Whilst my main interest is in the images, walking picture research on this site is providing information for family tree researchers, and we do get quite a few requests for help in identifying unknown walkies which we can sometimes solve. This walking picture is a case in point, sent to me by Annie Goldsen. She knew it showed her mother Mary, the young girl in the centre (aged 7), as well as Mary’s parents (her Mum in the sun visor hat) and her Grandmother, but was keen to know where they were holidaying. It was taken around 1935, and they were clearly off to the beach for a spot of cricket.
I like a challenge; at first I thought it might be Skegness as the white block building was quite like some buildings there, but I drew a blank. In the end it needed a potter through my archives from A – Z, and a match finally turned up in Worthing.
The postcard view below shows the exact spot the family were when the photographer pressed the shutter. The building in the background is amazingly still there, a sort of shelter, changing room and shop combined. Even the buses in the view match.
The walkie would have been one of a strip of three, the reference number is hand-written sideways down the frame edge.
It’s a lovely image, they all seem really happy and having seen him in advance smile for the photographer.
There are quite a few more Worthing walkies on the site if you use the search button.
The fabulous art deco pier at Worthing has escaped the neglect (or worse) suffered by many similar structures around our coast. The buildings have all been restored and the partition which runs down the pier has been adapted to make a great outdoor display area. The local arts group Creative Waves works hard to use this and the entire seafront area to put a new project together each summer. It looks like a model of how to make use of a great resource and help bring people back for a visit.
For 2016 one of the focus points was the seaside postcard, and they asked Go Home On A Postcard to co-operate by sending some of the walking pictures taken in Worthing to use as part of this, which we were happy to do. Worthing was an outpost of the multi-franchised Sunny Snaps walking picture empire, and there were a number to choose from. One of my favourites is shown above, you can read more about the image on our site.
There are all sorts of displays and related art works going on around the pier, including some new takes on those head in a hole boards for people to pose with (they are great to do, but it’s hard to decide exactly what to feature in these more PC times -paintings of knock-kneed Scotsmen or bosomy women in ill-fitting bathing costumes are not likely to get past the local authority these days!).
From this distance (238.2 miles!) it’s a little confusing to work out exactly what’s going on from the Creative Waves website, and they have not sent me any photographs of how the images have been used (so the image above is from an older display), but if I leave it any longer to mention it may all be over! And if you’re in the area it’s a day at the seaside, so what’s not to like?
Following on from the page about Sunny Snaps in Worthing, I found this card. It’s a great image, the two young women (sisters by the look of it) in trouser skirts striding purposefully along, looking directly at the camera. As the card is only marked South Coast, I’d be stuck for the location but happily one of the women posted the card (perhaps to their parents, Mr and Mrs Marks, in Ashford) and this shows it to be sent from Worthing. Even better, the card writer comments directly about the photograph being taken: “We seem to have collected a few of these ghastly things so you are obviously doomed to have one. Actually we did not know it was being taken or it would not be sent to you looking as grim as this! “
Grim or not, Wilks and Epps (nicknames it’s hard to decipher over seventy years later) obviously dropped by to see it on display and overcame what sounds like a slightly middle-class view of walkies enough to buy it, and others taken on the same holiday.
I can just make out some signs for Kodak and Selo Films on the shop front behind them, so perhaps Sunny Snaps was operating from this location as well.