ALWAYS nice to hear from readers who enjoy the Looking Back pages.

One of those readers is Neil Mattingly who has now kindly agreed to share some of his information on famous local photographer Claud Hider and some of his collection of photographs ahead of a talk he is giving on the subject next month.

Mr Mattingly has been collecting Hider postcards produced since 1922 of the area around Bridport, where he was based at 42 South Street.

Mr Mattingly said: “Whereas most postcards were printed mechanically, his were produced in small numbers photographically at his shop.

“They provide a unique social document today of the era between the two wars as he would often record the people and vehicles as he saw them.

“The fact they are photographs allows us to enlarge them to wall size and still maintain detail.”

Mr Mattingly will be showing many of them at a talk he and Liz Scott are giving on Friday, November 7 which will allow the audience to see Charmouth and the surrounding area as it was in 1923, the year that most of his photographs originate from.

Mr Mattingly added: “1923 was the year that he opened his shop in Bridport and he must have looked at the many hundreds of photographs he took of the area around Bridport as ideal as postcards to attract customers to his photographic shop.

“I now have more than 200 of his postcards and placed them on my website at so that others can enjoy these rare photographs.

“We will be enlarging many of these onto screen, often comparing with the same view today at our talk.

“I have been fortunate in making contact with Claud Hider’s grandson Peter, who has provided me with information and photographs relating to his grandfather.

“I have also had tremendous assistance by Roger Pinn, who continues to run his photographic business from the same premises that Claud sold to his father in 1953.

“This will be the fifth annual talk that we have given on an aspect of Charmouth history for the Charmouth Local History Group.”

Claud Hider had two brothers who were also photographers.

His son, Jim was a reconnaissance photographer in Mosquitoes in the RAF during the Second World War.

He personally spent summer holidays collecting holidaymakers’ films, developing and printing during the evening and returning the prints the next day, mostly from Seatown from the Anchor’s kiosk.

Hider was one of a number of photographers who supplemented their livings by producing small quantities of photographic cards of their neighbourhood.

During the first three decades of the 20th century there had been a golden age of postcards with many hundreds of millions bought every year and often collected in albums, some of which have survived to this day.

With Mr Mattingly’s indulgence we will be sharing some of Hider’s extraordinary photographs over the next few weeks and some of the information he has found about the man.