The Walters Industrial Archive

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Michael Walters was born in January 1933 and raised at his parents home in Mexborough, South Yorkshire in the industrial heartland of South Yorkshire.

The son of a commercial photographer, who worked on the Daily Mirror during the war, Michael developed an interest in photography at an early age. Educated at Mexborough Grammar School and then at Worksop College, Michael joined the Army where he rose to the rank of Captain in the Royal Army Ordnance core. After leaving the Army in 1955, he set up his own photographic company, working on a great many of the industrial projects that shaped the area and its people. His reputation grew and MT Walters & Associates was to grow into one of Europe’s most prestigious photographic companies with assignments in places such as Malawi, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Canada and the United States, in addition to numerous European countries.

He developed his own special lighting techniques which were especially successful in capturing the inherent drama of steel making. As a result of this, his reputation grew and he worked intensively in the steel yards and mills of Sheffield and Rotherham to produce what is believed to be the most comprehensive photographic record of life in the area’s steel works available. These images give an insight into a once great industry and the people who worked in it.

Of course, Michael did not just confine his work to steel making, with clients as diverse as Danish Bacon and the National Coal Board, his work covered a wide spectrum and in 1986, he was awarded the National Architectural Award by the British Institute of Professional Photographers for his shot of the Reform Club in London’s Pall Mall. He was a Fellow of the Institute and gave many lectures, sharing his experiences and describing the techniques he had developed.

View the The Walters Industrial Archive collection at Heritage Images