Warning. Cloning this item will not retain its parent-child relationship.
Wilfred Revelle Jackson
Born in England; one of a large family.
Pre-war, acting and tap-dancing at holiday locations.
Army service WW II in Dunkirk, Tobruk and the Middle East
Had a photographer's business in outer London after WWII, with a brother, Eric.
Another brother, a flyer with National Airways Corporation, had left for New Zealand when Revelle was 6; they met again in London.
Revelle was married, with a daughter, and could be conscripted for service in Korea; he and his family migrated from England in 1952, but not as a photographer, as that would not qualify him; he initially worked at the Haywards sub-station.
Friends had bought property in Mangaroa Valley; Revelle started building his home there almost immediately after arriving, and was still living there 62 years later.
When he arrived in Upper Hutt, Leo Morel was nearing the end of his stay; other photographers, still using large-format cameras, included Jim McKelvie, operating from the same studio, and Jim Fairchild, a part-timer, who also worked with RJ. The large-plate cameras could not complete with RJ's Rolleiflexes, which took twelve 57 by 57 mm images on a single film.
He first advertised in the 'Leader' as 'Rolli-Photo, Maidstone Building, 56 Main Road, next to the sports shop' (where Lion Court now is), offering a special deal for child photographs, in September 1955, but he had ceased using this name by December.
At a later stage he operated from a Mr Paul's house, by the Brunswick private hotel, opposite Queen's Chambers. (An interview printed in the January 7, 2015 'Leader' said his longest location was at the Brunswick.)
He resumed advertising, using 'Rollei-Photo', and used his name for the first time, in September 1956 advertising, but the last advertisement appeared in October.
The 1960 electoral roll lists him as a pool supervisor and gives the Paton Street, Mangaroa address; later rolls describe him as a photographer.
When he began advertising again in August 1962, he was operating from his home telephone number. His 'Rollei Photo' trade name last appeared in mid-November 1962. He had moved into Hazelwoods by November 29, and advertised 'Rolli-Photo' child studies there until June 1963.
The German Rolleiflex camera, shown in his self-portrait, was a two-lens reflex camera; the upper lens projected an image, the size of the negative, onto a screen on top of the camera, surrounded by folding glare shields; the negatives were 57 mm square; 12 to a film.
Another of his cameras used 4-inch-by 5-inch (101 x 127 mm) cut film; pictures from it include copies of framed photographs, St Joseph's church, the proposed site for the Civic Centre, and studio work. The collection also has two glass negatives about 160 x 120 mm.
He almost certainly used a 35 mm camera, which may have succeeded the Rolleiflexes; accession 283 lists three boxes of colour slides (29 images in Recollect) and 217 envelopes of greyscale negatives, each with multiple images; so far (2015) those have not been found.
He was employed (the June 20, 1989 Leader-jubilee article said he was unpaid and on call 24/7) to take photographs for the 'Upper Hutt Leader' when the paper first got a rotary press; on September 23, 1964 the page size increased, the number of pages jumped from 8 to 28, and local pictures appeared; these were probably his, but his name did not appear under one until October 7; for the rest of that year he averaged several photographs a week. In many instances, in later years, the "Leader" seems to have retained the negatives of the pictures printed, and there are no versions of such "Leader" pictures in the Jackson collection. Several 'leader' wedding photos without photographers' names have been identified as his.
In March 1966 he advertised his new studio at 4/5 Queen's Chambers; the veranda there was probably his vantage point for many photos of the city-status procession in May 1966.
Many of his street views incorporate Morris cars which are probably his; one is a four-cylinder 1948-1954 Oxford, with a shape similar to the Minor's.
Working at Hazelwoods, he took pictures of the shop and its employees; also among his photographs are pictures from Christmas parades, and three series of pictures taken in Hazelwoods' Father Christmas cave; 338 of these, plus parade photos, were taken in 1966.
Another customer was Woolworths; he photographed their opening, the change to decimal currency, two 'Checker o0f the year' competitions and a set of staff photographs.
There are almost 8000 on-line images scanned from 57 x 57 mm negatives, which are stored in over 1000 envelopes. The envelopes are a mixture of new and used ones; dates from postmarks may give a reasonably close estimate of dates.
The scanned images are only a fraction of the total; for instance, only one of any set of 12 baby pictures is usually on line, and only 13 out of the 29 images covering a scouts' raft race. Many images are duplicated, having been copied from prints.
Somewhere the library also had a large collection of 35 mm negatives, so far unscanned.
His handwriting and spelling are not ideal; the envelopes are marked in capitals, and in particular his K's are three joined strokes like a reversed N, and have been read as U's and W's; GLASGOW was interpreted as GLASOON, and CLARK as GLARU, by people scanning negatives.
After retiring, he took up oil painting, living at Paton Street until shortly before his death.
The July 8, 2015 'Leader' announced his death at Hutt Hospital, after a short illness, and printed a biography with an early photo of him, plus one of Mangaroa station, decorated for the 1953-54 royal tour. A private funeral had been held on July 4.
Information on his early years came from an April 1991 interview with Jack Kelleher, who was preparing to write his history of Upper Hutt; more information came from on-line editions of the 'Upper Hutt Leader' up to 1964, from the "Leader's" 50th-anniversary of June 20, 1989, and from an interview with the 96-year-old in the January 7, 2015 'Leader'.
City status proclamation, Maidstone Park 15; Governor-General Sir Bernard and Lady Fergusson about to leave.
City status celebrations; Old Identities' Afternoon Tea, Heretaunga College. Stan Howan at left [P3-142-759]