Information Centre offers opportunity to remember Roger

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A remembrance book has been opened at Todmorden Information Centre for those wishing to record their memories of photographer and artist Roger Birch.

Roger, who died on February 6, aged 72, was well known for his own books on Todmorden, which contributed a great deal to the town’s history, and the many contributions he made to other books and projects which helped promote the town.

The centre, on Burnley Road, Todmorden, has some remembrance cards featuring a classic photograph of Roger and is collecting donations in his memory, the purpose for which is yet to be decided in consultation with Roger’s family.

Roger’s brother Bill is also boosting the total raised by making ten copies of Keeper Of The Flame available for just £15.

The book, which details the history of the modern jazz scene in Manchester in its heyday between the late 1940s and the early 1970s, is a must for jazz fans, packed with rare photographs and memorabilia relating to top visiting U.S. stars and the cream of Britain’s own jazzmen and women, as well as telling a hugely entertaining story. It has sold internationally.

Roger mixed his photographic and design skills with his keen interest in local history across six volumes which brought Todmorden’s history to light in words and pictures, beginning with The Way Of Life - Glimpses Of Todmorden Past, which is now very collectable.

It was followed by five volumes of The Todmorden Album, the most recent publication telling the story of Todmorden’s shops and how they have changed over the years, through many challenging times.

Other local history publications which featured his contributions included Brian Law’s The Fieldens of Todmorden, A History of Todmorden by Malcolm and Freda Heywood with Bernard Jennings and A League Of Their Own by Malcolm, Freda and Brian Heywood.