I do like a walking picture which tells a bit of a story and this is one such. A number of details in the background mean this had to be Skegness, and happily the gentleman confirms this on the back in a note in pen, which I will reproduce here. As he also mentions the day and date it was taken but not the year, so I went through an online diary and pinned it down to 1925, quite an early walking picture. I think the couple on the left are the married pair celebrating their silver wedding anniversary, so they must have got spliced in 1900. They have gone out with their friend Jin and are here strolling along Lumley Road towards the parade and seafront in the early afternoon 95 years ago today. And hopefully back later for a fish supper. Husband is not named but jokingly refers to his better half as “the charwoman” and also calls it a “Bub trip”, which is not a phrase you hear very often today outside America (sort of besties I suppose!). Beyond that there are no more details. The walkie looks to be by Wrate’s but one of them has cut the postcard down for some reason and so lost any more information. Hope they had a nice day.
This is a good example one of the earlier style walking pictures, taken with a large reflex camera on a glass plate in the early 1920s I would imagine. I like it because of the very natural feel captured in the scene, at a time when these sort of images were less common and there was a lot of curiosity as the what the cameraman was up to. Also interesting is the little tableau on the left, four people who just seem to be lounging on the railing, enjoying themselves watching the cameraman at work. The central group of figures (who I would guess could be Mum, Dad and two daughters) are pin sharp and also clearly fascinated by what is going on. All are very smartly dressed, I’ve never seen four pairs of shoes so highly polished; they’re clearly not off for a stroll along the tide line. We don’t know who they are.
The postcard print is not marked on the back, but matches others I have taken in Bridlington on the North Bay, by the firm of Snaps (there are more examples in the Go Home On A Postcard book), and they would seem to be the firm most likely to have taken it. Although the majority of their walking picture prints are identified, they must have run out of pre-printed paper from time to time and had to get a supply of regular postcard back Kodak paper in to keep them going.
There is more on Snaps on the site.
I’ve never been to Cromer but this family have, back in 1924. And by the looks of their happy sunburnt faces suncream hadn’t yet been invented! But whether this was actually taken there I’m just not certain. From a pencilled note on the back, they were actually staying on Great Yarmouth but had gone on a day trip from their to Cromer, and Frank (who must be the Dad in the middle, accompanied by his wife and four daughters?) posted this back from there to a relation – Jim Edgeley – in Sutton Bassett. It is possible they had their walkie taken and collected it on the same day and posted it off, but the penny stamp frank mark is timed at 3.30pm which doesn’t really allow enough time for the unknown walkie firm to get it taken, processed and on sale. So the likelihood is that it was taken in Yarmouth, they picked it up there, and then took it with them to post from Cromer (about 28 miles up the coast). How did they get there? It’s entirely possible they drove, got a train or perhaps more likely took one of the many steam ship excursions from Yarmouth. I still cannot work out where in Yarmouth it was taken mind! What I like about this image though is the way everyone in the scene is fully engaged with the walking picture experience. The family have obviously seen that a cameraman was taking these photographs and been queued up to take their turn, while several dozen other holiday makers stand around and watch. This also suggests that at the time it was still quite a novel experience for many of them.
Needless to say if anyone is able to recognise the location from the vague details of the streetscape behind do get it touch.
This is another street photo from the firm of Speedisnaps, who operated out of Medina Works in Hove. It shows Martin Honor’s maternal grandparents, Frank and Elsie. Speedisnaps have featured on the site before (what I know about the firm is on this page) but Martin’s postcard reinforces the idea that this firm didn’t take walking pictures as such, but preferred to ask their subjects to stay still for the portrait. As very few of the pictures have any reference numbers, they might have taken payment when they took the photo, which was unusual at the time. Martin’s postcard does have a pencil number on the back, but that’s the first I’ve seen. All the Speedisnaps cards seem to date from the early 1950s so I suspect they were not in business for too long.
Frank and Elsie are stood under the West Pier at Brighton, which is long gone, looking towards Hove. Thanks to Martin for the picture. He says his grandparents lived in Bristol their whole lives, so must have been on holiday.
I thought this card would be quite easy to identify but the location eluded me. It looked an early walking picture, but once you study the other people in the scene, they are dressed in twenties fashions. So the two older people (who bought the postcard of themselves from the unknown photographer) are clearly happy to be wearing smart clothes despite them being a little old fashioned by this time. Clearly, along with the people round about, they are strolling gently uphill in the same direction. It had a feeling of somewhere like Bournemouth or Boscombe but since I posted this it has been identified as Columbus Ravine, Scarborough near Peasholm Park. “You can see the Peasholm Park Hotel in the background,” explains Michael Watts. It is certainly the only walkie I have ever found from this location, but the reference number 408 suggests another 400 must have gone before…
Today this does look an unlikely spot to trade as a walking picture cameraman, but people were more used to walking then and making the slog up from the seafront back to their accommodation. I had a look online and you can identify the scene quite easily, and although it’s hard to get exactly the same view on street view, the large detached house is clearly trading as The Peasholm Park Hotel (but converted to being the Peasholm Park Vegan B&B in 2019 – still, you won’t be offered two slices of Spam for breakfast as we were at one B&B in Scotland once!). Their address is actually Victoria Park Avenue.
It’s my favourite seaside donkey yet again! This one came to me via Richard Webb, who donated it to the archive. Apparently someone sent it to him to stiffen another card he’d bought inside an envelope…
The donkey was one of the Sunbeam Photo Ltd company props and these were dotted around their beat for kiddies to pose with (and sometimes grown ups too!) for some thirty years. The child here certainly seems to be thoroughly enjoying herself. I think it was taken at Ramsgate.
Do let me know if you have any more examples.