Snaps Bridlington

Snaps, 1938


A very travelled walkie by the looks of the wear round the edges, found at a flea market last month. It has lasted some eighty years and perhaps there was no surviving family to want it. I think it’s two sisters, one a little older (and dressed in a more grown up style). The younger girl also appears in an an amateur snap taken in the same dress, sat on the beach with her younger brother Jeffrey. So the family clearly had their own camera, but still liked to buy the professional walkie.  There is another early souvenir photo of their mother on holiday at Butlin’s Clacton camp in 1948 which I found in the same bundle, so will post that shortly.
The walking picture here though is by the firm of Snaps, based in Bridlington, and well documented on the site (they took walkies for forty years). It’s good to have it dated as well (this information will have been added during the printing). I think it will have been taken on the North promenade and judging by the shadows quite early in the photographer’s morning shift too. The reference number is only 26, again suggesting near the start of the day. The DD prefix will have been to identify the photographer.


Brigham Portrait

Gill Holtby 1929 Brigham portrait

Gillian Holtby, 1929

Having researched the history of Foster Brigham’s studios in Bridlington (particularly his Snaps walking pictures operation) , it is fascinating to discover photographs taken there of my own relatives.  This remarkable portrait is so well done, and hard to believe it’s a black and white portrait hand coloured by the studio, the work is so good.  It is nicely signed by Brigham in pencil, something most professionals did at the time.

It’s of my Aunt, Gillian Holtby, and was taken in 1929 in Bridlington at Brigham’s studio on The Promenade. As she was born in 1925, it makes her around four years old.  I have also found the original black and white photograph (also signed) from which the hand tinted version was done, so you get an idea of the work involved.

Gillian Holtby pre tinting

Gillian Holtby. Photographic portrait by Foster-Brigham, Bridlington. Gill born 1925, image taken C1928.

1950 / 1951

Snaps photographers, Bridlington, 1950

Taken by Snaps photographers, Bridlington, 1950, 1951.

You are often given cause to wonder the fate of old snapshots; this small cache of walking pictures is a case in point. Five photographs, all taken on holiday back in 1950 and 1951. Which means that the children at least should still be around, probably in their early sixties today. Yet here they are, up for sale with no way to tell who they are or were.
The young lad is wearing the exact same outfit in all five pictures, what looks to be his school uniform, often a default ‘smart’ outfit for children back then given how much they cost (I know my mother bought my younger brother a school blazer to keep him looking presentable when out and about. It was bright blue with blue and red piping and an intertwined logo on the pocket, and it did the job. Nobody knew he never went near the school, it was a bargain jumble sale buy!).
The obligatory beach spade is also in every one of these shots while  his sister has graduated from a low pram in 1950 to the push-chair a year later (and looks very hyped up to be on the promenade in the middle frame).
These walking pictures, around half postcard size, were all taken by the firm of Snaps in Bridlington, in this case near the Spa and the south bay promenade.  You can see more example from them and a history on the site here.

Snaps wallet

Snaps Bridlington photo wallet

A little quiet yelp in a collectors shop in Hull recently puzzled my brother who was bemused by my excitement over a seemingly insignificant piece of paper ephemera. He was none the wiser when I explained I’d never seen a photographic wallet from the walking picture firm of Snaps in Bridlington before. For as well as their busy trade in walkies and other types of seaside photography, the firm also did develop and print work for visitors to the resort. These would be returned inside the usual card wallets, negatives in one side, the prints in the other. It looks to date from the early 1920s, judging by the typography and also the way the wallet has been stitched together rather than folded and glued (It would be interesting to know when this technique was abandoned, I have some 78 rpm sleeves which are also stitched rather than glued.)

The story of Snaps walking pictures (and a photo of the building) is on the site here.