For four decades, photographer Chris Andrews has been capturing stunning images of Oxford and watching them fly out around the world.

It’s difficult to calculate the financial benefit to the city but lots of people who have spotted his lovely postcards will have visited as a result and given the tourist industry a boost.

Over the years, the business has sold more than 20 million postcards, more than half a million calendars and over a million books.

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While Oxford’s tourist trade is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, Mr Andrews is upbeat about the future as he and his team celebrate 40 years in business.

He said: “We made a decision to survive the pandemic and we are now reaping the rewards.”

Recalling the early days of Chris Andrews Publications, he said: “In June 1982, I walked into central Oxford with my newly produced postcards in my hot little hand and approached half a dozen shops to see if they would sell them.

“The cards featured my photography in what I hoped was an attractive but atmospheric style.


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“The then manager of Blackwell’s dubbed them ‘The Romance of Oxford’. We still use this title.”

He added: “Before publishing the postcards I used to sell mounted hand made photographs s on a number of ‘pitches’ in central Oxford, sometimes ably assisted by my lovely girlfriend, now wife, who was a good roller skater and skated around me as I threw pictures for her to catch and show to the crowd.”

Mr Andrews’ records show the first deliveries of published cards were on June 8, 1982, a Tuesday.

“By Friday five of the six shops had phoned me having sold so many cards they needed to re-order and I made enough to cover all costs,” he added.

“Since then we have sold over 20 million postcards, around a million books and half a million calendars. All using my photography.”

Mr Andrews has photographed most of the Oxford colleges as well as some in Cambridge, and photographed and published books on the Cotswolds, Chilterns, Bath, Stratford as well as the Channel Islands.

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He has also established a publishing business in Belfast, been commissioned to go to Chile for location work for a film, gone to the Falkland Islands for work on a book and been to South Africa to launch a book of Botanical Illustrations.

There are three people working full-time in the business, Chris and wife Ginger, and Annabel who started as secretary in 1989 and now is the office organiser and business administrator.

When he is not working, Mr Andrews enjoys fishing and wine

- sometimes together - and walking the dogs. He also has an interest in horse racing and this week visited Royal Ascot.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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