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Frank Brindley: Sheffield News Pictures

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Some time go on this Forum there was some queries about Frank Brindley, the Sheffield news photographer. I though it would be interesting to add bit, from personal experience, about this man, who died in 1967.

When I was in my teens in 1961, I paid Brindley a visit at his house, 973 Abbeydale Road, Millhouses, as he had advertised a Rolleiflex camera for sale and I was just getting to grips with photography at the age of about 17. Brindley was from the same family as those running steel and tool company of that name, which is still trading in Darnall. In addition to being their works manager (?) he also ran an independant outfit called Sheffield News Pictures and, when I visited him, this was displayed on a small brass plate at his doorway. At that time he was living downstairs and had his bed in the dining room. The front room contained piles of yellow Kodak paper boxes into which were stuffed hundreds of prints, the product of his photo news gathering activities. He spent a great deal of time talking to me about the local Derbyshire lead mining industry and showing me photographs of the remains of the mines. At that time - unlike nowadays - I had no particular interest in this subject but now wish I had spent a bit more time listening to him! I did not buy the camera he had for sale (cannot recall why but probably too expensive !) but later I came across his name, which was linked to the father of local gritstone climbing and caving, one J.W.Puttrell. The latter will be familiar to many a Sheffielder. Puttrell, who died in 1939, collected many old newspaper cuttings, chiefly about Derbyshire lead mines and caving, and these cuttings make fascinating reading. If it is a wet day and you have an hour or two to spare, a visit to Sheffield City library Local History section is well worth while to read through these.


A lot of the cuttings have Brindley's name on them and I can do no better than suggest this link for a flavour of their content: http://www.nmrs.org.uk/publications/pdf/BM43/BM43-35-40-yesterday.pdf


Brindley discovered a cave system close by the A6 road, near Taddington, near to Buxton, and named this "Puttrell Caverns" after the great man. I recall reading somewhere that this Cavern may now be lost when the

road was widened. However, Bridley took some photographs of the system which can be viewed here under Puttrell Caverns : http://www.rockarchivist.co.uk/pers_puttrell.shtml

This web site is worth perusing in its own right for a lot of interesting material about Jimmy Puttrell.


In addition to mines and caves, Brindley also produced a series of fascinating photographs more locally, including old buses, and shots of an old tunnel beneath the former Star and Telegraph building, and much more besides, some of which can be seen on the web and also in Sheffield Archives.


I have no idea where the vast bulk of his photographs ended up, but hopefully they were not destroyed.

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