Our extensive photograph collection was begun by the late Tony Arter. He was born in the village and lived here all his life. Known as “Mr Docking”, he had been taking and collecting pictures since the mid 1960s and had amassed many hundreds of photographs associated with the village.
After Tony’s death in 2010, his collection was donated to Docking Heritage Group for care and safe keeping in the future. We then began the task of sorting, indexing, cataloguing and digitally copying and storing the pictures. Many hours later, they are now all stored on computer. His original prints and slides are kept in the Heritage Room. This was the beginning of the “Heritage Collection” and at this point we had almost 2000 photographs.
In addition to this many more hours have been spent taking and copying pictures which have kindly been loaned or donated to us. The “Heritage Collection” now contains over 5000 images and is still growing. Despite this large number it’s far from complete, we are still missing images of the many small lanes and yards in the village as well as some of the earlier businesses, and we only have a small number of pictures showing other parts of the village. For example, the King William public house was demolished in October 2011. We have about six pictures showing the pub dating from the late 1950s to the mid 1980s and nothing else until after its closure in 2009. Can you help fill this gap. A set of photographs has been taken to record the demolition process and the building of the row of cottages that now stand on the site.
As well as working on the pictures, a searchable database of names has also been put together so it is now much easier to find which photographs a particular person can be found in.
There are unfortunately many pictures of people in the collection that we don’t have names for. The above photograph is one of those mystery pictures. Do you know who the people shown in it are? If you do please let us know via our contact page. These pictures will be changed on a regular basis so hopefully in time, and with your help we’ll be able to fill in some of those missing names.
We are now working on the next major part of this project which is to print out the collection on A4 glossy paper. Many of the pictures are on slide and some have either been loaned for copying or emailed to us and are only stored on computer so no print currently exists with us. Given the size of the collection this will take a long time and a lot of money. Using good quality paper, ink and folders, each one costs around £1.50 to print and store so with an estimated 4500 to do it won’t be complete for many years but once done the collection will be available for easy viewing in our heritage room. We are always looking for new photos to add to the collection. Old pictures are always welcome but more recent photographs are of interest as well as they will be as important in the future as a record of Docking as pictures from the past are now.
Do you have any photographs of Docking or its people that you will allow us to copy and add to the collection? Any pictures are useful to us, even ones that we already possess. Using modern technology, we can often improve upon the images that we already have. We can copy from prints, slides or negatives.
Sometimes the main subject in a picture may not be the most important part of the image. It could be that what’s in the background may be of more interest. A photograph may show lost buildings or something else of interest that does not appear in any other picture, so please look carefully before you discard anything.
An example of this is this picture of a white cat. It’s not the cat that’s important, but look in the background and you’ll notice the brick building in the centre. It’s a shoe mender’s shop, and this photograph is the only one we have showing this particular building in any detail.
If you are able to help in any way with this important project, then do get in touch with us. Anything loaned for copying will be returned back to you as quickly as possible. Also, if you have any pictures of Docking you no longer want but do not want to throw away, why not donate them to the heritage group? We will be pleased to give them a safe home within the collection.
Some of the photographs from the collection have been used in the making of our two DVDs ‘Docking – A Village Remembered’ which takes you on a guided journey through the village, reminding us of how Docking used to be, and ‘Docking – How We Used ToLive’ which looks back at a range of subjects including housing, employment, trades, transport, leisure activities and more.
For more details, and where to obtain a copy, click here.