Walkie Companies

The Snaps office at Bridlington in the twenties

We have begun adding short histories of those companies who worked in the Walking Picture business, and these can be found in the site menu bar under Walkie Companies. Through the help of collectors we have identified nearly 200 such firms. Many of them came and went quite quickly. A few names however carried on business for many years. Barkers established themselves in 1927 and were still active in the 1980s. Wrates, in Skegness, began before WW2 and only stopped taking walkies late on (the firm 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. Typical of many firms, they were on off-shoot of an older more up-market high street photographic studio, and opened a separate premises to cater for Walking Pictures and other informal work. As well as walkies, they snapped boat trips, weddings, people sitting on the sea-front, in deckchairs, or watching beach entertainments. The bigger the crowd, the more people might want to buy a print. Sunbeam operated out of Margate and were astonishingly busy for many years, 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 a detailed listing.