The Rye photographer who captured Beatles and Stones

Plough stones
Plough stones

A RYE photo-journalist who captured the Beatles and Rolling Stones is to be remembered with an exhibition at the Plough pub at Cockmarling.

An exhibition of work by the internationally-acclaimed photographer Michael Ward (1929 – 2011) will open on September 4 at The Plough, near Udimore.

The pictures on display span some 30 years of Michael’s career as a photographer for the Evening Standard and Sunday Times.

They have been handpicked by his widow, the stage and screen actress Elizabeth Seal, who still lives in the Rye area home that she shared with Michael for 15 of the 40 years that they were together.

The pictures include early shots of The Beatles (1963) and the original five Rolling Stones (1964), members of the Royal Family, and showbiz stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Julie Christie.

“The dozen photographs I have chosen are a little mixed bag representing Michael’s work over three decades,” said Elizabeth. “It’s a bespoke collection that will, I think, suit the intimate atmosphere of a local pub that we used to enjoy visiting.

“The exhibition’s opening will come a few days after my birthday so it will be an additional reason to have a bit of a celebration.”

Since the start of the year, The Plough has been under the stewardship of Simon Aylett.

“We’re delighted that Elizabeth has agreed to show her late husband’s works at The Plough,” he said. 

“We want the pub to be a showcase of everything that is best about the Rye area – whether it’s good food, great beer or talented local residents.”

The exhibition at The Plough is the first local retrospective display of Michael Ward’s work since his death in 2011. The exhibition continues until October.

Michael Ward was born in London on the 15th January 1929.

Before getting into his career in photo journalism he worked in a lamp shade factory and as a bar tender.