Professional Photographers Association

Congresses and Photographic Fairs

Royal Horticultural Halls

1910 to 1921

The first seven Congresses of the Professional Photographers' Association were held at the Royal Horticultural Halls.  In most cases these were accompanied by a Photographic Arts & Crafts Exhibition or Photographic Fair.


The Photographic Fair was held at the Horticultural Halls in May,  as in previous years.

However, the PPA considered that the Horticultural Halls were now too small to meet their growing needs, so they looked elsewhere for halls.  They were unable to find any suitable halls available during the spring, so they waited until September before holding the 1922 Congress.


Plans were made for the Photographic Fair to return to the Horticultural Hall in 1926, after 4 years absence.

   Advertisement for Photographic Fair at Horticultural Hall, London  -  1922 ©

In fact, the General Strike resulted in a cancellation of the Fair.  Nevertheless, the following account of the plans makes interesting reading:

1926 Photogrpahic Fair

The welcome announcement is made that next year's Photographic Fair will be held at the former venue, the Horticultural Hall, Vincent Square, Westminster.

We think that this popular trade show will benefit by returning to the place where for a round number of years it was successful.

In default of a suitable building in London intermediate in size between the Horticultural Hall and Olympia, and at the same time within easy access of the centre of London, there is no better place than the bright and pleasant building which looks out upon the green of St Vincent Square.

Admitted that on the last two or three occasions when the Fair was held there, the floor was rather crowded.  But now, in consequence of the amalgamation s in the photographic trade, coupled with certain restrictions which presumably are still in operation, the accommodation at Westminster should amply suffice for next year's show, which will be held from Monday May 10, to Saturday, May 15.

This period, we learn, coincides with that of the Chemists' Exhibition t Holland Park, so that many retailers who are interested in both chemical and photographic goods will be able to see the latest of both on a single visit to London.

British Journal of Photography:  2 October 1925, front page


Old and New Halls

Thank you to Rene Dee, Managing Director, Horticultural Halls, Ltd., London for providing the following additional info on these halls.

Rene wrote:


The 1930 event took place in our second Hall that was completed in 1928 and is sited on the corner of Elverton and Greycoat Streets.

This immediately became known as the New Hall with the one on Vincent Square that had been there since 1904 becoming known as the Old Hall.

The New Hall is now called the Lawrence Hall and is featured every night before the 10pm News on BBC One with the acrobats coming down the swathes of silk!  

The Old Hall is now called the Lindley Hall and currently acts as the new Family Assistance Centre for the victims and families of the London Bombings

Rene Dee:  14 July 2005



The advert and catalogue below are from Photo Fair, held in the Royal Horticultural Halls, London in 1955.

Advertisement for Photographic Fair at Horticultural Hall, London  -  1922 ©    ©

René Dee, Managing Director, Horticultural Halls Ltd, London, is researching the history of exhibitions held at Horticultural Halls.  He has supplied the poster and catalogue above of the 1955 Photo Fair held in his halls.


René tells me that this was billed as the first Photo Fair to be held in Britain for 30 years, and asks if the event was ever repeated.  If you can answer this question, please e-mail me and I will pass on René.    Thank you.  Peter Stubbs

1987 to date

The Horticultural Halls continue to have links with photography.  Since May 1987, the annual photographic fair of the Photographic Collectors' Club of Great Britain has been held in these halls.

Please click here to see the Photographic Collectors' Club of Great Britain (PCCGB) web site.

2005 to date

Thank you to Rene Dee, Managing Director, Horticultural Halls, Ltd., London for providing the following additional info on these halls.

Rene wrote:


We hosted the Association of Photographer's (AOP) Annual Awards in 2005 in our Lawrence Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls.

These awards are also booked at the Royal Horticultural Halls, in advance for the next 3 years, starting with the next one on 9 March 2006, also in our Lawrence Hall.

Rene Dee:  7 October 2005




Photographic Congresses  and  Photographic Fairs



1920s Adverts

1930 Play

Horticultural Halls