PHOTOGRAPHER Thomas Hughes Milner Colledge lived in Innerleithen between the 1890s and 1940.

He was born in Edinburgh but, following the death of his father in the 1870s, his mother moved the family to live in Selkirk. 

There, Colledge was employed by Selkirk photographer A R Edwards, who has left many images of Borders scenes, including a photograph of the pre-1896 pavilion at St Ronan’s Wells.

Colledge started up on his own account and married Agnes Brown in 1893 in Edinburgh. He set up business in Chapel Street, Innerleithen, but continued to live in Selkirk until his family – wife, two girls and a boy – moved to Innerleithen around 1900. 

After a spell in Miller Street, they later took up residence in 5 Sandridge Terrace close to his studio, a substantial and well equipped wooden building just across the road from the Traquair Arms.

Many of his photographs became postcards, often, regrettably, with his trademark THMC signature either covered or cropped out.

Much of Colledge’s income came from the sale of individual and group photographs taken in his studio.

He advertised annually during November and December in the St Ronan’s Standard offering personalised Christmas cards for sale. 

He produced group photos of the Games Week principals up to the outbreak of WWII and many of his pictures of the Saturday morning parades survive.

He captured public events such as the proclamation of George V as King in 1910 and the unveiling of the Burns Tablet at 12 High Street in 1913.

Colledge won many prizes for his work and came sixth in a worldwide competition in 1908. He had the knack of taking outdoor shots in the best possible light.

He was resourceful too, having a scaffolding erected in front of St Ronan’s Wells (the ground dips sharply at the front of the building) to photograph the guests at the opening of the new pavilion and bottling plant in September 1896.

Thomas Colledge and his wife moved to Glasgow to be near his elder daughter, Lizzie, in 1940. He died on July 14, 1954 aged 93.

  • Thanks to Robert Smail’s Printing Works for information about Colledge. Smail’s and Innerleithen Community Trust are keen to add to their collections of digital copies of Colledge photos. If anyone has prints they would allow the trust to scan, email and