Vintage Photographs 1949~1956
Downloading images from this site, without permission, is an illegal breach of copyright

London and Paris Jazz, Motor Racing and the Arts
Enquiries please telephone 01943 463693
or email

PLEASE NOTE: Walter Hanlon passed away on the 23rd December 2009. All enquiries will be dealt with by his wife, Jane Hanlon.

Photographs stamped HANLON, 334 Dollis Hill Lane London NW2 Tel. GLA 3610 are the copyright of Walter Hanlon

Gene Krupa, London, 1953

Sidney Bechet, Paris, 1951

Charlie Shavers, Paris, 1952


Coleman Hawkins, London, 1950

Annie Ross, 1955

Ronnie Scott, London, 1953


Ella Fitzgerald, London, 1953

Cleo Laine

Sarah Vaughan, London, 1953




100 Oxford Street ~ 1952
Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate ~ 24th April 2004 to 6th June 2004
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull ~ 30th September 2004 to 23rd January 2005
Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate ~ 21st January 2006 to 23rd March 2006
Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate ~ 9th September 2006 to 12th October 2006
National Portrait Gallery, Display of British Jazz stars . Room 31. ~ Jan 21 to July 2008
Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate ~ 12th September 2009 to 8th November 2009


Set Dressing of 8 eight foot high blow-ups for BBC Jazz Programme c. 1954
Four stills for BBC4 "Jazz Brittania" first transmitted Jan - Feb 2005
Five stills for BBC4 "A Little Light Music" first transmitted August - October 2005

Two stills for the South Bank Show 25th March 2007 (Humphrey Lyttelton)
Two stills for BBC4 The Dankworths 9th November 2007
Tribute to Humphrey Lyttelton BBC, 12th And 13th October 2008

Permanent Collections

National Portrait Gallery, London, Jazz Collection (Humph, Joe Harriott, Chris Barber, Steve Race, Annie Ross, Wally Fawkes)
Now 16 images including Sir John Dankworth ,Valerie Hobson, Tommy Trinder and Winifred Atwell
Westminster City Archives, London, London Street Scenes circa 1949

The Hundred Club, London

Chris Barber

Joe Harriott

Humphrey Lyttelton




"Gallery" hard back published by Photography magazine 1952, other contributors included Cartier Bresson, Werner Bischoff etc.
"A Century of Jazz" published by Hamlyn, 1997.
Humphrey Lyttelton's autobiography "I Play as I Please" Published by McGibbon & Kee c.1954 (dust jacket & interior)
"Windrush" published by Harper Collins, 1998.
"Kenny Baker biography, private publication, (Robert Crosby) 1999.
Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Melody Maker etc. etc. plus many 1950s EP and LP covers, and current re-issued CDs of Kenny Baker and Chris Barber.
"1950s Jazz in London & Paris" published March 2008 by Tempus. A comprehensive selection of my 1950s Jazz Photographs

Available on line, from the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, the Grove Bookshop, Ilkley and the publishers

Louis Armstrong, London, 1950s

John Dankworth, 1949

Sidney Bechet, Paris, 1951


Walter Hanlon 1926 ~ 2009

I was born in 1926 in Glasgow, in 1940 aged fourteen I left school and went straight into the Merchant Navy, serving on a Royal Fleet Auxiliary based at Scapa Flow. After leaving sea service I became a professional guitarist working with ENSA and the American USO, and finally broadcasting with David Millar and George Elrick big bands. Meantime I developed an interest in photography and in 1949 left the music business to pursue a photographic career that was to last until the mid fifties.

My contacts in the music world gave me an 'in' to the London jazz scene and the opportunity to cover major music events for the entertainment press, and soon to be sought after to produce pictures for EP and LP covers for major record companies. The jazz world was my primary interest, plus motor racing, show business and the art scene. Always having disliked the type of photos produced by camera mounted flash, I developed a technique of 'off camera' flash to create atmospheric pictures in the jazz clubs of London and Paris. However, when working on portraits I always preferred, whenever possible, to use available light.

In the mid fifties I changed career again and became a television Lighting Director in one of the newly formed commercial TV companies. When I retired in 1989 my hundreds of negatives had been stored in a chest of drawers for some forty years. However, when I found some of my photographs being pirated in various publications, I decided to seek a new audience and protect my rights. An approach was made to the Mercer Art Gallery in Harrogate, and the Curator of Art, Jane Sellars, immediately offered me a date for a one man exhibition (24th April to 6th June 2004) which proved to be highly successful and led to another show at the Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, (30th October to 23rd January 2005) which was equally successful.

Germany c 1946

German Children Catching Raindrops

Begging for Chocolate & Cigarettes

Bargee Hamburg

Street Scenes in Paddington

Paddington, London

Children Playing

Senior Street

Motor Racing Silverstone & Goodwood


Stirling Moss

Froilan Gonzalez

Mike Hawthorn

A Bit of Extra Tread!


Halina Korn

Feliks Topolski

Sir Hugh Casson