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    Wapping 1989Wapping 1989 Wapping 2002Wapping 2002 Gatwick Airport 1930'sGatwick Airport 1930's Gatwick Airport official opening by the Queen 1958Gatwick Airport official opening by the Queen 1958
    Isle of Dogs 1990Isle of Dogs 1990 Isle of Dogs 2008Isle of Dogs 2008 Canary Wharf 1990Canary Wharf 1990 Canary Wharf 2010Canary Wharf 2010

    December 2009 : Skyscan acquires historic archive

    Skyscan have purchased the Chorley Handford / Realistic Collection of over 100,000 colour aerial photographs of the UK captured from 1958 to modern day. Many of the images have been scanned and it is hoped that an online search service will be available in the future when the collection has been catalogued.

    The business was started by Archie Handford in Croydon in the 1950's using the aerial photographic skills of Tom Samson who later became a President of the British Institute of Professional Photographers (BIPP). The company was sold to Realistic who ran a photographic studio in Wallington and Paul Proctor became the chief aerial photographer in 1988.

    This important collection contains progress photographs of major construction projects including
    • power stations such as Sizewell
    • Greenwich peninsula regeneration and the Dome construction
    • airport developments including Gatwick (from 1958), Heathrow, City, Stanstead and others
    • construction of the QE2 and Second Severn Crossing bridges
    • major shopping developments such as Blue Water
    • premier league football stadia and other sporting venues
    • town centres
    • coastlines, monuments and rural villages
    The Chorley Handford Collection in boxes
    Boxes of photos before cataloguing!
    Skyscan's Library Manager Brenda Marks said "There was a real risk that this important archive would be mothballed and a lot of history lost so we are delighted to be able to secure the collection for the future and make it accessible. It will be of particular importance to companies and consultants who need to investigate the changes at a location over the years."

    In addition to offering newly commissioned and stock aerial imagery, Skyscan locate and supply historic aerial imagery of the UK to clients involved in legal, planning and environmental investigations, further details can be found on finding old UK air photos can be found here.
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