioneers on 015395 66201.

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