Over the past five years or so I have worked closely with Jeremy Hall, retired photographer of the Royal Armouries, Tower of London. His recent death is a great sadness to all that knew him. Jeremy, and his wife Jane, were regular volunteers at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre, working specifically on the arms and armour collections as well as helping with many other projects. Jeremy was also the museums unofficial ‘official’ photographer.
At heart Jeremy had a deep passion for the history of his village and the Marches in general. It is hardly surprising then that I managed to persuade him to take photos of the artefacts and coins leant to me to record with the PAS. He was always able to get the very best from an object, usually one that I had already spent an hour or so trying to get right. He was a true master of his art, always happy to help.
When working Jeremy seemed to be able to command the light and make it do his bidding; he was able to bring out the most subtle detailing within his subject with what seemed like effortless skill (which only comes with decades of experience). His studio set up was often very ‘Heath Robinson’, sheets of glass balanced, tracing paper over the very hot lights to soften their harsh shadows (or set light to the building) and scrunched up silver foil to reflect light back onto the subject. Jeremy was uncomfortable being observed, however, he worked closely with interns, trainees and other volunteers explaining his methods and passing on some of his knowledge and skill.
Jeremy was a very modest man and completely unassuming; his photos from the Armouries as well as recent work for the PAS and Shropshire Museums will stand the test of time as iconic images from a master photographer. He would be highly embarrassed by the praise which is rightly his due.
Jeremy was a lovely, kind and peaceful man, great company and cheerful as well. His dry humour was often the tonic needed to lighten the mood. He was generous with his time and he will be sorely missed. I’m glad that I met and spent time with him. I am proud to call him a friend.
Rest in Peace.
A few of Jeremy’s photos
Stone Roman figurine
The Myddle Coin Hoard
Lock Plate and Hammer on a musket in the Shropshire Museum Collection
West Shropshire Pendant, 7th century