Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Keig Collection…..

When I was living in England in 1974 and 1975, I chased early motorcycling photographic history when I could.S.R.Keig Ltd in IOM, Keystone Press Agency and Fox Photos in London, the daily newspapers to name some...
Visiting the IOM TT in 1974 and again in 1975 and spending nearly two weeks there each time, meant I spent time in the photographic business of S.R.Keig Ltd., Circular Road, Douglas, IOM.
I still have an old catalogue of their negative collection….so digging deep into funds, I had all the Velocette photographs they had up to about 1951 printed for me, many in 6”x 8” format.
They are a boon to me today…. Good "financial" decision DQ! (My "long suffering" wife Judy likely thought otherwise...)
I also telephoned Bruce Main-Smith during 1974, at his newly started business in Leatherhead, Surrey and spoke to him about the photographs, actually lent him a collection that encompassed Fox and Keystone photos. He was eager to borrow them for an impending book to be written by “Titch” Allen based on the “Velocette Saga”, which had run for 16 issues in “Motorcycle Sport from the late 1960s.
BMS contacted Keig’s in Douglas and struck a deal with S.R.Keig Ltd
To produce selections of his negatives as prints in a series of books he would publish known as “The Keig Collection”. Initially three volumes were produced in 1975, then volume 4 in 1984 and finally volume 5 in 1996.
There were no more produced to my knowledge.
 I am unsure if the current owners of BMS Ltd., still hold any rights to produce reprints ( I've looked at their website and can't find any reference) and certainly Bill Snelling, a resident of the IOM, trading as Amulree Publishing and who now have now completed a comprehensive and searchable TT Database which can be found by clicking on This Link , I believe now owns the copyright to S.R.Keig Ltd., negatives and supplies photographs from them, published the 5th Keig Collection in 1996.
Amulree Publications, Amulree, Glen Road, Laxey, IOM IM4 7AJ, email;
I hold no malice to BMS for his actions…I was a “dreamer” then and he had the knowledge and contacts to produce something that was long overdue…
‘On ya Bruce…..
Regrettably it took over ten years to get my photographs returned from BMS, but he eventually did so and returned all those I lent. However I spent a few sleepless nights worrying over it over the years….
What would you be likely to pay for original copies…I would hazard a guess US$25-50 each…Ebay would be a good starting point…
Left click on images to enlarge where applicable….

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