Back to Miss Bradbury! We posted a cut-out walkie with her on here recently. Going through her snapshots a number of walkies emerged, and seem to cover both her and her husband’s holidays over a twenty year period or more. Here are three more. I might have assumed the first to be just a family snapshot except it has the ‘Walking Picture’ backprint. It looks to be late Thirties to me, the dress pattern on what I assume to be proud Mum is very vivid, and it probably qualifies more as a just learned to walkie! The location didn’t have many clues but I thought the arched gable on the right looked like it might be by Scarborough harbour and so it proved (see the then and now below!). This location at Sandside was popular with walkie photographers and Miss Bradbury was snapped here as a teenager in the walkie below.
Walkie two was taken on Blackpool Central Pier in the late Forties. The V1 display which featured on the pier just after the war (which can be seen on the site) has gone but the Bicycle ride is still there. This is a busy walkie scene; Miss Bradbury and her father are walking toward the cameraman, but you can see a queue of people behind them waiting their turn.
Lastly Miss Bradbury is back in Blackpool for walkie three, this time the North Pier, but with her boyfriend (or perhaps by now her husband) on her right (Uncle on her left?) rather than her parents. She also has a box camera of some sort with her and the patterned frock suggests early Fifties.
This unusual walkie came amongst a clutch of snapshots I purchased at the local flea market last week. There was an entire box full of photographs from a house clearance, all from the same family, but very little to identify them. My guess is the teenager in the middle is a Miss Bradbury, flanked by her parents. It looks like she cut their heads out to mount into some sort of oval frame, but kept the rest of the print. The Bradbury’s lived in the Huddersfield area – all the snapshot wallets were from the town – and holidayed across the UK. On this occasion it was Scarborough, where they were snapped by a walkie photographer down by the harbour at a place known as Sandside (which has featured here before) probably in the early Fifties.
I posted these walkies some months ago, which remain a mystery – nobody so far seems to know where Wardoura Motion Pictures operated. Anyhow, I have had a go at animating the two strips to bring them to life a little and give us an idea of the camera operator at work. You can see the original post on the site.
This great walkie catches three women on a morning’s shopping expedition, though we don’t know where, as there is simply not enough clues in the photograph. That seems to be a biggish department store they’re striding past, and we can date it to 1938 as one of them has written it on the back, with two names, Marjorie Nilson and Violet Sawyer. The other woman is simply identified as a “lady friend”. I assume that’s Violet in the centre, with the hard to miss V patterned dress.
A postcard sized print, and no firm named on the back, the three have clearly just spotted the camera in time to smile, but otherwise it’s a very typical unposed walkie portrait.
Just an update on one of the unidentified walkies I posted a few weeks back. When I looked more carefully there was a very faded pencil mark on the back of one, which looked like “Southsea, 1938”. I did some hunting on the web and think the two women were walking down Waverley Road towards the seafront and pier. Southsea is below Portsmouth.
The tops of two very distinctive buildings are visible in the 1938 view. It is almost impossible to get the same angle today but this is the only view which fits the architecture. Almost the whole street on the right has been redeveloped; originally a local branch line came down to a station here (Southsea East). This was shut in 1914 but much of it survived into the Fifties used by local businesses, and has only been replaced relatively recently.
The houses at the end of the street, where the ladies are, seem to have been pulled down to make room for a roundabout, and the shops on the left behind them have mostly been badly converted to low-rent accommodation. Back then there were a number of hotels further down the street (one now converted to a school) and this is perhaps what drew the walkie cameraman to a location which was clearly a lot busier then than it is now.
I’ve not been able to resist having a go at animating one of the strip walkies myself. I decided to use a rare strip of four, as this gives a little more movement, to start with. The occasion was a holiday in Bournemouth in September 1933, and the couple in the walkie strip are Charles Hallam Payne (1870-1960) and his wife Sarah Emma née Parker (1870-1946). The scans were sent to me by Brett Payne in New Zealand from the collection of Barbara Ellison; Charles was his Great Great Uncle. Charles inherited some property and was able to retire early, and from their Derbyshire home the couple took regular holidays, favouring Bournemouth and Great Yarmouth, and assembled a collection of walkie postcards and some strips.
I made an effort to match the frames by layering them together and adjusting as far as possible, but there is still a little distortion caused I assume by movement of the camera (even though it was on a tripod) while it was being cranked. Nevertheless it does give a real feel for the walkie experience.
Brett is another one fascinated by vintage photographs and writes a regular feature on the at http://photo-sleuth.blogspot.com
The first walkie animation is below
This walkie was sent by Christine Edwards who is trying to find the exact location. It shows her parents Don and Kath on their honeymoon in Blackpool in August 1950 (one of them has written the information on the back), dressed in the outfits they were married in. The couple look very happy, and were together for over sixty years.
I sent the image to the Blackpool local studies people who have been able to help in the past, but they drew a blank on this one. I have had a look on street view and cannot spot it either although it does have the look of one of the streets which run down to the promenade. Of course it is possible the block in the background has been redeveloped since the Fifties. Some nice vintage adverts on the end of the wall too.
The walkie firm is unidentified and the photo is a little out of focus, suggesting perhaps a less experienced photographer having a try at the business (the paper is ex-War surplus.)
I will pass any information on to Christine.
This trio of walkies all turned up recently, and all capture two female friends or relatives out shopping by the looks of it. None are identified as yet but the first one has a horse drawn laundry van with ‘Provincial Laundry Whitley Bay’ on the side which suggests the town itself or one nearby. The two younger women are just stepping into the camera range, but the rest of the three frames are lost.
Similarly walking as if they mean it, the next two women may be mother and daughter, she seems very amused to be photographed. I like the idler resting against the lamp post in his Oxford Bags, watching what’s going on. It’s possible he sneaked into a whole set of that morning’s walkies!
Lastly another mother and daughter by the looks of it, both fairly laden from a shopping trip down what looks like a busy street. The woman on the right has just blinked as the shutter clicked! I always associate those wooden garden fencing panels with the concave centres with the seaside, having often dragged sticks or spades along them to make a racket as a child in Bridlington.
As always if anybody recognises the views do get in touch.
This walkie would have been hard to identify but for the fact that someone had scribbled ‘Westcliffe’ in the corner, which helped me identify it. Westcliffe is a coastal suburb of Southend On Sea, a town which we know had walking picture firms operating. I have identified a couple more, but neither have the firms named, nor does this new card. Given walkie photographers usually frequented the most popular spots, I tried the main shopping street and it turns out to be Hamlet Court Road, which leads up from the station. The brick tower with white stone banding in the distance is very hard to miss.
It seems to have been posted along with a couple more walkies inside an envelope to Alice’s friend Ada, and Alice writes in neat script on the back that “These were Sunfilms, taken walking along. Did not know they were being done.” Alice goes on the explain that her husband’s umbrella is not split, but is just a fault in the photo! She is right, it is a dust speck on the negative, and it does look like a tear, but I’m not sure why she would be so worried about it.
There is no date on the card but we know it must be pre-1935 as the locally famous China and Glassware shop Havens (established in 1901) built their new store in the block on the right, and it opened in 1935. Fans of Thirties shop fronts and independent traders will love the fact that it survives and thrives (see photo below) and means I must try and have a look some time. The rest of the street remarkably remains much as it was.
If the walkie is by Sunfilms, then it adds another location for this largely undocumented walking picture firm, which I have featured on this site before.