One consequence of the Walking Pictures project has been people sending in scans, wanting to know where they were taken. And while I have 101 other things I ought to be doing, I can’t resist a challenge. It’s as well Google don’t charge for their street view by the hour (but then given the tax they dodge, free is the least they can do!).
This walkie by the firm of Sunny Snaps arrived recently, sent by Peter Aylett in California. It is very typical of their output, well composed and very naturalistic. It shows his father Jim on the right, looking very dapper in his pale suit, with an unknown friend (taken around mid-day in April.) Sunny Snaps have dated this one, 1939, but not given the location, and Peter was hoping we might be able to help.
My initial thought was that this was unlikely to be a coastal Sunny Snaps walkie, but more likely to be back in London, their other main area of operation. The railway bridge was a clue, and the buildings very distinctive, but London has an awful lot of these.
From what little I know of Sunny Snaps in the city, Fulham High Street seemed a good starting point, but while a rail bridge and church there matched quite well, the buildings were not quite right. Having trawled around on street view, I gave up and went in search of an Underground rail enthusiast site and discovered District Dave’s London Underground forum (http://districtdave.proboards.com/). Their moderator Rich kindly posted the scan and within a few hours John Tuthill had recognised the scene as Shepherd’s Bush Market station on Uxbridge Road in London.
Many of the buildings have gone but he spotted the end of the Passmore Edwards library (now closed and replaced by a modern library, but hopefully opening as a theatre before long) just to the left of the fly postered telegraph pole. The bridge matches, but I could not see the church in the present day scene. John explained that the spire had been removed a few years later. The bus in the background is a new trolleybus, which had replaced the trams on this road only two years earlier.
Peter has tracked the path Jim would have taken that day in 1939 from the family home on Astrop Terrace to the point where the Sunny Snaps was taken.
This is a useful addition to the story of Sunny Snaps, who we are beginning to think had a number of photographers out and about in London in the late Thirties as well as the South Coast towns. Quite often photographers worked near their base, and incredibly the yellow fronted shop in the modern view is currently a branch of … Snappy Snaps!
Our second example was taken the same year, and shows Johnny Smith’s Grandmother, again photographed in London, and looking smartly dressed for a shopping trip. She lived on Battersea Rise near Clapham Junction in 1939 and this may have been taken on that road (or St. Johns Wood High Street which crosses it), which was (and still is) a busy shopping area, although I have not been able to make a match with the surviving streetscape yet. If anyone spots something they recognise, please let us know. That might be some sort of street market going on in the background.
You can read more about Sunny Snaps on the site, and there is another London walkie there. If anyone has further examples please get in touch. You can also join a newsletter service about the forthcoming book, which will keep you updated on progress and details of any pre-publication offers. This service is provided by the book’s publishers. Your details will be kept confidential and you can unsubscribe at any time. Click the button below for details:
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