Photographs

The Trust holds a wide range of photograph collections, relating to company, Clark family and local history. Some of the earliest images were taken by J Aubrey Clark (1826-1890), eldest son of company founder Cyrus Clark, during the mid 19th century. The collections offer a unique visual insight into the social and commercial history of Street and C & J Clark Ltd.

Two major Photographic Collections (PHO) contain the bulk of items of photographic interest. Pictures of C & J Clark employees throughout the ages sit alongside photographs of the numerous factory sites within the immediate Street locality and further afield throughout Somerset, the UK and Ireland.

i) The thematic photograph collection is arranged by subject and consists of about 30 archive boxes. The collection is not catalogued to item level but it is nevertheless possible to find a range of images including company images such as factory exteriors and interiors, employees, window displays, exhibitions, showrooms and shop interiors. Photographs of many members of the wider Clark family and their houses in the Street locality are available, along with a wealth of shots of the village and locality of Street itself, including sites of local interest, civic occasions and Street folk.

ii) The Courier photograph collection contains 43 boxes of catalogued images generated by the Clarks company newspaper from 1957 until the mid 1990s. The Courier covered news from across C & J Clark Ltd, including from the many local and national factory communities. Once again, images of employees feature prominently, alongside factories and shops, Christmas parties, sporting events and Street local history.

Numerous other photographs are to be found in the substantial business and family archive collections, as well as the Trust’s collections relating to local history. In particular, the photographs in the family archives focus on the many branches of the Clark family, both in Somerset and across the country, giving an intimate glimpse of the family at leisure at home and out and about at nutting picnics and more formal family occasions.

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