This week our photo Friday comes from the Keith Medley Photographic Archive, and is a photograph taken in the summer of 1964 showing a Donkey Inspection taking place in New Brighton. Keith Medley took many photographs of New Brighton, including photographs of the annual Miss New Brighton contest.
Keith Medley was a commercial and press photographer who worked in and around Merseyside for most of his career. Born in South Africa in 1915, he attended school in the United Kingdom and then spent a period in the merchant navy before taking a photographic apprenticeship in Liverpool at Dorondo Mills, Lime Street. Soon afterwards he moved to London, working for an advertising agency, then subsequently as assistant to Howard Coster, the celebrated society portrait photographer. His portrait of Howard Coster is in the National Portrait Gallery.
Keith also did cinema newsreel assignments for Movietone News, covering amongst many other items, the funeral of Winston Churchill, the Investiture of the Prince of Wales, and Donald Campbells’s water speed record trials on Lake Coniston. Keith’s film at Coniston recorded the tragic accident in which Donald Campbell lost his life when his craft Bluebird crashed.
A large collection of photographic negatives was donated to LJMU by Keith Medley’s family in 2009. We are currently researching this collection and the history of Keith’s career. Entries from the handwritten ledgers are being transcribed and a sample of the images has been digitised, giving us a better understanding of the wide variety of subjects and events covered. Our hope is that after significant conservation work we can carry out further digitisation and make this fascinating collection more widely available.