Skip to main content

Society Historian's Research

Research into the History of the Society and Social History of Rochdale

This page will be showcasing a significant amount of research done by the Society's Historian, Harry Muncaster.

Harry has been conducting his research for a number of years now, using sources that include the local newspaper and council archives amongst others plus time spent trudging the streets of the borough to identify landmarks associated with the societies past, establishing a timeline of key events. Harry also took his own photographs of a number of locations in order to provide a "Then and Now" perspective. He also uncovered information on the key people involved with the society over the years, including some of those directly involved in founding the society. The depth of his reasearch also gives an insite into the social history of the town throughout the existence of the society, through old newspaper cuttings of relevant articles and photographs.

Harry hit many dead ends on the detail of where the society actually met over the years since it was founded in 1890, and when he hit problems he would try and find an alternative approach. Harry's research file consisted of his own typed notes interspersed with archive photos, and newpaper cuttings and some of his own photos. When Harry found new or correcting information on topics he had already created "typed notes" for, he would add hand written notes to previously created typed notes. In some cases he made handwritten notes that were added to his file, and these have also been scanned. Over time he amassed a significant amount of information which he kept in a ring binder, and of course this was a sole copy of his work.

It was apparent that his research was worthy of preserving, not only from the society's history perspective, but also for aspects of Rochdale's Social history he documented alongside the society history. So an excercise was undertaken to scan Harry's research file as a series of PDF files. That would then give the society the opportunity to showcase Harry's dedication to the research he has done over the years, in his own time and at his own expense. Also having an "electronic copy" backed up to the "Cloud", reduces the risk of his work being lost.

So now it is my pleasure to provide access to the first of the files. This will be available for visitors to this page to view or download. However it must be stressed that all content across the files that will be made available on the Rochdale Photographic Society website is the sole copyright of Harry Muncaster and would ask that his copyright is respected by all who access his research

So the first three "chapters" of Harry's history of the Society (and Rochdale) to be made available are:-

1.     Preface and photo of John Bright MP

2.     Taken by Camera - RPS and photography in Rochdale

3.     Newspaper report of Founding meeting and Lyceum

Each file can be viewed/downloaded from the "Available Downloads" section on this page.

The articles/research on this page will be replaced with the next ones in the series, approximately at the end of each month.

I trust that the information shared will prove interesting not just to society members (present and past) but also to anyone interested in Rochdales past and heritage.

Ed Whitaker - Society President 2018-2019.