W W Winter Est 1852

ON THIS PAGE • A Short History • Exhibitions • The Winter's Collection of Derby • Tours

W W Winter History & Heritage

A short history of Winters...
There has been a photography studio in Midland Road, Derby since at least 1852. This was owned by Monsieur Emmanuel Nicholas Charles who employed our namesake, Walter William Winter.
Winter eventually took over the business, trading as W W Winter Late E N Charles, and in 1867 he opened his new purpose built studio directly across the road from the original premises. The business has been here ever since.
In 1896, William Henry King joined the business as a photographic assistant and by 1910, he and Henry Bernard Sheppard formed a partnership buying the business. The company has been in the King family ever since.

What this means in that W W Winter is a photo studio with a rather exciting past. Whilst the studio is open throughout the week for contemporary photography, photo restoration and framing, we also have some interesting goings-on in the background.

In 2014 Winters submitted a phase 1 bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund for which we received funding.

With part of the funding, we were able to produce the following film which offers an insight into the importance and scope of the Winters heritage project.

Television Appearances

Looking back on Winters (The Great Antiques Map of Britian)
In 2014 Hubert King was interviewed by Tim Wonnacott for the BBC as part of the TV series 'The Great Antiques Map of Britain'.
You can watch the clip from the BBC archives below

The studio was also featured on Series 48 Episode 15 of BBC Bargain Hunt when we were visited by Natasha Raskin Sharp for a look around some of our photographic antiques.


People Places Things

This exhibition explored early studio photography from 1852 onwards focussing on the collection of W. W. Winter Studio in Derby, one of the oldest running studios in the world.

Over the last 170 years the Winter photographers have recorded Derby and the people and things that were both important and commonplace in the town as it grew into the city that we know today.

The exhibition was curated by Greg Hobson for FORMAT International Photography Festival in conjunction with Derby Museums.
FORMAT International Photography Festival is the UK’s most significant biennale of photography. In 2017 the festival was curated around the theme of HABITAT which explores ideas of landscape, environment, mobility, migrations, digital worlds, home, displacement, conflict and regeneration, including work that considers our impact on the world locally and internationally.
The exhibition took place at Derby Museum and Art Gallery from 24 March to 11 June 2017. www.formatfestival.com
An exhibition catalogue is available to buy direct from W W Winter and can be posted to any mainland UK address.

QUAD 8 APRIL 2017 11:00 – 17:00
A one-day symposium presented with support from the new Photography Collections Network to coincide with the exhibition People, Places and Things: the W. W. Winter Archive. The speakers explored issues and projects relating to the preservation of studio archives.

A copy of the FORMAT17 guide can be viewed online here

ARTICLES: Derbyshire Life | British Journal of Photography

The Winter's Collection of Derby

In 1992, to celebrate 125 years at 45 Midland Road, 'The Winter's Collection of Derby' was published. The book is illustrated with photographs of Derby taken between around 1870 and 1950 by W W Winter Photographers. They show with breathtaking clarity, the town and its people during those years.

The book was published in a limited edtion of 1012 and is a record of Derby landmarks, architecture, citizens, and historical events. A second volume was published in 1996 and features much of Derby's industry as well as royal visits, dignitaries, and war portraits. Both are now collectors items.

Many of the images featured in the books are retained in Winter's archives as original glass plate negatives, and prints are available to purchase.

Heritage Tours & Events

Heritage Open Days In 2013 we took part in our first Heritage Open Days event

HOD TOURS: It was, in fact, a customer that began a new chapter in the Winter's story book, with the question: Have you heard of Heritage Open Days?
A little bit of web surfing later, we took the plunge and submitted the application. It was a complete unknown.
The current owner, Hubert King, had given talks about the history of the company in the past but would anyone be interested in having a look around?

Several press releases, events listings, Facebook posts and tweets later we started to get a trickle of interest until 'lo-and-behold' we got a slot on ITV Central News. It was a huge catalyst and was followed up with radio and local press until every tour slot on the day had been taken!

We have taken part every year since and it is a great opportunity to tour the premises and see how our heritage project are progressing.
Visit the Heritage Open Days website to check for this years listings.

Private Tours & Talks

For groups interested in an exclusive look around, we provide private tours which are bookable via the studio and are very reasonably priced.
Because the premises are a working studio it is advisable to book well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Popular illustrated talks are also available at your own venue, given by Winter's archivist, Jane Middleton-Smith. Bookings can be taken via the studio on 01332 345224.


Phone us on 01332 345224 during office hours, or leave a message on the answerphone

call in at 45 Midland Road, Derby DE1 2SP

Office hours Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday 9am to 2pm, and other times by appointment

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