CRYSTAL clear aerial photographs of the 20th century north of England are going on display in Bradford for the first time.

The images, showcasing the extraordinary talents of Bradford photographer CH Wood, include birds eye views of the district’s urban and rural sprawl.

The photographs will go on display this month at Bradford Industrial Museum, in an exhibition called Up and Away: Rural Landscapes in CH Wood’s Aerial Photography. Visitors will discover how these extraordinary photographs were taken by the celebrated aerial photographer.

John Ashton, Photo Archive Assistant at the Industrial Museum, said: “The Up and Away exhibition focusses on the pioneering Bradford photographer CH Wood, who not only produced sharp aerial photographs, but used his passion for flying and knowledge of aerial photography to develop a method of simulating night-flying.

“This was used by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War to train pilots on the Dambuster mission. The exhibition will give visitors a taste of some of his impressive photographs of rural landscapes locally and further afield.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Healthy People and Places said: “Although the scenes shown in these photographs will be largely be familiar to local people, looking at them from above gives a whole new, fascinating perspective.

“Our Museums and Galleries’ Photo Archive has an extensive collection of CH Wood photographs, many of which can be browsed and purchased online. This temporary exhibition at Bradford Industrial Museum is a great opportunity to explore a different collection or aspect of the archive.”

Charles Harold Wood started his photography career in 1922. A decade later he set up CH Wood (Bradford) Ltd and became one of the region’s best known photographers, producing work for industry, commerce and advertising. He also specialised in aerial photography.

Acquired by Bradford Museums and Galleries in 2003, the CH Wood Photographic Collection holds more than 300,000 negatives and prints.

Along with its temporary exhibition programme, Bradford Industrial Museum displays textile machinery, steam power, engineering, printing equipment and motor vehicles. Visitors can also see the mill manager’s house, and visit mill-workers’ terraced houses, furnished to reflect periods from the 1800s to the 1970s.

* Up and Away: Rural Landscapes in C H Wood’s Aerial Photography runs at Bradford Industrial Museum from January 25 to November 1. Entry is free.