Speedisnaps, Hove and Great Yarmouth
Speedisnaps operated from Medina Works on the Sussex Road, in Hove, Sussex. The only evidence for the business so far are a handful of postcard sized prints dating from the Fifties, and in all of them the subjects are stood rather than walking (most walking picture firms would concentrate on walkies, but were happy to take a static portrait if asked). The company information is rubber stamped on the back of the flimsy print. The example here was taken on the King’s Road in Hove, the modernist building to the left of the woman’s head is the art deco style Embassy House. It looks as if this was a regular stopping off point for coach trips, so maybe that’s why the Speedisnaps photographer was on this spot. A second Speedisnaps image was taken in Brighton in April 1950.
To confuse the Speedisnaps story, Paul Godfrey has now found one of their street portraits with the Hove address on the back of a similar vintage but it was taken in Great Yarmouth on Marine Parade, and shows the Shipwrecked Sailors Home and Goode’s Hotel in the background (below). Quite how the firm operated in two locations so far apart remains a mystery for now. Again the people are stood for the camera.
If anyone has any more examples of Speedisnaps photos or information on the firm please get in touch.
As for the Speedisnaps workshop, Sussex Road implies a grand thoroughfare but in fact it is a short narrow byway linking the main road to the seafront promenade. Much of it has been redeveloped, and it is hard to say where the walkie firm operated from. Medina Works takes it’s name from Medina Baths and Medina House, the former mostly demolished now and the latter having had nine attempts to demolish it to date according to a local history site (with Dave Gilmour of Pink Floyd owning it for a time to try and save it.) The local council have little regard for anything except profit as is evidenced by their huge disregard for important buildings in the area in the past. You can read the sorry saga here : http://hovehistory.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/medina-baths-medina-house-hove.html