The Snaps office at Bridlington in the twenties

We have begun adding histories of those companies who worked in the Walking Picture business, and these are listed in the site menu bar under Walkie Companies. The idea is to list as many as we can to provide a resource for researchers, family history compilers, etc.  The firms are listed by name on the drop-down menu.
Through our own research and with the help of collectors we have now identified over 200 such firms and estimate that between them they took over 40 MILLION walking pictures from the 1920s to the 1960s. Many of the firms came and went quite quickly, however a few names carried on business for many years. Barkers in Great Yarmouth for example established themselves in 1927 and were still active in the 1980s. Wrates, in Skegness, founded in 1907, began taking walkies around 1920 and only stopped taking in 1975 (and are still in business, albeit now doing school portraits and commercial work). Snaps, in Bridlington, opened for business in 1927 and only closed in the sixties. Sunbeam operated out of Margate and were astonishingly busy between the early 1920s and the 1960s, shooting an estimated 35,000 Walking Pictures on a busy Bank Holiday in the thirties, with their photographers each covering a specific area of the sea-front.

The forthcoming book Go Home On A Postcard will carry details of some of the important firms.

I am starting to add the locations of walking picture firms to a Google Maps layer and you can see the progress by clicking the link below. So far just Mablethorpe and Skegness are on.