‘Turners saved my marriage’

Christmas is fast approaching. It’s a special time of year for many people and it’s also a very busy time for shops. Businesses are going into overdrive with publicity campaigns to get us to buy their products and all this activity has reminded me of some fascinating images in our Turners collection.

Turners was a leading photographic and video production company, with shops in Newcastle in Pink Lane, Blackett Street and Eldon Square as well branches in other parts of the North East. You can enjoy one of their promotional films on the North East Film Archive website. Tyne & Wear Archives holds a large collection of negatives created by the firm and these contain thousands of fascinating images. As well as taking photographs for local businesses the firm also sold cameras and a range of electrical products. Some of the images in the Turners collection are very clearly adverts.

Turners advert, 1962 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/29481).

Turners advert, 1962 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/29481).

There are others where it’s not so explicit but the images seem intended to promote sales in the firm’s shops. An excellent example is this shot of a model holding a camera.

Model posing with camera,  (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/4/504/1).

Model posing with camera, 1955 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/4/504/1).

The Turners collection includes a number of images of young models in skimpy outfits. This was clearly a popular advertising ploy to capture people’s attention. Quite a few of the shots include the use of hay, presumably to make them more suggestive. The company also used humour in its publicity as reflected in this image encouraging customers to upgrade their cameras.

Turners publicity shot, (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/26788F).

Turners publicity shot, 1961 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/26788F).

The gentleman in the picture is Dave Grey, a Turners staff member. He also features in a super little set of images taken by the firm in 1962 to help generate camera sales. These images are the subject a new Flickr set by Tyne & Wear Archives. They tell the sad story of a bored husband wasting his life away in front of a TV screen.

Despairing of her husband, (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/28785)

Despairing of her husband, 1962 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/28785)

His wife, despairing of his behaviour, gives him an ultimatum to mend his ways. He clearly needs a hobby to occupy his mind and his search takes him to a Turners shop where he finds the solution to his problem.

Turners have the answer, (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/28465H).

Turners have the answer, 1962 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/28465H).

The moral of this story seems to be that in order to keep your mind and body active don’t sit in front of the screen, get behind the lens. If anyone out there is looking to restore marital harmony this Christmas I can’t promise that a new camera holds all the answers. I hope all our readers have a great time, though and that your presents leave you as happy as Dave Grey. Merry Christmas!

'Thank you, Turners', (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/28465J)

‘Thank you, Turners’, 1962 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/28465J)


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