Photograph Collection

Object number





This fonds contains all individual photographs, collected by Valence House Museum and then the Barking and Dagenham Archive and Local Studies Centre.


Photographs collected via the Valence House Museum, transferred to the Archives and Local Studies Centre, including the Strawboard Collection.

Looking for records

This material can be accessed by appointment in our reading room, which is situated in the Visitor’s Centre at Valence House Museum. To make an appointment please email: or telephone 020 8227 2033

2 thoughts on “Photograph Collection

  1. Re photographs BD4/253, 254, 256-294 (and possibly others).

    These photographs were taken on glass plates by my grandmother Mrs A.C.S.H. “Hilma” Healey, nee Petersen. The Mr. Healey in these pictures is my grandfather Francis Jeremiah “Frank” Healey (F,J., NOT F.H.), and the small child is my father Arthur Charles Healey, born May 1909.

    It would appear that my father donated these photos to the Royal Aero Club, who passed them to you. He died in 1998. I had last seen them in the 1960s. I had already retained a few of the most interesting glass plates, as my grandmother (a professional photographer who died in 1964) had intended removing the images and re-using the plates. She used glass plates throughout her life, and was still photographing, developing and printing from these well into the 1950s.

    If there are any copyright issues, these would still be vested in our family. I give permission for these photographs to be used for personal or research purposes. Any commercial use should be referred to me.

    My grandmother’s journal for Saturday 18th September 1909 notes “Took photos of aeroplane”. This is the possible date of BD4/279. Other visits to Dagenham are mentioned in September and October 1909, and occasionally up to 1912, although my grandfather was pursuing other commercial ventures by then.

    Moreing financed three projects in connection with my engineer/inventor grandfather: the torpedo, the aeroplane, and airships (first developed as a model, then with a full-size Clement-Bayard machine). To the best of my knowledge, there was never any intention of carrying the torpedo in the aeroplane – it would have been far too heavy – the separate development of the torpedo was an attempt to promote a radio-controlled replacement for the Brennan torpedo, which started to be decomissioned by the Navy in 1906; the aeroplane and the torpedo were separate developments. The torpedo was demonstrated to the services around 1910, but was rejected as the radio signal was deemed ineffective. The engine plates (Farman 205) of the aeroplane were retained by our family, and passed to Frank’s first great-grandson, Vittorio Bellini, who was training for a career in the italian Air Force. It appears that the aeroplane was purchased in order to develop gyroscopic servo-assisted stabilisation. Early aircraft were aerodynamically unstable, and required continual application of controls: they would fall out of the sky at the first opportunity. It was definitely not a torpedo aircraft.

    The pilot of the airplane was Captain E.M. Maitland (later Air Commodore Edward Maitland Maitland). After a number of crashes (possibly some in this machine), he said that heavier-than-air machines were too dangerous, so he stuck to airships. Tragically, he died when he captained the airship R38, which broke up when undergoing stress tests over the Humber on 21st August 1921. The R38 was a lightweight german design, and the tests almost certainly took it beyond its design limits.

    If I can be of assistance, please advise.

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