The Holiday “Spirit”

With all this rain drenching our holidays we thought we’d give August’s Photo Donation of the Month a special holiday flavour! There’s sun hats and picnics, a pebble beach and somewhere off in the distance, the sitters’ eyes take us to a suggestion of the sea.

The Holiday “Spirit”

This is Roy Hull’s portfolio entry to the Bury Photographic Society in July 1956; lucky for us we get to read the panel’s remarks which offers some insight into the attitudes of the society’s judges during the 1950s. Overall they did not like rules of composition to be broken:

“The composition I feel is L shaped with the point of interest, table and contents not in the junction of the L”

“I feel that a bit of deliberate arrangement might have made an improvement. Four figures, each facing the table and a burst of sunshine would have improved. Or even a diagonal composition might have been tried”

“The viewpoint is good, but it is a pity about the disembodied feet on the left”

Front sheet of Roy Hull’s Portfolio Entry to Bury Photographic Society

Some of the judges clearly did not ‘get’ the ironic title ‘The Holiday “Spirit”’. We would have thought that spirit being in inverted comments might have given some indication to Roy’s apparent subversion of the traditional cheesy-grin, sunshiny holiday snap:

“The title seems unfortunate, the holiday spirit to me means action, vitality, a happy jolly time had by all”

“I should like to suggest another title say ‘Holiday Relaxation’ for the word spirit to me always suggests people leaping about etc.”

Roy has sadly passed away and his son has very kindly donated this photograph (along with other documents) to the archives here in Bury to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. We hope that Roy continued pushing the boundaries with his photography as we certainly appreciated his wry interpretation of the spirit of a holiday, captured so perfectly!All that’s missing is the rain!!

Anyone donating photographs to Bury Archives Service can be safe in the knowledge that they are stored in the best possible conditions for their long-term preservation. Please get in touch if you would like to ‘preserve memories’ with Bury Archives.


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2 Responses to The Holiday “Spirit”

  1. Jane Fraser says:

    I love all the patterns in this photos: stones, table, fabric, hair. It’s really quite a sophisticated composition.

    • buryculture says:

      Hi Jane, we think so too, there’s so much to look at and the unusual viewpoint makes you want to know more about the scene and its people, what they’re looking towards etc

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