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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
George Holdsworth

of Glossop

George Holdsworth operated a studio in Shrewsbury Street, Glossop, from at least 1891 until 1895.

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George Holdsworth was born c. 1865 at Fulstone, near Holmfrith (south of Huddersfield) in Yorkshire, the second son of a cloth (woollen) draper and farmer, James Nathaniel Holdsworth (1839-) and his wife Hannah Berry (1841-).  Although he worked in the clothing trade as a boy, he probably became a photographer soon after his marriage to Ellen Ann Wilkinson, daughter of a Fulstone wollen weaver, in 1888.  Certainly by the time of the 1891 Census, when he is shown living alone at 22 Pikes Lane, Glossop, he had already established his studio, shown in an 1891 trade directory in Shrewsbury Street.  His family, however, continued to live at Dean Bridge between the villages of Fulstone, Wooldale and Scholes, and perhaps George was a weekly commuter.  In 1901, he is shown living at home in Dean Bridge, by which time he and his wife had four sons and two daughters.

Adamson (1997) confirms that Holdsworth was operating the Shrewsbury Street studio from 1891 to 1895, but provides no further information.  Kelly's 1899 trade directory for Glossop has no entry for him, so it appears that he had moved his trade elsewhere by this time, or was employed by another studio.

The Picture the Past photographic database contains a number images attributed to "George Holdsworth & Son," including several school class photographs dated from c.1910 to c.1931 ("Somercotes Boy's School Group 6," "Hardwick Street School, Sutton-in-Ashfield," "Girls Class B, East Kirkby Council Infants School, Kirkby-in-Ashfield", "Standard 2B class, Chaucer Schools, Lower Chapel Street, Ilkeston", "Class 3, Welbeck Road Junior School, Bolsover" and "Class A, Shirebrook Model Village Infants School").  One the photos, dated 1931, has the following note printed on the mount, "Geo. Holdsworth & Son, Scholastic Photo Specialist, Hartlepool," suggesting that he had moved his base of operations to this north-east coastal town by that time.  It appears that he started specialising in the scholastic trade fairly early on, because there is a series of photos showing the buildings, a school garden, pupils and teaching staff at the new infants school in Victoria Road, Sandiacre, taken from a booklet published by him c. 1910.

Image © & courtesy of Liz Sparkes
Sarah Ann Cooper née Hambleton (1837-1898)
by Geo. Holdsworth of Shrewsbury St, Glossop
Undated, but probably taken c. 1888-1892

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 64 x 105 mm

Image © & courtesy of Liz Sparkes

Notes by LS: Sarah Ann Cooper (nee Hambleton) was a sister of my great-grandfather John Hambleton. She was born on 19th June 1837 in Mellor, Derbyshire and died in 1898 in Glossop.

Images kindly provided by Liz Sparkes
1841-1901 UK Census - online from
1901 UK Census index - online from the PRO
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
North East Midland Photographic Record - Picture the Past
Anon (1887) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co., London.
Anon (1891) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire, Kelly & Co., London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1895) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London.
Anon (1899) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire, Kelly & Co., London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical DirectoriesAdamson, Keith I.P. (1997) Professional Photographers in Derbyshire 1843 - 1914, The PhotoHistorian, No. 118 Supplement, September 1997, ISSN 0957-0209. Courtesy of John Bradley.

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