My Wrayflex World
Tony Morrison

Take a team of six graduates, two British-made 4 x4s with endless support from the Austin Motor Company, dozens of sponsors, the enthusiastic backing from a university in a great city and you have an expedition to drive around the world.

Thirteen months, twenty countries and about 48,280 kms/ 30,000 miles later and it became a 'first'. The Around the World journey had never been done in that way before and certainly never with a Wrayflex -the first and only British made single lens reflex [SLR] camera.

Before starting the picture sequence I'll add that the Wrayflex had a quirky history and there's a page about that at the end.

Departure - Wednesday August 31st 1960


We set out from Bristol with Bombay / Mumbai as our first major destination and an ETA of mid-October. That was just six weeks away so there would be no time for dallying or sight-seeing. The Lord Mayor of Bristol and the University Vice Chancellor set us on the road.

August 31st 1960 - Bristol to Dover. We were booked on the ferry to cross the English Channel to Boulogne - France.

Dover Customs House

My Wrayflex was waiting for me as the Wray Company had been able to class it as a 'Personal Export' so no taxes were to be paid …..or a saving of about twenty-two percent. Another package contained film from Kodak.

September 1st 1960 With three drivers in each car we drove non-stop from Boulogne to Strasbourg by which time I had read the Wrayflex instructions and sorted some film.

September 2nd 1960 We rushed southwards through Germany via Munich to the Austrian border.

September 3rd
After crossing into Austria I began to take photographs. Here is the first shot on the new camera and it was taken through the Gipsy windscreen.


The frame is numbered 1 1a and the orange tint on the left is from light affecting the beginning of the film as I was trying to squeeze an extra shot from my expensive Kodachrome - for the tech minded it was Type F and only 12 ASA - or 'not highly sensitive'. For the cash conscious it worked out at about 50p a shot in today's money [2018]. 'Very definitely it was not the era of click… click… click






Here is frame 2 - Meet the Team

Austria. We stopped beside the Wolfgansee about 35 kms/ 22 miles from Salzberg. Enclosed by the beautiful Salzkammergut mountains the lake is now a popular tourist destination. This shot was taken on the standard Unilux lens.

I posed the team in 1960s style.

From left to right - Roger Tutt - economist, Peter Krinks -geographer, Malcolm McKernan - writer, Don Pilton Medical Doctor and Mark Howell, geographer. I am behind the camera.






September 4th 1960

A farmstead near Varazdin in Yugoslavia. Now this region is part of northern Croatia. Here I was using my telephoto lens for the first time - a 135mm Wray Lustrar.











September 5th 1960

Yugoslavia A market in Belgrade now the capital of Serbia.

In 1960 Yugoslavia was a Communist country though split from the Soviet bloc. I felt I had to be cautious.











September 5th 1960

Yugoslavia An elderly gent with his specs in the Belgrade market. Taken on my Lustrar 135mm.













September 5th 1960

Yugoslavia On the dusty road to Nis also now in Serbia - we were heading southeast towards the Yugoslav border with Greece.













September 7th 1960

Greece In the southeast approaching Alexandroupolis we take on fuel at a BP station. I used a tripod to steady the camera and an exposure of 4 seconds at F2.8 on the Unilux 50mm lens.












September 7th 1960

Greece near Orestias close to the Turkish border. The maize harvest - a workers's hut for protection in the sun and at night for guards protecting the crop.












September 10th 1960

Turkey, Istanbul Galati Bridge, trams and the New Mosque.














September 11th 1960

Turkey, Uskudar on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. We crossed by ferry and Uskudar then a small, very traditional town was the landing point.












September 13th 1960

Turkey Bullock carts with large wooden wheels near Susehri. For detailed pictures of the carts see the Black + White in Nonesuch Silver Prints.













September 15th 1960

Turkey Approaching the Iranian border - the dirt road is wide and empty. But the surface was deeply corrugated and jolted the cars almost to destruction. This pic was taken on my Wray Lustrar wide angle lens. The vignetting shading in the corners was a problem with the wide angle.












September 20th 1960

Iran, Tehran Twenty one days from Bristol. Here the new Senate building is being completed.













September 21 1960

In Firuzkuh at the foot of the Elburz mountains we stopped at a bakery for some flatbread.














September 25th 1960

We reached Mashad, Iran's second city and in 1960 suitably remote - we had clocked just over 8046 kms/ 5000 miles from England. These shops selling copper and rugs were open to the street.








But by now our vehicles were giving serious trouble and we had to wait for spares sent from Tehran



September 28th 1960

Iran, During our prolonged stay we met a young British diplomat, David Hannay who took us to the ancient city of Tus [also Tous] about 25 kms/ 15 miles from Mashad. Tus has a history dating back over 2000 years and was a fortified city on the Silk Road when Mashad was a village. David Hannay is now Baron Hannay of Chiswick and in the 1990s was the UK's Ambassador to the UN.





While we were delayed in Mashad we met Jim Davern from Melbourne who had been working on secondment with the BBC in London and was making his way back to Australia - Melbourne was on our route……more about that later


October 1st 1960

On the way again - now towards Herat, Afghanistan.

The diary records 'poor roads with no other vehicles in sight, loose gravel and badly looked after so that a ridge in the middle has built up to 18 cms / about 7 inches).'











October 3rd 1960

Southern Afghanistan and turbanned tribesmen. We had been warned not to use the route through the mountainous central region as both the road and likely welcome were uncertain. No one here could not have been more friendly.












October 6th 1960

We left Afghanistan and entered Pakistan via the Khyber Pass. The way through the mountains was narrow and heavily guarded. I avoided getting military posts in the frame.












October 7th 1960

We reached Lahore in Pakistan the capital of the new nation State of West Pakistan. It was only thirteen years since Independence and many of the signs were still in English. This shot was taken in The Mall.












October 10th 1960

India, Amritsar The Golden Temple of the Sikhs.

Dating from 1577 and re-built several times this has been an open centre of worship to men and women of all faiths.

The lake or 'tank' is artificial and the temple is reached by a causeway.










October 10th 1960

India, Amritsar, reflections of the Golden Temple of the Sikhs in the artificial lake surrounding the heavily gilded building.













October 10th 1960

India, Amritsar. A turbanned Sikh sells garlands of marigolds outside the Golden Temple.













October 10th 1960

India, Amritsar. Beautifully decorated trishaws - cycle drawn chairs.













October 10th 1960

India, Amritsar The man on the left is making Jalebi - a sweet concoction running with syrup I had tasted in one of the first curry houses in post-war Bristol - Delicious.












October 13th 1960

India, Agra The Taj Mahal. We saw few foreign visitors and the wonderful setting belonged to groups of Indian women in their elegant saris.












14th October 1960

India Near Indore and about 11,265 kms / 7000 miles from home. Huge flocks of vultures soared on thermals. I'm including this historic picture even though it's a bit grainy - it was Ektachrome and it is unsharp as the camera was hand held with my Lustrar 135mm telephoto. It was just a 'try'. We saw many similar flocks later - but such flocks have gone thanks to modern chemicals. The vulture population has collapsed from an estimated 80 million to a few thousand.








On October 15th 1960 We arrived in Bombay / Mumbai and began the preparations for a two month stay in some villages in the Deccan highlands a further 241 kms/ 150 miles away in the Satara district of Maharashtra State. The vehicles were overhauled and spare parts brought in through the docks. Kodak India had been warned in advance and my film was processed in 24 hours - that was fast - believe me. The results confirmed that the Wrayflex had worked brilliantly.

Onwards to the villages.

October 21 1960 We headed first to Poona / Pune to meet the Indian team studying the economic and social conditions of the village of Pusegaon. We spent the next two months in the village of Pusegaon and neighbouring villages of Aundh and Koregaon. An outline of our work is on this site. (University of Bristol Expedition). Here are some pictures. I have others of crops, history, art, leprosy, industry and many more.


October 1960 India, in Aundh the children head for the village school














October 1960 Aundh Children with black slates for writing - and the village schoolmaster.














November 1960 Pusegaon - a family in a poorer part of the village.














November 1960 Pusegaon - a farmer watches his crop drying













Novmber 1960 - Winnowing. After beating with a wooden mallet the seeds and chaff are separated. The mixture is dropped from a bowl held high and the wind blows the chaff to one side


















December 1960 The children watched our every move - we heard about that in 1999. (See Letter from India in the University of Bristol Expedition pages on this site.)














December 1960 A young girl from a wandering tribe and her baby in Rhimatpur














December 1960 A young woman working to build a road near Pusegaon













December 1960 The potter in Pusegaon became a good friend and made several small saucers which are still in my collection - the craft has gone from the village.














December 1960 Pusegaon - a visitor to the annual Fair














December 1960 The road to Pusegaon













December 1960 And to wrap up the story - a family homeward bound after work.












January 2nd 1961 We left Pusegaon with our recordings, notes film and pictures stored in a filing cabinet locked in one of our vehicles. And there they stayed for another nine months.


Here I will add my thanks to the people of Aundh, Koregaon and Pusegaon for a marvellous welcome - the full story and an account of our most amazing 'Return' in 2000 is on this site.

In Part Two I cover the onward journey by sea and land Eastward to the Americas to get us home to Bristol.


Technical details

Camera Wrayflex Model ll

Lenses Wray Unilux 50mm F2.8 / Wray Lustrar 35mm F 3.5 / Wray Lustrar 135mm F4

Extension rings for close-ups, a lens hood for the 135mm and UV filter

Film - mostly Kodachrome 35mm [sensitivity 12 ASA ] or Kodak Ektachrome 35mm [Sensitivity ] Both film types were processed by Kodak in India.

Light measurement by a separate, hand held Weston Master lll
Flash never used. I had flash bulbs and an early type of Electronic flash which was very unreliable
For long exposures I used a tripod

For Black and White
I used a British made Microflex TLR [Twin lens reflex] and a Leica lllg lent by F G Warne, Bristol.



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