In April of 2013 Newquay Old Cornwall Society staged a two day exhibition to celebrate the work of Charles Woolf and Joyce Greenham
Charles Woolf and Joyce Greenham were avid collectors of images of Old Newquay; taking every opportunity to copy postcards and other material.
The collection of over 1000 mainly black and white prints became known as the Woolf-Greenham collection.
Joyce gave permission for the Society to scan these images into a digital archive; and following her death the family presented the eight large albums of prints to the Society. As the albums were in poor condition the prints have been transferred to museum grade pouches and boxes.
The digital archive provided the heritage images displayed at the exhibition and now enables the Society to present a wide range of slide shows to schools and other community organisations.
The large amount of other photographic material; prints, slides, and negatives kindly presented to the Society at the same time is in the process of being reviewed, conserved and, where appropriate, digitised.
Much of the material on display at the exhibition was re-printed from these sources; but it had been decided that, despite the obvious impact in some cases of 50 years in storage, the high quality of the photographic work should be demonstrated by exhibiting a number of original prints as well as reproductions of a range of their other photos.
Cornish Bard ‐ Den Delynyans or Man of the Pictures
Member of the Royal Institution of Cornwall
Past-President the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies
Charles was born in South Molton in Devon of a Cornish father. He qualified as a pharmacist at the Bath and West of England College of Pharmacy. Joined Boots the Chemists and then became the youngest Manager of the Newquay Branch. He married Phyllis Fulford who came from Bideford. They moved to Arundel Way, Newquay in 1935.
Charles' life long hobby was photography and he started taking studio portraits in his spare time at home. He constantly photographed all aspects of His Cornwall, first in skilful black and white and later on coloured slides, as well as making his own copies of Vintage-pictures. Charles' other major interest was Archaeology and he became the official photographer for the Archaeology Society including the recording the famous archaeological excavations in 1939 of Trevelgue Head promontory fort (Porth Island).
He had to decide between his pharmaceutical management career and his photography and, fortunately for us, chose Photography. He was one of those lucky people whose hobby was also the way that he made his living. He was a Member of the Royal Photographic Society for ten years from 1947 to 1957. His Studio and shop was in Chester Road and the business became well known as the place to go if you wanted a good quality photograph or special portrait. He favoured Newquay in his work and became President of the Newquay Old Cornwall Society after many years in the Society.
Joyce was born in the Old Kent Road in London. Her Father was the owner of Fish and Chip Shops. She came with him to Newquay in the Early days of the Blitz. One of her first jobs in Newquay was fitting parts of spectacles.
She joined Charles Woolf as his assistant developing the photos Charles took and printing them in the shop at Chester Road. Joyce soon took up the art of photography in her own right and became a first rate photographer and adept at developing and printing both of their works. She often joined Charles on his day trips around Cornwall and together they photographed Churches villages and towns all over Cornwall, both in black and white and then in colour.
Joyce was well known for riding through the Town on her BSA 250 motorbike in the days when a girl on a motorbike was not usual. She often went on shoots on her own and produced some excellent colour photographs of Newquay.
Joyce's knowledge, work and enthusiasm for Newquay and for the Newquay Old Cornwall Society was enormous and is still benefiting the Society today. The gift of her collection of photographs to the Society has proved to be extremely useful and continues to be used frequently. When Joyce became a Cornish Bard she took the very apt name Lowena Lywens or Joy of the Picture
Joyce Greenham and Sheila Harper co-wrote the book "Images of England ‐ Newquay" in 1999. This is still considered to be a definitive modern pictorial record of Newquay.