Photo firm closes after 63 years

Bryan Baldwyn, who will be closing his 63-year-old business this weekend.
Bryan Baldwyn, who will be closing his 63-year-old business this weekend.

A photography firm that was established in Normanton more than 63 years ago is set to close for the final time this weekend.

Baldwyn Photographers was first opened in 1954 by Cecil Baldwyn on Wakefield Road before moving to its current premises on High Street in 1979.

Cecil’s son, Bryan, joined the family business in 1968 straight after leaving school and took over the reins from his father in the early 70s when the family branched out and opened another shop in Bridlington.

And with Bryan now reaching retirement age, he feels it is the right time to hang up his camera.

He said: “I’ve had some lovely comments and it’s been very humbling, people have been stopping me in the street.

“I have very mixed emotions because I have an affinity with Normanton.

“It was a difficult decision to make but I’ve got to move on.

“Since I have told people I’m retiring I’ve been inundated with work - they won’t let me leave.”

The business has offered specialist services over the years, such as weddings, studio shoots and framing, but like all photographic firms was forced to diversify first when colour printing came in, and then during the past decade when digital photography overtook traditional methods.

For 65-year-old Bryan, none of it really interested him as a youngster.

He said: “I didn’t want to go near the industry when I was young, everything took too long and I just wanted to be out with my mates, but then I got the bug.

“I started with black and white photos and then colour came in and we all became self taught in how to develop them.

“We really had to diversify when digital came in and that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of over the last few years, repairing old photos digitally.

“I don’t know how we’ve lasted, it’s maybe a good reputation I think, whether it’s a passport photo or a wedding, I try to give the same service. But I would not have been able to do it all without my wife, Pam, she has always given me full support.”

The couple, who have three grandchildren, say they have plenty to focus on, including decorating their house and travelling.

“We’re not going to be bored, that is for certain,” added Bryan.

The shop will close on Saturday, November 18.