Smiles, Gorleston

Smiles Gorleston walkie.jpg

If some firms are known only though one or two walking picture examples, I have yet to find any from this company. The example shown here was supplied by Paul Godfrey, who researches photographers in the Great Yarmouth area; Gorleston on Sea is a small enclave just the other side of the river.
The firm is also mentioned in a local history book about retailers in the town, and remembered by Charlotte Wych who worked for the photographer before the War. “He always wore a red trilby hat so that everybody would recognise him.” Charlotte used to help develop the prints and display them on a board outside his shop but faced parental disapproval working in this trade. “Mother didn’t like me working for him as he wasn’t the sort of man she’s want me to work with.” Charlotte recalled that one of the girls used to flash her knickers for him when he asked, so perhaps Mother knew best!
The walkie, which is a really nice example, was identified by Paul as taken at the bottom of a row of steps called Duncan’s Well Steps which link Cliff Hill to Pier Road, so was a busy shortcut for pedestrians heading from the guest houses down to the beach, and an ideal spot for a cameraman to occupy.
The view today by Helen Steed shows the pump, apparently erected to supply water for navy ships anchored in the harbour in the C18.

Pump Well Steps gorleston.jpg

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