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Armagh County Museum

Exhibition information

Armagh in Focus

These images taken by Ernest Scott only scratch the surface of one of Northern Ireland’s largest and most important photographic archives but does give a flavour of how our parents and grandparents lived, worked and entertained themselves during a period that saw huge social change.  Armagh County Museum holds nearly all of the images taken by “Allison’s” throughout the period of Scott’s ownership, (1950 – 1982), a collection of around 350,000 black and white negatives.

The premises where Ernest Scott had his photographic studio in Scotch Street, Armagh had a lengthy reputation as the centre of photography in the city before he took over. From the 1880s W.J. Hunter operated a studio there which was then bought by Herbert Allison in 1900. When Scott acquired the business in 1950 he retained the established brand name ‘Allison Studios’ and continued under his ownership until he retired in the early 1980s.

His work varied from commissions from local companies and institutions to the usual staple of professional photographers, taking studio portraits and wedding photographs. He cannot claim all the credit for his wife who was a talented photographer took many of the photos when her husband was working at his other job in the Customs Service.

There are more images of this amazing collection here https://www.flickr.com/people/armaghcountymuseum/

List of Works

1 Lipton’s grocery shop in Upper English Street circa late 1950s.
2 British Red Cross, Mill Row after a flood
3 View of Scotch Street looking west, the flood from the Scotch Street River (1958)
4 A crowd gathering to see the bride and groom emerging from a wedding at St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cathedral (1953)
5 Interior RC Cathedral, Wedding (1953)
6 The Ritz cinema Taken showing queues waiting outside (1949)
7 Daughter of Ernest Scott at St. Patrick’s Well on Legarhill (1950)
8 Cooper Hill perhaps Armagh’s last cooper and made barrels and churns in his workshop in Ogle Street (1950)
9 Col. Templer a much decorated commander during the Second World War and Mr George Leyburn M.B.E a local magistrate and was a member of the Northern Ireland Health Services Board.
10 Bradford’s Egg store June (1954)
11 Royal School Army Cadet (1965)
12 The tower of the ancient St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the woman on the right is busy using a cine camera to capture the spectacular view