s The Cartlidge Collection - Hull Museums Collections

The Cartlidge Collection

sinking vessel

One man, a huge hoard

Harry Cartlidge once worked at Hull Dock Offices and it is here (now Hull Maritime Museum) that an estimated 50,000 of his photographs are now held. He demonstrated a real skill and enthusiasm for photography and has provided us with an extremely important record of Hull and the surrounding areas and locations.

The Cartlidge Collection is made up of images in many different formats; acetate negatives, loose prints, transparencies and photograph albums. The oldest items in the collection are glass plate negatives from the 1920s and mainly feature views of trawlers and Hull's busy fish market.


The fish dock became the most recurrent subject but there are also many images documenting the neighbouring Riverside Quay and the Victoria, Alexandra and King George Docks. In doing so he often captured images of impressive sailing ships such as the Passat , Pommern, Garthpool and Archibald Russell as well as countless other varieties of vessels.

Strangely, one of his most famous photographs does not relate to Hull but shows the Houses of Parliament at night. This impressive image shows the lights shining from inside and the Big Ben clock face glowing. It was reprinted in the press but also used on the front cover of George Dangerfield's account of the political upheaval between 1910-1914 entitled 'The Strange Death of Liberal England'.

His pictures in print

Cartlidge's images were widely used in magazines, leaflets, advertisements and journals ranging from material for Whitby Urban District Council, Northern Clothing, publications such as The Sketch, Amateur Photographer and Lock and Quay. He provided the cover picture of East Yorkshire Motor Services 'Staff News Magazine' between the years 1968-70. The images varied but the EYMS often asked for pictures of new or damaged buses.

Although he never considered himself a professional photographer, the images he has left for us are of a very high standard and fascinating to study. They give real insight into life in and around Hull, some by documenting important events or busy scenes and others by showing intimate portraits of local people or his family.

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