Family snapshots from Plymouth Royal Citadel in the 1950s

Over the last couple of years that I’ve been adding photos to the Found Film site, I have been gradually adding to a series of photos which were all taken on a concrete beach sometime in the 1950s.

All the time I’ve been scanning these photos I’ve been trying to work out the whereabouts of this distinctive location but not been successful. At one point I thought they may have been taken in the Channel Isles because I saw a box in one of the photos which had the word, ‘Jersey’ on it, but I suspect that was just part of a product name.

A couple of days ago however, I found the location. A viewer on Twitter, who had actually commented on an 8mm film on Vintage Home Movies, added to his comments that the ‘concrete beach series’ looked like it was taken on Plymouth Citadel. The viewer, Stuart, had been to university in Plymouth studying geology, and recognised the rock formations behind the subjects in the photos!

So finally I can nail a location of a set of photos which I’ve been gradually adding to since almost the beginning of the site.

Beach photos from Plymouth Royal Citadel.

The photos themselves are not great quality. This is chiefly because time has faded the pigmentation so that some images are virtually black & white.

I’ve also noticed, since knowing the location, that it’s highly likely that some of the images have been scanned from the wrong side, making the pictures a mirror image of the correct scene. Although it should be easy to tell which side of a slide is the emulsion, on some of these old images it is very difficult to see the emulsion side unless there is writing or some element in the picture which is obviously reversed. In the case of these slides, they are all in glass mounts as well which is an added difficulty.

To provide a bit of history, I found this site which gives some more information about bathing at Plymouth and has some pictures of the Royal Citadel, and after the pictures is a map showing the location.

This map shows the location of the Royal Citadel, Plymouth.

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A software developer by profession, I've always been interested in photography and vintage photography in particular. This site is one of several I run which is dedicated to film, photography and photo equipment.

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