Christopher William Hollyer was an early 1900s Victoria West amateur photographer and a close friend of my grandfather’s family, the Lawries. Hollyer took hundreds of photos of the family on picnics, on sailboats and in amateur dramatics costumes. Hollyer’s glass slides and lantern projector were found in my grandfather’s garage. I researched, identified and catalogued the subjects of each of the 200 plus slides. The slides and research were donated to the City of Victoria Archives, who said “It is rare we receive donations that have been so well documented.”
Since this donation, I have done further research into Hollyer and the Lawries, looking more at early Victoria militia and amateur dramatics. Moreover, I’ve delved back into Victorian London to learn more about Hollyer’s artistic family (grandfather William Henry Simmons was an esteemed engraver and uncle Frederick Hollyer was a renowned portrait photographer). I’ve also explore the Lawrie family’s London experiences through their father, architect and inventor Thomas Lawrie Jr, FRIBA.