Hector Innes: The man behind the lens

The town of Kelso is mourning one of its most accomplished sons after the passing of photography guru Hector Innes.
Kelso photographer Hector Innes, who has passed, aged 93.Kelso photographer Hector Innes, who has passed, aged 93.
Kelso photographer Hector Innes, who has passed, aged 93.

Hector, the son of Hector and Isabella Innes, was born in Kelso, where his father was a Police Constable.

He started his national service as an electrician in the RAF before being invalided out with tuberculosis.

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He was treated at East Fortune and Peel hospitals and was one of the first recipients of the new anti-biotic Streptomycin.

After making a full recovery, he joined the family business ‘Hector Innes Photography’ which his father had set up in 1937 after leaving the police force.

Hector then developed the press and commercial photography side of the business before starting the retail shop in the 1960s.

He joined the British Institute of Photography in 1961 and gained Associateship of the institute.

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Throughout his long career, Hector photographed many happy couples and countless babies.

He also photographed the regeneration of Kelso into an attractive town for new industry, particularly electronics and precision engineering, with his work featuring in a promotional booklet for the town.

He also added to the library of landscape photographs started by his father, many of which continue to sell well today.

Never one to shy away from new technology, Hector sold the first digital camera in 1995, though it would be another 10 years before he considered the quality good enough for professional work.

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He remained involved with the business until Covid hit, latterly framing pictures up in ‘his room’ and, even when confined to a wheelchair, he still came down to the shop to check everything was being done properly.

Outside of work, Hector was a founder member of Kelso Rotary Club, becoming president in 1978 and remaining an active member, until the club folded last year.

He was a member of the Roxburgh Scout group committee, where he served as badge secretary.

An elder of Kelso North Parish Church, he also spent many years as a Sunday School teacher.

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Hector was always interested in the town, particularly its heritage, and was a former chairman of Kelso Amenity Society, having allowed the society to hold their first meetings in his studio.

His legacy of photographs will adorn homes for many years to come and provide a historical record of Kelso and the wider Borders for future generations.

He is survived by Anne, his wife of 64 years, as well as their children Alastair, Catherine and Alison, grandchildren and great grandchild.


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