Skeg Cards (from Skegness if you hadn’t guessed!) have been documented on the site before but this particularly nice example came my way recently. Sometimes a walkie just catches your attention, and this is one such. The young girl just looks so excited to be both on holiday and having her photo taken. I cannot make my mind up whether the couple are her parents or perhaps Grandparents. They look a little austere at first glance but once you get past the gent’s now deeply unfashionable moustache, he is on the verge of a smile and his partner appears to have just realised what is going on.
Technically it also stands out, with the trio highlighted against a misty faded background. I suppose it’s possible someone in the darkroom spent a few seconds “dodging” to increase the contrast, but it is likely to be a happy accident.
The image was marked “unknown” when I bought it, but the view looked familiar. Sure enough the large building behind them is the old Pier Hotel at Skegness. If that wasn’t enough, the girl is holding a holiday regulation wooden spade but also an unusual metal seaside bucket, more like a small milk pail, and this has the words “Present From Skegness” printed on the side.
Skeg cards were in business from around 1920 and took walkies near and on the town’s first pier. They did not mark their cards, but the neatly hand written reference number jotted down is typical of their output. I imagine this must be circa 1924 or so. More potential customers can be seen behind them, in what looks to be the early morning.
He is dressed down, no tie and white shoes, but the older woman, smothered in a huge fur stole of some sort, is not exactly beach ready so I assume the next port of call was to hire a deckchair before sandcastle building could ensue.
Another nice complete Sunfilms walking picture strip from the late 1920s. Although the firm worked mostly around Clacton, they also had operators elsewhere (including the Isle of Wight). I cannot identify the location here. However that does seem to be a viewing area to the right, probably looking out to sea. If it rings a bell with anyone please get in touch. As with other strips like this I have also had a go at animating the strip, and also added a bit of colour. There is more information about Sunfilms on the site, and more examples in the book Go Home On A Postcard.
I’m guessing this might be Mum, Dad and Daughter, on holiday in Margate, and set for a visit to the Marine Bathing complex in one, and just out for a stroll in the other (with Box Brownie in tow). These parasols crop up in a few walkies and seem to have been a popular mid-Twenties trend . The portraits were taken with a day or so of each other (the reference numbers are 113 apart) by a photographer working for Fotosnaps, run by Remington, and taken in the Westonville part of the promenade. That looks like their kiosk in the background of the card above. We know this must be pre-1928 as Remington moved to Paignton after that, while both cards have the firm’s older backprint on suggesting it is from the early twenties. The cards are a little over-exposed, but it may be because the darkroom worker has held the process back to retain the details in the face. There is more on the story of Remington’s on the site and in the book Go Home On A Postcard.
No mistaking mother and daughter here, they look so alike on this postcard sized walkie. One of them has dated it to July 1954 on the back but didn’t add where it was taken. I thought at first it might be Filey Brigg in the background, but while it is clearly right on the seafront somewhere I could not get a proper match for those very distinctive street lights until the other day when a card from Bournemouth sea-front turned up.
The second walkie was also initially another mystery, this is a single frame cut from a set of three originally sold on a postcard to one of the two ladies. Frustratingly there wasn’t enough detail in any of the background to give a clue, the photo is only around 1.5″ by 2.5″. It must be from the mid-1920s and seems to be a shopping trip rather than a seaside visit, some three decades before the card above. That advertising board propped up on the left rang a bell though, and I found it in exactly the same place on another walkie which I have identified as one of the main shopping streets in Bournemouth away from the seafront. It advertises shows in Victoria Park in the town.
There are more Bournemouth walkies on the site if you do a search, including a set of three which I have animated.
Another nice vintage walking photograph which was scanned for me from Brian Partridge’s collection. Again unidentified but it had a feel of Aberystwyth sea front , especially the hill looming in the background. This proved to be correct, it is known as Constitution Hill. The two girls are walking back along Victoria Terrace towards town. They may be on holiday be equally they could be students from the university. It is a small photo, and would seem to be cut from a strip. The date is probably mid-1920s. Notice how the darkroom have scrawled the reference number in the edge of the negative.
It’s quite hard to replicate the angle today due to the different lenses, but the dark grey building in the street view matches the one seen over the gentleman’s left shoulder. The footpath can also be seen in this older photo.
There is another Aberystwyth walking picture on the site.
This walking picture is full of life, and looks to be a father having bought his two excited children presents – hard not to imagine it’s a football for the lad under all that brown paper and string. They seem to be walking past a large railway station (there is a big Way In sign in the background) and the feel is of London, but I cannot identify it. The poster hoardings are just too blurred to make anything exact out beyond an advert for Empire Tea. Clearly reasonably well off, his Homburg hat contrasts with the Bowler hat seen in the background, and together with daughter’s smart headwear suggests late 1920s for the date.
It is a postcard sized print (“British Made”!) with a pencil note for the ticket reference on the back, but the frame is printed with quite a large border on all four sides. If anyone can ID the station do get in touch. That might be the letter L of LMS top left, but if so I cannot match this to either Euston or St. Pancras, their London main stations.
This walking picture strip was a few pence and I do find these consecutive images interesting so picked it up without paying much attention. On closer examination it may actually be from a French holiday resort; the back has the French type of layout and the words ‘carte postale’ which is a bit of a clue, but the curious beach tents also look foreign. Otherwise the scene is very much as many British resorts, and shows us that walking pictures were popular everywhere. Of added interest for me was the glimpse of the walking picture kiosk top right, with a couple of people studying walkies pinned to the display. I’ve had a go at animating it, and you can see other animations on the site on the video page.
These two walking picture cards are not identified, nor are the people known. I think they are probably by the firm of Skeg Cards, set up in Skegness by Bert Jackson, as he had the rights to take walkies on the pier from around 1920 onwards. These certainly seem to date from that decade and are typical of the firm. They are also nice sharp images and show a good grasp of the technique needed to capture people on the move. The reference numbers have been written in black ink on the glass negative, and show up white on the prints.
That might be Mum, Dad and grown-up daughter in the top photo [WP869]. He seems laden with supplies perhaps for a sit down at the end of the pier (and is pursing his lips at the camera!), and Mum looks to have a Box camera as well. There is clear interest in what’s going on from a lady in the background, glancing back to watch the cameraman. The image was taken late morning. Many of the buildings behind have now gone (as has most of the pier), but the turreted block of flats top left is still there.
The second card [WP864] must have been taken around the same time, and shows older parents, with Daughter taking her invalided Dad out for a turn. Given the date, he might be a veteran of WW1. His name is Tom, and they were staying at 39 Drummond Road, a guest house in Skegness. He has written a short note of greeting to his relatives back home in pencil on the back. The address on Drummond Road is still a guest house, now called Ivydene, just off the main parade fronting the sea. I wonder if they keep their ‘comments’ books from this long ago?
There are more photographs from the pier in the Go Home On A Postcard book.
These two cheerful looking ladies clearly went on holiday together quite frequently judging from a small pile of walkies I found at a market stall recently, probably from a house clearance. Although they are seen with a small child in some (and perhaps grandchildren in others) and husbands, mostly they were photographed together by the walkie cameraman. The majority of the walkies were taken in Skegness after the War, and one in Margate in the Fifties (when the lady on the left seems to be on her own more) but these two sets here I cannot identify, although I do have others taken on the same spot, so it would be good if anyone does know where it is.
Theses walkies were of the type taken on a converted movie camera and sold as a strip of three, but they were cut into individual frames later by the owners and one is missing from each. I think they were probably taken on the same holiday (judging by the tree in the background which hasn’t changed!), and the lady on the right has a very sharp imitation snake skin pattern handbag in both sets. The rough frame edge of the enlarger is also identical on the final frame in both cases.
Date wise one of the Skegness photos is identified as August 1932, but the women look a little younger in these walkies, so possibly 1929, 1930? The then fashionable beret which suddenly appears in one set might have been a holiday buy…
It seems a popular spot, with people perhaps coming up a slight hidden incline in the background to the seafront from town, and you can see half a dozen people in the background in the scene below waiting their turn to walk toward the camera.