Chambers, Weymouth

Chambers Weymouth walking pictures.jpg

Chambers are poorly documented. This walking picture business was operating on Weymouth seafront during the 1920s and 1930s judging by surviving examples. All their cards are postcard size, and of good quality, suggesting they were taken on a large reflex camera using either glass or paper negatives.

The firm snapped people on their own, as couple or in groups. Their postcards carry the wording Chambers Kiosk Weymouth, or Chambers Esplanade Weymouth on the back.  The Esplanade is a lengthy stretch of the seafront so this doesn’t help us too much! However many of the walkies show the large towers of the Royal Hotel in the near background (seen in the street view below), which suggests the firm were based close by. There is a nice surviving kiosk still on the esplanade not far away which could have been their base but equally there seem to be some wooden kiosks on the left in the walkies here, which have been replaced by a more modern brick building today.

As well as walkies, Chambers also photographed groups of bathers in the early 1920s, and holiday-makers in charabancs. I have also see a group of trippers in a small pleasure boat, and this is dated 1922.  So Chambers were clearly in the seaside photo business quite soon after WW1 and like other firms may have begun before as a studio portrait business although if so I have not seen any examples.

Royal Hotel Weymouth.jpg

This nice set of four Chambers walkies above I found recently, all of the same family, date from 1932, 1933 and (top right) 1934. They show Mum, Dad and daughter (with a friend in one) with various buckets and spades in tow. Half the terrace in the background next to the hotel was clearly modernised with a rendered deco look. This change is captured in these walkies and must have taken place in late 1933 which could help dating other Chambers walkies in the future.

It seems unlikely the business continued after WW2. Other firms known to work in Weymouth include Empire Films and Lumenart, both detailed on the site.

If you have any info on the firm or examples do get in touch and as always more examples in the walking picture book Go Home On A Postcard.

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