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Sun November 17 2019

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Newly discovered archive documents 1960s redevelopment of Inverclyde

15 Oct Digital copies are being offered for sale of an extensive archive of photos taken of Greenock and Port Glasgow prior to the massive clearances and redevelopment of the late 1960s.

The collection was donated to the council last year by the family of Alexander (Sandy) Kennedy, who spent 10 years recording the images.

An exhibition is being held in a pop-up shop in Kempock Street, Gourock, from 10am until 4pm each day until Saturday 19th October. The exhibition has been organised by the Inverclyde Heritage Network, which is selling USB flash drives, containing the whole archive, for just £10 each. All proceeds will go to the Inverclyde Heritage Network.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, convener of Inverclyde Council’s education & communities committee, said: “Sandy Kennedy was an armature-winder to trade and a keen amateur photographer in his spare time. He was brought up in Charles Street in Greenock. He moved to John Street when the central area of the town was being demolished.

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“This may have been the encouragement he needed to start recording images of buildings and entire streets which would soon disappear forever. Sandy’s extensive photographic archive was uncovered by his family after he passed away in July 2018. They contacted staff at the Watt Institution who approached video and imaging expert, Chris Bradley of West College Scotland, to convert the transparencies to digital images. Chris put in many hours of painstaking work cleaning the slides, removing marks and scratches and cataloguing the 900+ photos.

“This collection is a fascinating treasure trove of unique photos, taken during a period of extensive redevelopment. They are also an invaluable record of housing conditions and a reminder of long-gone corner shops, factories and schools.”

The photographs show much of the Greenock central area including High Street, Charles Street, Anne Street and ‘Chinatown’ as well as the Glen district of Port Glasgow.

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