"Thank you for the wonderful service  you do for all aficionados of church music"
Peter Wright, Southwark Cathedral 

Photo & Newsreel
​Collection

"Congratulations.  I cannot find words to describe this 
massive achievement"
John Henderson, Author & Archivist to the RSCM   

Click on a slide-show to open

The Photographic Collection contains over 6000 images, the majority being rare and of historical importance, particularly those of choirs which do not exist anymore.
  
Many hundreds of choirs and individual choristers are represented in the Collection and I hope you enjoy this small selection.

Newsreels, particulary Pathe, are a historical treasure house of choirs, giving a fascinating insight into church music during the first half of the 20th century.   Pathe have recently undertaken the restoration of all their film stock, rendering it to High Definition and the results are spectacular.  

  1. London, St Andrew's Wells Street. 1895
    London, St Andrew's Wells Street. 1895
    One of the classrooms in the purpose built choir school. St Andrew's was the first choir to issue a gramophone record in 1902.
  2. London College for Choristers, 1930
    London College for Choristers, 1930
    A group of boys on tour in Wellington, New Zealand. The boys from the London College and the London Choir were deadly rivals!
  3. Bristol All Saints, 1929
    Bristol All Saints, 1929
    Choristers taking part in the Boy Bishop ceremony.
  4. Newland Choir School, Malvern,  1914
    Newland Choir School, Malvern, 1914
    Just outside of Great Malvern, this is where the Archive of Recorded Church Music is located. This once famous choir school survived until 1945.
  5. Savoy Chapel Choir, 1930
    Savoy Chapel Choir, 1930
    The boys arriving in Canada for the start of their tour. Although the London Choir School which supplied the choristers to the Savoy closed in 1958, they now are educated at St Olave's School in Orpington
  6. Upper St Leonards,  St John's church, 1925
    Upper St Leonards, St John's church, 1925
    The Barham brothers, Edwin, Walter and Herbert
  7. Holborn,  St Alban-the-Martyr, 1928
    Holborn, St Alban-the-Martyr, 1928
  8. Tenbury,  St Michael's College,  1881
    Tenbury, St Michael's College, 1881
    One of the very last surviving Tractarian Choir Schools, St Michael's closed in 1985.
  9. London Choir School, 1937
    London Choir School, 1937
    A select group of boys from the school named 'The English Boy Choristers' who toured the USA & Canada on a regular basis to great acclaim.
  10. London, All Saints Margaret Street.  1960
    London, All Saints Margaret Street. 1960
    One of the last surviving Tractarian Choir Schools, it closed in 1968
  11. Clumber Park Choir School, 1929
    Clumber Park Choir School, 1929
    The choir, clergy and altar servers of the Duke of Newcastle's Choir School at Clumber Park, Worksop. The photo was taken by the Duke himself
  12. Tenbury,  St Michael's College, 1966
    Tenbury, St Michael's College, 1966
    Choristers with Watkins Shaw in the famous library looking at the original manuscript score of Handel's Messiah, the college's greatest treasure
  13. London,  All Saints Margaret Street, 1960s
    London, All Saints Margaret Street, 1960s
  14. St Mary of-the-Angels Song School, 1934
    St Mary of-the-Angels Song School, 1934
    Making Palm Crosses to raise money for the school
  15. Newland Choir School, Malvern,  1943
    Newland Choir School, Malvern, 1943
    The last photograph taken of the choristers before the school closed in 1945
  16. London Choir School, 1953
    London Choir School, 1953
    Choristers hired out to sing at a wedding
  17. Clumber Park Choir School, 1922
    Clumber Park Choir School, 1922
    The choristers outside their newly built Choir Hostel, which is where they boarded.
  18. St Mary of-the-Angels Song School, 1948
    St Mary of-the-Angels Song School, 1948
    Photo published in a newspaper and entitled 'Reflections'
  19. Savoy Chapel Choir, 1937
    Savoy Chapel Choir, 1937
    Christmas Carols
  1. Upton Cross  St Peter, 1947
    Upton Cross St Peter, 1947
  2. Pudsey  St James,  1920
    Pudsey St James, 1920
  3. Newark Parish Church, 1982
    Newark Parish Church, 1982
  4. Highgate  St Michael, 1949
    Highgate St Michael, 1949
    Harvest Festival
  5. Martham Parish Church, 1972
    Martham Parish Church, 1972
  6. London  Eaton Square, 1955
    London Eaton Square, 1955
    Last church to have choir supplied by the London Choir School
  7. Kensington  Holy Trinity, 1927
    Kensington Holy Trinity, 1927
  8. Leicester  St James,  1980
    Leicester St James, 1980
  9. Hinckley  St Mary, 1910
    Hinckley St Mary, 1910
  10. Heaton Moor  St Paul, 1973
    Heaton Moor St Paul, 1973
  11. Harwood,  Christ Church, 1979
    Harwood, Christ Church, 1979
  12. Downe  St Mary the Virgin, 1952
    Downe St Mary the Virgin, 1952
  13. Freeland  St Mary, 1870
    Freeland St Mary, 1870
  14. Corbridge  St Andrew, 1985
    Corbridge St Andrew, 1985
    Chorister recruiting
  15. Burley-in-Wharfdale, 1975
    Burley-in-Wharfdale, 1975
    'The Burley Angels' football team
  16. Barkingside  Holy Trinity, 1969
    Barkingside Holy Trinity, 1969
    Recording their Christmas Carol cassette
  17. Bristol  St Michael,  1930
    Bristol St Michael, 1930
    'Tuppeny Starvers' The annual ceremony of giving bread to the poor
  18. Ashbourne  St Oswald, 1982
    Ashbourne St Oswald, 1982
  19. Rossyln Chapel, 1935
    Rossyln Chapel, 1935
    Made famous by 'The Da Vinci Code'
  20. Whippingham  St Mildred, 1960s
    Whippingham St Mildred, 1960s
  21. Tring  St Peter & St Paul,  1979
    Tring St Peter & St Paul, 1979
    'Cowboy Choristers'
  22. Swindon  St Paul,  1938
    Swindon St Paul, 1938
    Choir football team
  23. Skipton Parish Church, 1989
    Skipton Parish Church, 1989
  24. London  All Saints, Margaret Street,  1964
    London All Saints, Margaret Street, 1964
  25. Hurstpierpoint  St George, 1950s
    Hurstpierpoint St George, 1950s
    Church made redundant, 2008
  26. London  Holy Trinity, Sloan Street, 1967
    London Holy Trinity, Sloan Street, 1967
  27. Hastings  All Saints, 1920
    Hastings All Saints, 1920
  28. Malvern Link  St Mathias, 1950s
    Malvern Link St Mathias, 1950s
    Choristers pulling the May Queen
  29. Eastleigh Parish Church, 1954
    Eastleigh Parish Church, 1954
  30. Abbots Langley  St Lawrence, 1913
    Abbots Langley St Lawrence, 1913
  31. Clapham  St Paul, 1907
    Clapham St Paul, 1907
  32. Horncastle  St Mary, 1979
    Horncastle St Mary, 1979
    Choristers carrying the new flag pole to the church
  33. London  All Hallows by the Tower, 1930
    London All Hallows by the Tower, 1930
    The chorister scout troop at their Christmas Concert
  1. Carlisle Cathedral, 1904
    Carlisle Cathedral, 1904
    The Chorister's School
  2. Edinburgh, St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, 1953
    Edinburgh, St Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral, 1953
    Arthur Oldham conducting the choir
  3. Durham Cathedral, 29 May 1957
    Durham Cathedral, 29 May 1957
    On the tower celebraing 'Royal Oak Day' with Conrad Eden
  4. Salisbury Cathedral, 1957
    Salisbury Cathedral, 1957
    In front of HMV Mobile Recording Van, with Edmund Rubbra, who was directing the recording of his Mass
  5. Ely Cathedral, 1970
    Ely Cathedral, 1970
    In the day when the choristers wore monastic albs
  6. Westminster Cathedral, 1922
    Westminster Cathedral, 1922
    Richard Terry with Vaughan Williams on completion of his Mass in C, written for the choir.
  7. Canterbury Cathedral choristers, 1954
    Canterbury Cathedral choristers, 1954
    Staying over night in the dorms of Westminster Abbey choir school, on a trip to London.
  8. York Minster, 1930
    York Minster, 1930
    Edward Bairstow taking a rehearsal in the Song School with his signature spats and chair.
  9. St Paul's & Westminster Abbey, 1928
    St Paul's & Westminster Abbey, 1928
    Cricket match between the two choirs
  10. Chester Cathedral, 1942
    Chester Cathedral, 1942
  11. Hereford Cathedral, 1986
    Hereford Cathedral, 1986
    Choristers with Derek Nimmo during the filming of 'Hell's Bells'
  12. Derby Cathedral, 1986
    Derby Cathedral, 1986
    Singing carols in the shopping centre
  13. Coventry Cathedral, 25 May 1962
    Coventry Cathedral, 25 May 1962
    Consecration of the new cathedral
  14. Oxford  Christ Church Cathedral, 1960
    Oxford Christ Church Cathedral, 1960
    Chorister crocodile to the choir school.
  15. Bradford Cathedral, 1975
    Bradford Cathedral, 1975
    Broadcast by Jamacian TV during the choir singing trip
  16. Bristol Cathedral, 1949
    Bristol Cathedral, 1949
  17. Exeter Cathedral, 1909
    Exeter Cathedral, 1909
    Cathedral school cadet corps
  18. Lincoln Cathedral, 1900
    Lincoln Cathedral, 1900
    Chorister crocodile on the way to cathedral
  19. Manchester Cathedral, 1908
    Manchester Cathedral, 1908
    Photo taken by Sir Sydney Nicholson, who was organist and choirmaster at that time
  20. Lichfield Cathedral, 1959
    Lichfield Cathedral, 1959
    Relaxing in the common room
  21. Newcastle Cathedral, 1938
    Newcastle Cathedral, 1938
    A choir of 40 boys!
  22. Ripon Cathedral, 1955
    Ripon Cathedral, 1955
    Lionel Dakers showing the boys the new tape recorder
  23. Worcester Cathedral Voluntary Choir, 1880
    Worcester Cathedral Voluntary Choir, 1880
    The Football team
  24. Winchester Cathedral, 1933
    Winchester Cathedral, 1933
  25. Bath Abbey, 1978
    Bath Abbey, 1978
  26. Hexham Abbey, 1974
    Hexham Abbey, 1974
    Choir descending the Night Stairs
  27. Belmont Abbey, 1990
    Belmont Abbey, 1990
    Choristers were all boarding pupils at the now defunct Abbey School
  28. Beverley Minster, 1955
    Beverley Minster, 1955
    A Christmas card produced by the choir
  29. Portsmouth Cathedral, 1936
    Portsmouth Cathedral, 1936
    Chorister scout troop at camp
  30. Bourne Abbey, 1935
    Bourne Abbey, 1935
  31. Malvern Priory, 1949
    Malvern Priory, 1949
  32. Wymondham Abbey, 1979
    Wymondham Abbey, 1979
  33. Buckfast Abbey, 1981
    Buckfast Abbey, 1981
    Choristers attended the now defunct Abbey prep school.
  1. Oxford  New College, 1941
    Oxford New College, 1941
    Decani side of the choir
  2. Cambridge  St John's College, 1989
    Cambridge St John's College, 1989
    Trip to Holland to sing for Queen Beatrix's birthday
  3. Cambridge  King's College, 1908
    Cambridge King's College, 1908
    Choristers outside the chapel
  4. Oxford  Magdalen College, 1900
    Oxford Magdalen College, 1900
    May morning on the tower
  5. Cambridge  Jesus College, 1924
    Cambridge Jesus College, 1924
  6. Oxford  New College, 1960
    Oxford New College, 1960
    Choristers with Alan Butterworth, choir school headmaster
  7. Cambridge  King's College, 1964
    Cambridge King's College, 1964
    Broadcasting the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
  8. Oxford  Magdalen College, 1907
    Oxford Magdalen College, 1907
    Ivor Novello was a chorister at Magdalen, 3rd row up, 3rd boy from left.
  9. Cambridge, St John's College,  c1974
    Cambridge, St John's College, c1974
    Photograph by Eaden Lilley studios, famed for their superb photographs
  1. Westminster Abbey, 1927
    Westminster Abbey, 1927
    The twelve selected choristers at Liverpool Docks about set sail on tour of the US and Canada. The skates and leather coats were a gift from the Canadian government
  2. Chapel Royal, St Peter ad Vincular, 1959
    Chapel Royal, St Peter ad Vincular, 1959
    The chapel in the Tower of London which had a boys choir until the 1980s
  3. Westminster Abbey, 1953
    Westminster Abbey, 1953
    Lessons at the choir school with Miss Williams
  4. Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, 1984
    Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, 1984
  5. Westminster Abbey, 1923
    Westminster Abbey, 1923
    All choristers were members of the Abbey Scout troop; here they are at summer camp
  6. Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, 1941
    Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, 1941
    Choristers with Fr. Clare
  7. Chapel Royal, St Peter ad Vincular, 1952
    Chapel Royal, St Peter ad Vincular, 1952
    Choristers take part n the ancient ceremony of 'Beating the Bounds'
  8. Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, 1953
    Chapel Royal, Hampton Court Palace, 1953
  9. Temple Church, London, 1904
    Temple Church, London, 1904
    Choir practice with Sir Walford Davies, then organist & choirmaster of the Temple Church
  10. Chapel Royal, St James Palace, 1926
    Chapel Royal, St James Palace, 1926
    Taken on the day the choir recorded their first gramophone record in 1926
  11. St George's Chapel, Windsor, 1926
    St George's Chapel, Windsor, 1926
    Choir with Sir Edmund H. Fellowes
  12. Westminster Abbey, 1910
    Westminster Abbey, 1910
    On the steps in the Old Palace Yard
  13. Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, London, 1953
    Queen's Chapel of the Savoy, London, 1953
    Alan Craig being upended and 'bumped' in the traditional ceremony of 'Beating the Bounds'
  1. Warwick  Emscote Lawn Prep, 1950s
    Warwick Emscote Lawn Prep, 1950s
  2. Norwich  Taverham Hall, 1955
    Norwich Taverham Hall, 1955
    Christmas Candles
  3. Solihul School, 1973
    Solihul School, 1973
  4. Norwich School, 1950s
    Norwich School, 1950s
    Christmas Card
  5. Ramsgate  St Augustine School, 1947
    Ramsgate St Augustine School, 1947
  6. Lennoxville  Bishops College School, 1958
    Lennoxville Bishops College School, 1958
  7. Leatherhead  St John's School, 1942
    Leatherhead St John's School, 1942
    Yes..the choir really was that large.. and boxing was part of the activities!
  8. Mill Hill  Belmont School, 1949
    Mill Hill Belmont School, 1949
  9. Leamington Spa  Arnold Lodge, 1970
    Leamington Spa Arnold Lodge, 1970
    Rehearsing Sydney Nicholson's 'Children of the Chapel'
  10. Manchester  Chetham's Hospital, 1926
    Manchester Chetham's Hospital, 1926
  11. London  St Clement Danes School
    London St Clement Danes School
    Singing in Hampstead Parish Church, with Martindale Sidwell
  12. Lancing College, 1982
    Lancing College, 1982
  13. Lambrook School Chapel, 1960
    Lambrook School Chapel, 1960
  14. Kingham Hill School, 1957
    Kingham Hill School, 1957
  15. St John's College, Hurstpierpoint, 1985
    St John's College, Hurstpierpoint, 1985
  16. Brecon  Christ College, 1963
    Brecon Christ College, 1963
  17. Fonthill Prep School, 1979
    Fonthill Prep School, 1979
  18. Horsham Christ's Hospital School, 1958
    Horsham Christ's Hospital School, 1958
    Carols by the fireside
  19. Highgate School, 2001
    Highgate School, 2001
  20. Betteshanger Prep School, 1950s
    Betteshanger Prep School, 1950s
  21. Exeter  Bramdean School, 1993
    Exeter Bramdean School, 1993
  22. Bedford School, 1991
    Bedford School, 1991
  23. Belmont Abbey School, 1990
    Belmont Abbey School, 1990
  24. Ushaw College School, 1962
    Ushaw College School, 1962
    Solemn High Midnight Mass
  25. Eton College Choir School, 1948
    Eton College Choir School, 1948
    When Eton still had its own choir school set in the grounds of the main school.
  26. Royal Wanstead School, 1950s
    Royal Wanstead School, 1950s
  1. Arthur Martin choir, Belfast, 1953
    Arthur Martin choir, Belfast, 1953
    Rehearsing Britten's 'The Little Sweep'
  2. Deal  Royal Marine Chapel Choir, 1940
    Deal Royal Marine Chapel Choir, 1940
    Choir with the Marine 'Band Boys'
  3. Chelsea Barracks Chapel, 1936
    Chelsea Barracks Chapel, 1936
    Four choristers who have just met the King
  4. Eastney  Royal Marine Artillery Church, 1920
    Eastney Royal Marine Artillery Church, 1920
  5. Shoreditch Cottage Home Chapel Choir, 1911
    Shoreditch Cottage Home Chapel Choir, 1911
    A boys' orphanage
  6. Portsmouth Royal Garrison Church, 1911
    Portsmouth Royal Garrison Church, 1911
  7. Plymouth  Devenport Dockyard Chapel Choir, 1941
    Plymouth Devenport Dockyard Chapel Choir, 1941
    Photographed with Vice Admiral Dowding
  8. Matlock  St Andrew's Boys' Home Chapel, 1904
    Matlock St Andrew's Boys' Home Chapel, 1904
  9. Farrington Church Farm House School Chapel  1940
    Farrington Church Farm House School Chapel 1940
    The school prepared boys in the hope of gaining a scholarship to a cathedral school
  10. Berkshire Boys choir, 1978
    Berkshire Boys choir, 1978
    Together with Christ's Hospital Chapel Choir at Glyndeboure
  11. London  Lincoln's Inn Chapel, 1930
    London Lincoln's Inn Chapel, 1930
    One of the four Inns of Court to which barristers are called, and at this time, Lincoln's & Gray's Inn both had a chapel choir. Both these choirs and the Temple church shared a choir school.
  12. St Paul's Cathedral Sunday Evening choir, 1967
    St Paul's Cathedral Sunday Evening choir, 1967
    Made up of choristers from other choirs to sing the Sunday choral evensong at St Paul's to allow their own choristers to have the night off.
  13. London  Lord Mayor's Boy' Players,  1934
    London Lord Mayor's Boy' Players, 1934
    At Paddington station meeting the Vienna Boys Choir who were on a singing trip to the UK.
  14. London  Cafe de Paris,  1954
    London Cafe de Paris, 1954
    Choristers from an unknown church singing carols in the Cafe de Paris.

Pathe newsreels

Peterborough Cathedral, 1934

St Charles Church, Waverley, Sydney  (aka Sydney Boys' Choir,  1940 - 1941

H M Tower of London choir, 1948

Muddeford Parish Church, 1935

St Michael's Tenbury, 1963  (no sound)

Westminster Cathedral, 1942

Chilham Parish Church, 1948

Letcombe Parish Church, 1948

City of London Lord Mayor's Boy Players 1936


St Mary-of-the-Angels Song School
1945

St Mary-of-the-Angels Song School
​1935

British Movietone

Tower of London choir, 1954

Tower of London choir, 1963  (no sound)

Windsor & Abbey, 1927  (no sound)

Westminster Abbey Appeal, 1953

Edinburgh choirs, 1952

The Spirit of Christmas, 1948

Other newsreels

Tower of London choristers sing carols
1959  (no sound)

Grasmere Parish Church, 1950s (no sound)

'Christmas Under Fire'  :  1940
GPO Film unit
This extract of King's College, Cambridge is the first film footage of the choir