Sunny Snaps in London


Here’s another really atmospheric walking picture taken by the firm of Sunny Snaps in our capital city. The firm continues to throw questions up about how it operated, particularly in London. It was scanned for us by Gary Wade, who was especially interested to see if we knew where it was taken. The answer was no, however like him we spotted the familiar London Underground logo (designed in 1913 by Edward Johnston) in the background, on a fairly distinctive post-WW2 building. So I sent it over to District Dave’s London Transport forum, and sure enough Richard there quickly identified it as Leicester Square tube station, at the end of Charing Cross Road.


The Sunny Snaps photographer was stood on the now pedestrianised part of Cranbourne Street outside the Hippodrome (then a music hall and variety theatre, now a casino complex), you can just see the awning above their doorway in the top left. Although it’s an overcast day, what little shadow there is gives it as around mid-day, so the gentleman may have been on a trip to the newspaper stand in his lunch-hour (he doesn’t look like a tourist or visitor), and is striding towards Leicester Square itself. I suspect by the wry look on his face he has noticed the camera, but is looking away, which suggests they were not an uncommon sight. Having said that he took his ticket and ordered a print. The date is very hard to read, but looks to be 1939.

Cranbourne Street copy.jpg
I have been doing a bit of digging around and have now identified a few more Sunny Snaps locations in London; one of their cameramen worked on Park Parade in Harlesden between 1934 and 1937. A Sunny Snaps postcard taken near Shepherd’s Bush tube station is documented and Ladbroke Grove has been identified as another site where they worked in 1935. They also snapped away on Lewisham High Street just after WW2. Hopefully more will come to light or be identified. As always I’d welcome any information on the company itself.
It’s hard to get the exact view on street map, but the screen shot below is not too far off, the building on the right is a replacement.
More updated details on Sunny Snaps history can be found on the site.

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