Unearthed in an old suitcase, a treasure trove of amazing photographs from pre-War England have been discovered. More than 30 years after his death in 1987, John Turner’s family learned of his hidden talent for photography, a passion that dates back to the 1930s.
Liz and Martin Carroll, Turner’s daughter and son-in-law, unexpectedly came upon the photographs while clearing out old belongings. Martin, previously a commercial industrial photographer, was searching for family photographs when, “To my astonishment, I found I was pulling out one great image after another.”
It is presumed that Turner snapped the photographs while traveling in between locations for his job as a property manager in central London, always having a camera in hand. He had an eye for the unusual and, “Having gone through all the negatives... he seemed only ever to take just the single frame of each subject—nailing it in one, as it were," said Martin. The remarkable collection includes prints, contact sheets, and negatives in several formats, from 35mm to 6cm x 9cm rolls.
While unsure if Turner ever showed his photographs to anyone, the Carrolls are thrilled to share Turner’s legacy and hope to put on an exhibition of his work. Liz said of her father’s photography, “These pictures are who I think he really was."
Sarah Sickles is an artist, activist, writer, and the News Editor for Don't Take Pictures.