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Richard Hall, 2022
Bernard Clowes
Grafton Studio - 128 High Street

Grafton Sudio was firstly the business premises of Sam Powell, and it was taken over by Edgar Linnitt who had been his assistant. Edgar took Norman Woodhead as a partner, and the business became Woodhead and Linnitt in 1917. But when Norman returned from war service in 1918 he had chest troubles and was advised to go abroad for his health. Edgar continued alone until he retired in 1945.

Grafton Studios Advert 1961
The next proprietor was Mr Bernard Clowes. Mr Groome, owner of Charles Sanders' Leather Works in Duck Street, used photo quality soda for certain of the factory processes and supplied some of this to Mr. Clowes for his developing and printing. Two of Mr Groome's employees, Harry Ward and his son Douglas Ward, were both keen photographers.

On 6th May 1949 these four individuals, together with several other local photographers, met at Grafton Studios to discuss forming a club. Nineteen people attended and the Rushden & District Photographic Society was formed. Officers were elected, rules drawn up and Grafton Studios became the meeting place.

In the 1950s Bernard supported the local Operatic Society and The Grafton Studios assisted with preparation of the photographs for reproduction in the programmes.

He also supported several amateur photographers, one of whom was Vic Childs, who worked in the shoetrade.

Bernard married Margaret A Joyce in 1958.

They emigrated to Australia c1965.

Brenard and Margaret

Additional Note: As well as photography, Bernard Clowes also sold films and photo equipment from his studio. His main income appeared to come from his developing and printing business. The premises had a fully equipped darkroom and processing equipment and he had a daily round every morning by car to collect films from chemists etc. (I believe as far away as Kettering) and bring them back to his studio and then spend the afternoon processing them so that he could take the finished prints back the next day. That side of the business might well have been taken over later by Brian Duncan in Irthlingborough who did the same thing.

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