Uncle Bill, Reflex Snaps, Skegness
Not much has come to light on Uncle Bill’s Reflex Snaps, who were based near the beach in Skegness in the Twenties. But it is beginning to look as if they numbered their walkies in sequence over several years, which would be very useful when it comes to dating them. One of the oldest walking picture operators in the town, I now have half a dozen walking picture cards by the firm. Only two are named, but the format of the others is so close as to link them, while two are dated by their owner as well. The numbering goes from 1,973 to 15,800 across only a few years around 1925 and 1926 and all were taken close to the beach end of Lumley Road. Lumley Terrace, a block of new town houses on the street, can be seen in the background of most.
This latest find is numbered 13,946, and shows a Mum and her two girls out for a stroll around 1926. Most of Uncle Bill’s walkies are very clear and sharp, but this one shows the finger prints left by one of the darkroom staff on the negative while it was being developed. Despite this flaw the Mum purchased the print. There were several other early walking picture firms in the town, notably Wrates and Walfreds, both detailed on this site.
A walkie by Uncle Bill with the Skegness address on but taken on The Pullover at the nearby resort of Mablethorpe has also been found, and again dates from the 1920s, so his operation clearly spanned the two locations.