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Exmouth Photo Group Millennium Print Project

To celebrate the Millennium members of Exmouth Photo Group undertook a project to take photographs of Exmouth as it looked in 1999.  The aim was to create a composite image of the town as it faced the new Millennium.  By its very nature this was probably going to be a large-scale task but none of us foresaw the monster it became.

In all more than 4300 photographs were taken on 35-millimetre film.  It would have been a much easier task had we had digital technology at our disposal.  Alas, computer-driven hardware and software was not available to us.  Another 3-4 years and we would have had all the conveniences (and the frustrations they brought along with them!)

There were 3 main outcomes from all this material:

  • An archive of all the negatives, held in cold storage at the Devon Record Office at Sowton Industrial Estate

  • An archive of unmounted prints recording the whole collection on archive quality paper.  This is held on a temporary basis in the West Country Studies Library.   It is intended to move the prints to Exmouth Library when (or if) space becomes available through redevelopment of the facility in town.

  • An Exhibition collection of 360 large, mounted prints which formed the basis of a public display in May 2000, right in the middle of the Millennium itself!  These prints are a selection taken from the main collection.  They are held on loan to Exmouth Museum.

Clearly the component collections are being looked after in different places by different organisations, an arrangement which is less than ideal for potential researchers.   We hope that ultimately, they can be housed under one roof.   In the meantime, the prints will be stored by Exmouth Photo Group and will be handled according to the club’s discretion. (At present Nova Fisher, a member of Exmouth Photo Group, is holding several prints at her property in Lympstone). 

There are three main components to the Exhibition Collection:

  • The colour prints, by far the largest section

  • The black and white prints

  • 28 pairs of images, combining “Old” photos taken at the beginning of the 20th century and “New” photos from 1999 taken by Exmouth Photo Group members.

Each mounted print has a number stuck on the bottom right-hand corner.  The same number appears on the back of the print, circled in black pencil.   Matching these numbers with the index supplied with the collection will enable the user to find the required images.

There is a final tripartite number on the back of each print.  This refers to the identity numbers linked to the main collection in Exeter.  For your information these numbers derive from the photographer, the serial number of the film and the serial frame number.

It is club policy that the images in the collections shall be made available to all corners free of charge.

November 2020.

Below a few sample photographs of the collection

these will be available soon

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