Thursday, April 27

Tony Ray-Jones in Weymouth

This is the only Weymouth photo I’ve seen from the great English photographer Tony Ray-Jones – either in print or online. I first saw the photo on social media to advertise the 2013/4 exhibition, Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr at the Science Museum in London.

It was given as “location unknown” but is clearly the Tea Cabin in Weymouth. The cabin has changed a great deal, but the notches in the chimneys on the far right give a definite identification – they haven’t  changed. I believe the Victoria, Liverpool sign was removed about 20 years ago, and was kicking around in a car park for a while.

Ray-Jones' picture would have been taken on his travels round England (and a bit of Wales*)
during 19661968 in his VW camper van.

I did contact the organisers of the Only in England exhibition back in 2013 with a photo to demonstrate the photo was Weymouth but didn't hear anything back. In the RRB Tony Ray-Jones book from 2019, it was still listed as an unknown location, and I contacted the publisher about that also. Finally, after 10 years it seems to be “officially” listed as Weymouth, ca 1968.
It would be interesting to see the contact sheets for this. What else did Ray-Jones photograph on his visit to Weymouth?
*It was pointed out to me by Justin Sainsbury that the Only in England book and exhibition include at least two Tony Ray-Jones prints from Wales. Is it too late to get a refund?


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