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Wheeler exhibition at Frome Museum

Frome Wheeler exhibition photo

Photo by R E Wheeler of the ASLEF Frome Strike Comrades during a nationwide strike by railwaymen in 1919. The man standing centre back row is Tom House an engine driver. If readers can identify other persons in the photograph please contact the museum

THE final exhibition of the season at Frome Museum has been compiled by museum volunteers, Kathy Garland and John Hedges.

Kathy has been researching the work of the two Wheeler brothers who were professional photographers with studios in Keyford and Frome a hundred years ago, whereas John will be displaying an eye-catching collection of his own photographs of Frome subjects; everything from portraits to landscapes, sunny to snowy and landmarks to hidden corners.

Visitors will be able to compare and contrast the examples of photography taken at the present time by John Hedges with the work produced in the Wheelers’ studios in the early 20th Century.

William Francis Wheeler was born in Frome in 1880. He gained photographic experience in the ‘leading studios in  the South of England,’  opening his Frome studio in Christchurch St West in 1902. The  building still stands, and is a single storey shop situated between the Memorial Hall and Moore’s Seed Merchants.

He was the official photographer for the Frome Amateur Operatic Society for some years and was also a member of the  chorus.  Photographs  from  some of their productions are in the exhibition. He was an excellent bowler and with Mr W Date won the England Bowling Association pair championship in 1930. He died in Frome in 1932 aged 52.

Reginald Edward Wheeler was born in Frome in 1890, he is believed to have trained as a photographer with Bell’s studio in Frome. He was in business on his own account at The Graphic Studio in Keyford  from 1913  until the 1930s. He then established a radio business which continued until 1946. Reginald Wheeler was a member of the local Labour Party; he died in 1952 aged 62.

Museum volunteers would like to hear from relatives of the Wheeler brothers who have family photographs. Please call in the museum on any Saturday. The museum  closes for the winter on 16th November.

Frome Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00am to 2.00pm. Free admission. It is run by volunteers and being unfunded depends entirely on donations from visitors. Please phone 01373 454611 to make an appointment to use the extensive library archive for researching family history or other topics.

Please note:  The museum will open especially on Sunday 3rd November from 9.00am to 2.00pm to coincide with the Frome Wessex Camera Club Fair at the Cheese and Grain.

Photo by R E Wheeler of the ASLEF Frome Strike Comrades during a nationwide strike by railwaymen in 1919. The man standing centre back row is Tom House an engine  driver.  If   readers  can identify  other persons in the photograph please contact the museum

 Wheeler exhibition at Frome Museum