Movie Photos, Hull
A trip to Granny’s Parlour on the city centre end of Anlaby Road in Hull is always interesting. The shop, selling household antiques, has been going 38 years and is more like a museum in some ways. Anyhow, I had an hour spare the other week so went through all their postcards and found a few walkies (and also came away with a nice sixties sweet box). Although not marked, and not dated, this card looked like it might be local so later that day we strolled up into Queen Victoria Square to check out the Ferens Art Gallery – lo and behold, there was our location. The woman’s hat suggested early 1930s as a date and the gallery opened in 1927.
I did a now and then shot of the Ferens spot which was more difficult than I thought to achieve, until I set my camera to a regular focal length which would have been closer to the ones they used then. They must have been using quite fast exposures too as the subject – a slightly stern but bemused look on her face – has hardly moved. The guys in the background in their overalls and jackets have probably come from the docks just round the corner.
The Maritime Museum Building across the square also looked familiar so back home I checked other cards and sure enough, this walkie image came up. It was sent to me by Hazel Bargiel who said it showed (on the right) her Grandmother, Mabel Elsie Pickering (1884-1968). Taken probably around 1937, it turns out to have been taken outside what was then the Docks Board building, looking down King Edward Street. The building in the distance behind their heads has gone, possibly destroyed during the war (the red circle shows where the ladies were when the photo was taken). Hazel’s grandmother’s maiden name was Coultish and she is seen in the photo with her sister-in-law, Nellie, born Ruth Eleanor Pickering (1877-1942. Between 1902 and 1941 her married name was Beck, and from 1941 to 1942 Prosser).
So it looks as if Queen Victoria Square being such a busy thoroughfare was a popular spot for cameramen in the immediate pre-War years and these cards add another city to the list of those covered by the trade.
Both cards are marked on the back Movie Photo. I have seen Movie Photo paper used on Blackpool walkies, while Movie Snaps has turned up in two Scottish towns, and Movie Films in Boscombe. Clearly the firms wanted to trade on the popularity of the cinema in the 1930s, as well as the multiple frames looking like miniature movie stills.