Sun Ray Photo Co., Scarborough
The Sun Ray Photo company was a pre-World War 2 walking picture firm operating in Scarborough. They had two shops, the first at 7 Valley Bridge Parade; the shop was on the way to the bridge, a popular walking route for tourists, and the building is still there, last used as a Tattoo parlour. The other was at 28 Newborough, which runs through the town and down to the seafront. The building, still with the original Victorian front, is now a chocolate retailer and maker. Both are shown below in street views.
Walking photos by the Sun Ray Photo company have either one address or the other on the back, and all the images seem to be taken on the South Bay, mostly south of the Spa, on the footpath which ran past the outdoor swimming pool (opened in 1915 but closed and filled in by the council idiots in 1989), or along Cleveland Way which led back up from the seafront to the Esplanade above. None I have seen are dated, but from the fashions it would seem they operated from around 1925 up to just before the War.
The firm were working at the same time as North Bay Snaps, so it looks like they each licensed a specific pitch from the council. There were other walkie firms at work before the War, covering Sandside next to the harbour and also in town (including Edwin F. Fox, who had a shop at 51 Aberdeen Walk.)
The Sun Ray walkies are all postcard size single prints and generally very good quality, well focused, clearly taken with a large format camera. Most of the prints show a reference number scratched into the negative (as above), but a few have an automatic numbering system on.
As well as walkies, Sun Ray photographers also took static portraits of people and family groups on the beach as seen below.
Both the scans here are off the web, There was a topographic views postcard firm which produced the Sun-Ray Series of cards in the Thirties but this is not related.
Anybody with more information on the firm or examples of the cards please get in touch. The forthcoming book Go Home On A Postcard tells the history of Walking Pictures; read more about it.
North Bay Snaps, Scarborough on the site.
Benson’s Photos, Scarborough and Bridlington on the site.