WHEN photographer and historian Denis Bird died in October last year aged 78, he left a collection of 30,000 photographs, negatives and slides to his long-term friend Brian Bridgeman.

Now the founding member of Swindon Photographic Soc-iety's legacy is being used as the basis for a display at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in Bath Road, depicting the changing face of Swindon's architecture and townsfolk.

The gallery has had access to so much high quality material that it plans to rotate the prints throughout the year.

The majority of Denis's photographs were taken during the 1960s and 70s a time of great change in Swindon.

Rosalyn Thomas, art gallery officer, said: "The exhibition features a series of black and white photographs of Swindon's famous landmarks at a time of great architectural change in the town.

"They are extremely artistic and very provocative and provide a great social commentary of life in the town.

"Many of the buildings featured in Denis's collection have since disappeared."

A clerk at the town's railways works for more than 40 years, Denis took up photography aged 14 and became fond of documenting Swindon's grand architecture.

Mr Bridgeman, of Swindon Photographic Society, said: "He was a very gentle man with many talents.''

Denis Bird: Photographer of Swindon (1923 2001) is at the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in Bath Road, Old Town. Admission is free. Call (01793) 466556 for details.