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That's who . . . An identified photo from the JJ Hore collection: Margaret Tutton and Barry Taylor at the Waimate Fire Brigade social in April 1974. PHOTO: NORTH OTAGO MUSEUM

Plenty Oamaru Mail readers will recognise “JJ Hore Photography”, the name behind the photographs that ran as part of newspaper’s long-running History in Focus series.

But who were the people behind the camera?

The vast collection of photograph proof sheets and prints, now part of the Waitaki District Archive collection, were taken by Jim and Joy Hore when they owned Central Studios in Oamaru in the 1970s.

An advertising feature that appeared in the September 5, 1977 edition of the Oamaru Mail revealed Jim was born in Kurow in 1934 and spent his early years at Danseys Pass and Livingstone, where he became interested in photography.

Jim Hore

In 1969, he managed a photographic firm in Waimate, and he opened his own shop in the town in 1973.

He opened a branch in Oamaru in 1974 that would become Central Studios.

Information provided by Waitaki District Archive curator of archives Chris Meech indicates Tom Heyes managed Jim’s Oamaru branch from 1975 until 1980.

By 1976, Shirley Gillies (his other employee in Oamaru) and Mr Heyes were taking most of the candid photographs.

Most studio portraits and all wedding photography was done by Jim.

Jim was based in the main shop in Waimate, and Oamaru staff were responsible for the day-to-day running of the Oamaru branch.

The Oamaru branch was situated in Croquet St at the former Globe Hotel Building between 1974 and 1977, before it relocated to the corner of Thames and Wear Sts, where it remained until 1980.

The collection was donated to the Waitaki District Archive when the business closed.

Mr Meech said the collection was one of the archive’s largest and a superb snapshot of life in Waitaki in the 1970s.