THE mystery surrounding some old glass negative plates found in Huddersfield has deepened.
But they have also taken an interesting turn as we have discovered that the plates depict drawings, not photographs.
They first came to light in Denis Kilcommons’ column when he was given them by Paul Dickinson, the son of former Huddersfield policeman Stan Dickinson who died at his home in Hunmanby near Filey in January.
Paul had been given a stack of old photographic plates by his grandfather, Wilfred, who worked for the Examiner for many years.
Trying to get images off them proved a challenge and so John Woods Photography in the Byram Arcade volunteered to help try to find out exactly what was on them.
And the 14 images turned out to be quite a surprise as we reveal two of the hidden treasures for the first time today.
John said: “They are not, as originally thought, photographs of old Huddersfield but copies of pen and ink illustrations of Huddersfield landmarks.
“When they were originally brought in Paul couldn’t understand why there was one image then part of another image on the same plate.
“They are about the size of a postcard. After a bit of detective work and laying them all side by side it seems they were all copied from a book. Left page and right page. My guess – and it’s only a guess – is that in the 40s or 50s there was a glass plate repro camera in the Examiner darkrooms or print rooms and the images were copied from the book to, perhaps, sell as souvenir framed illustrations of old Huddersfield.’’
John said he scanned the glass plates in and then used Photoshop to turn the negatives into positives so they became the images you can see on this page.
So the mystery deepens to the extent that we still don’t know who drew them or which book they might be from.
And, although many Examiner staff are long-serving, there are none who can recall anything that may shed further light on this.
So if you can, please call features on 01484 437761 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.