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Arthur Watts photographs


Black and white 35mm strip negatives, prints and contact prints of named waterways, mainly architectural in interest but when boats and boatpeople were seen they were photographed. where possible all bridges, locks, aqueducts, boats and boatpeople are named.



Reference code



Watts, Arthur (Mr)

Administrative /‚Äč Biographical history

Arthur Watts Arthur Watts (1903-2003) was born in Portsmouth, and after an apprenticeship in carpentry, became a peripatetic teacher. He had developed an interest in photography from his youth, mainly photographing rural landscapes. From 1952, he began to photograph canals in school holidays, developing the film himself. He photographed working boats, including the recording of many techniques, and maintenance activities, along with derelict waterways. Most waterways photographed were in Britain (including Scotland) but he also visited those in Ireland and mainland Europe. Most photographs were monochrome prints, taken during school holidays; he visited by caravan, and did not boat until 1978 with hotel boats. The collection finished in 1978, when his eyesight began to fail, and his collection of about 7,000 images was donated to the (then) British Waterways archive at Gloucester in 1995.

Extent & medium

8296 black and white photographs

System of arrangement

The image collection is arranged initially in the order the images were originally placed in their storage case and then numerically by the original numbering system.

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