A life full of photos, Vespas, books and a growing family - tributes paid to Philip Armes of Norwich

Philip Armes.
Photo: Simon Finlay

Philip Armes. Photo: Simon Finlay - Credit: EDP / Archant � 2004

Whether he was behind a camera lens, on his Vespa or side-by-side with his family, Philip Armes did it with gusto.

One of Philip Armes's photos which is now held in the Norfolk Record Office. Norwich takes it first

One of Philip Armes's photos which is now held in the Norfolk Record Office. Norwich takes it first steps into the computer age with the delivery of a bulky machine to the City Hall. Picture: PHILIP ARMES - Credit: Archant

And now tributes have been paid to Mr Armes, who lived in Sprowston, after he died aged 93 on February 23.

One of Philip's pictures of the Norwich Vesper Club he started up. Picture: Philip Armes

One of Philip's pictures of the Norwich Vesper Club he started up. Picture: Philip Armes

Mr Armes was known to many though his work as a photographer and film maker for the city council and its predecessor, the Corporation.

Jill and Philip Armes on their wedding day. Picture: supplied by Jill and Philip Armes

Jill and Philip Armes on their wedding day. Picture: supplied by Jill and Philip Armes

But he also made lots of friends after setting up the Norwich Vespa Club, which later became the Norwich Scooter Club.

Jill and Philip Armes celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in December 2016. Picture: DENISE BR

Jill and Philip Armes celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in December 2016. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

He met his wife, Jill, through the club, and they celebrated their 60th anniversary on December 30.

Katy Armes, one of their five children, said her father would be sorely missed. She said: 'He began his career in the library service of the Corporation, and served in the Royal Air Force as a fitter during the Second World War.'


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Mr Armes served in Egypt and Burma, but it was when stationed in Italy his lifelong love of photography was sparked.

When he returned to Norwich, he became a photographic assistant for the Corporation, heading up the 'plans and print' section of the engineers' department.

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Katy Armes said: 'His job also took him out and about throughout Norwich documenting buildings which were the subject of planning applications or for other development projects such as road widening - the 1950s black-and-white film of Norwich after the war in the East Anglian Film Archive is an example of this.

'To get the best profile of the buildings he devised a plan showing how the light would fall on a building at any particular time of day - he then worked out when to take his photographs accordingly.'

'This continual recording of changes to Norwich gave him a wealth of knowledge about Norwich history which he was happy to share.'

Mr Armes was also an avid book collector, considering each book like a personal friend which he could learn from.

He bought a Vespa when they were introduced after the war, and he and wife had many adventures exploring the countryside on two wheels. As well as his wife and children, Mr Armes is survived by 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

His funeral will take place on March 20 at 12.30pm at St Faith Crematorium in Norwich.

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