This exhibition celebrates the 140th anniversary of the birth of Walter Percy Collier on 20 July 1875. Though known as the photographer of Bellingham, he was born in Newcastle, moved to Manchester, married a girl from Bootle on Merseyside in 1905, opened a shop in Great Crosby, moved to Formby and returned to Newcastle to work with his brother-in-law. And all this happened before he opened his shop in Bellingham around 1913!

This new exhibition will display the early photographs that WP Collier took on Merseyside and later on Tyneside for his brother-in-law, Harry Ord Thompson, but there will be many local pictures as well. There will be a display of family photography from the formal Victorian portrait to the amateur snapshot, with some of the early photographic kits. The 1930s darkroom was a world away from the instant images of the digital camera and mobile phone.