The Quarryman’s Story
Iconic images from Lafarge Tarmac’s vast Tunstead photographic archive to go on display in Buxton
ANYONE with an interest in the history and heritage of lime and limestone production will be fascinated by an upcoming exhibition of photographs from Lafarge Tarmac’s Tunstead archive, which is to be shown at The Green Man Gallery, Hardwick Hall, Hardwick Square South, Buxton, Derbyshire, from 5 June to 10 July 2015.
The exhibition will present the story of limestone quarrying in the Peak District of area of Derbyshire through cine film, TV broadcasts and photographic images stretching back over 120 years.
The photographs on display will be a small selection of some of the more iconic images from a collection of approximately 28,000 photographs dating from the late 1800s onwards, which capture the people, the communities, and the day-to-day toil and hardship required to sustain the local limestone industry.
Buxton sits on the dividing line between the Dark (gritstone) Peak and the White (limestone) Peak, and quarrying has been an essential part of the history and heritage of the market town and the surrounding area since Roman times.
The stories of the men and the village communities based around the limestone quarries are just as poignant and every bit as important as the stories of the coal-mining communities, although little seems to be seen or heard of their struggle and contribution to the economy of the area.
The early glass-plate images, in particular, capture a time that is reminiscent of the Wild West of America with men in gunslinger coats. The images also tell the story of an industry becoming increasingly mechanized with machinery replacing the hard labour of men with picks.
The Tunstead archive is being released thanks to the generosity of Lafarge Tarmac who, over the next year or so, hope to release more of the collection. At the end of the forthcoming exhibition in Buxton, canvas prints of the images will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to Blythe House Hospice in Chapel-en-le-Frith.
For more information about the exhibition, contact Discover Buxton on tel: (01298) 79648; email: [email protected]; or call the Green Man Gallery on tel: (01298) 937375.