Doran  - Brighton Photographer

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Frank Doran - School Photographer in Brighton and Hove

[ABOVE] A School Class Photograph by Frank Doran of  43 George Street, West Brighton (Hove). Cabinet Photograph (c1895)

 

Frank DORAN (born 1860, Hoxton, London)  

Frank Doran was born in Hoxton in the central London district of Shoreditch in 1860. Frank was the son of Ann and Thomas Doran, a dyer by trade. Thomas Doran (born c1833, Bethnal Green, London) married Ann Daker (born c1836 Harrogate, Yorkshire) in Leeds in 1855. The couple's first child, Thomas Doran junior, was born in Leeds around 1858, but a couple of years later the Doran family moved down to London. By 1868, Thomas Doran and his family were living in Woolwich, Kent. At the time of the 1881 census, Thomas and Ann Doran, together with their seven children, were living at 86 Powis Street, Woolwich. The two eldest sons, Thomas Doran and Frank Doran, were both working as photographers. Frank Doran is described on the census return as a twenty year old "Photographer". In his later advertisements, Frank Doran claimed that he had been taking photographs since 1876, which means he started his photographic career at the age of  been sixteen.

Not long after the 1881 census was completed, Frank Doran married Ellen ("Nellie") Campling. [The marriage of Frank Doran and Ellen Elizabeth Campling was registered in Kensington, during the Second Quarter of 1881]. Ellen Elizabeth Campling (born 1862, Liverpool) was the daughter of Fanny and George Campling (born c1833, Norwich), a tailor working in Woolwich. Early in 1882, Nellie Doran gave birth to a daughter named Maud Evelyn Doran [birth registered in the Woolwich district of Kent during the First Quarter of 1882]. A second child, a son named Frank Edgar Doran, was born in Peckham, London, a couple of years later [ birth registered in the Camberwell district of London during the Second Quarter of 1884].

Frank Doran - Photographer in Hove

By the time the 1891 census was taken, Frank Doran was working as a photographer in Hove. The 1891 census records Frank and Nellie Doran living with their two children, nine year old Maud and seven year old Frank junior, at 43 George Street, Hove. Frank Doran is entered on the census return as a "Photographer (Employer)", aged 30. Frank Doran's name and address does not appear in the lists of photographic studios that were published in local trade directories between 1891 and 1894. This might mean that Doran did not maintain a conventional portrait studio and was primarily a travelling photographer. Most of the surviving examples of Frank Doran's photographic work feature school pupils and it is therefore likely that Doran and his employees travelled from one school to another with their cameras and portable equipment.

Frank Doran makes his first appearance as a professional photographer in two trade directories issued in 1895. Kelly's 1895 Directory of Sussex and H. & J. Barnes' Popular Directory for Brighton, Hove and Preston, published in 1895, both list Frank Doran as a photographer at 43 George Street, Hove.

By 1898, Frank Doran had left Hove and had established a new base for his photographic activities at 64 Church Street, Brighton. Frank Doran is listed as a professional photographer at 64 Church Street, Brighton in the 1898 edition of Towner's Brighton and Suburban Directory.

[ABOVE] Frank Doran listed as a photographer at 64 Church Street, Brighton (Towner's Brighton and Suburban Directory, 1898 ).

[ABOVE] The reverse of a school class cabinet photograph by Frank Doran of 43 George Street, West Brighton (c1895). The text of the publicity reads as follows : "Copies can be had any time during 20 years. Frank Doran, Portrait, Landscape and Architectural Photographer. Studio - 43 George Street, West Brighton. Home Portraits, Groups & every description of Photography undertaken. Distance No Object. Photographs Copied , also Enlarged & Finished in Oil, Water or Crayon."

 

School Group Photographs by Frank Doran

[ABOVE] A School Class Photograph by Frank Doran of  43 George Street, West Brighton (c1895).

[ABOVE] A School Class Photograph by Frank Doran of  43 George Street, Hove. (c1892). This school photograph was probably taken at a school in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. This class photograph is believed to include one of the children of Fanny and Edward James Morley of  Bexhill-on-Sea.

 [ PHOTO: Courtesy of  Rosemary Rickard Thornton of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA ]

[ABOVE] A school class photograph taken at the Ringmer Board School by Frank Doran of  64 Church Street, Brighton (c1897).

[ PHOTO: Courtesy of  Robyn Fisher of Australia ]

[ABOVE] The Lower Division Class at East Preston National School, photographed by Frank Doran (c1900). The teacher standing at the right of the group is probably John Reeve (born 1863, Morton, Lincolnshire), who was the School Master at East Preston National School from 1887. His wife, Mrs Helen Reeve (born 1860, Enfield, Middlesex) was the School Mistress at the school. The East Preston National School was built in 1885 and was enlarged in 1898 to serve 150 pupils.

 

 

Frank Doran - Photographer in Brighton

By 1898, Frank Doran had established a new photography business at 64 Church Street, Brighton. Two consecutive editions of Towner's Brighton and Suburban Directory list Frank Doran as a "Photographic Artist" at 64 Church street, Brighton in 1898 and 1899. Before the end of 1899, Frank Doran and his family had moved to 53 Upper North Street, Brighton. by this date, Doran was no longer working as a full-time photographer. Kelly's 1899 Trade Directory lists Frank Doran as a "Furniture Dealer" at 53 Upper North Street, Brighton. The 1901 census records Frank Doran and his wife at 53 Upper North Street. Forty year old Frank Doran's occupation is entered on the census return as " Furniture - General Dealer (own account), working from home". Maud Doran, Frank's nineteen year old daughter, is described on the census return as a "Shop Woman". Frank's son, Frank Edgar Doran was lodging elsewhere in Brighton when the census return was completed. Frank Doran junior is entered on the 1901 census return as a "Pawnbroker's Assistant". [ Frank's only son, Frank Edgar Doran, died in Croydon, Surrey in 1907, at the age of 22 ]. Living with Frank Doran senior at 53 Upper North Street, Brighton was Charles Fitzroy, a sixty-five year old widower, described as a "Furniture Dealer's Assistant". Frank's wife Ellen, affectionately known as "Nellie", is entered on the census return as "Helen Doran". By 1905, Mrs Helen Doran was letting out apartments at  27 Upper North Street, Brighton.

Although Frank Doran worked primarily as a furniture dealer between 1899 and 1919, there is evidence that he was still deriving an income from his school photograph business. By 1911, Frank Doran was residing at 16 Kingsley Road in the Preston Park area of Brighton. Souvenir portrait photographs of school children were issued printed with Frank Doran's home address of 16 Kingsley Road, Brighton. Although working mainly as a furniture dealer, Frank Doran is described as an "expert photographer" with 35 years experience in photography. Doran was still taking portraits of school pupils in the early 1920s when he could make the claim that he had been in business as a photographer for 45 years.

[ABOVE] Frank Doran listed as a photographer at 64 Church Street, Brighton (Towner's Brighton and Suburban Directory, 1898 ).

Coronation Souvenir Portrait by Frank Doran (1911)

Coronation Souvenir Portraits (1911)

[ABOVE] An example of the Coronation Souvenir Portraits which Frank Doran produced to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary of England in 1911. Frank Doran photographed pupils at their school and then produced small individual portraits in a specially designed mount. The small photographic portraits cost only a penny and could be purchased via the class teacher. Parents could order enlargements by contacting Frank Doran at his home address of 16 Kingsley Road, Brighton. Mounted enlargements, measuring approximately 8 inches by six inches, cost one shilling. Special "highly finished" copies were sold to parents for 2s 6d.

 

 

 

Pupils' Souvenir Portraits of the Great War (1914-1918). Postcards by Frank Doran

[ABOVE] Examples of Frank Doran's Postcard Souvenir Portraits produced during the First World War. As with his other souvenir portraits, Frank Doran photographed pupils at their school and then produced individual portraits on a specially designed mount. The child's photographic portrait was re-photographed on a card decorated with flags of the Allied Powers and the emotive words "Honour" and "Freedom". The postcard portrait carried the words "SOUVENIR OF THE GREAT WAR" and a range of dates beginning with 1914, the year war was declared. The second date referred to the year the photograph was taken. The presence of these "end dates" has led to the assumption that the postcards commemorated the death of the subject during the First World War. However, school girls as well as school boys were photographed and identified sitters were still young children when the war ended in 1918. [ FAR LEFT : Postcard portrait of a young member of the Stoner family, photographed at a Brighton school in 1916.  [PHOTO : courtesy of Jill Langridge] SECOND LEFT :  Postcard portrait of Rose Adelaide Lillywhite (born 1908), taken at St Andrew's School Portslade in 1916.  [PHOTO: Courtesy of  Beryl Tucknott]. The  two boys pictured on the right have not been identified.

"Souvenir of the Great War" Portrait of Lionel James "Jim" Cremer (1916)

Family photographs relating to Lionel James "Jim" Cremer, including portraits of his father, mother and siblings can be found on the World War 1 Commemorations website of St Andrew's Church, Great Ryburgh at the following link: John William "Charles" Cremer (1869-1914)

[ABOVE] Lionel James "Jim" Cremer pictured in a 'Souvenir Portrait of the Great War' produced by  Frank Doran of 16 Kingsley Road, Brighton in 1916. Lionel James Cremer was born  at Countess Weir (Wear) near Exeter, Devon, in 1910, the youngest son of Mary and  John William "Charles" Cremer (born 1869, Little Ryburgh, Norfolk), a professional soldier. At the time of the 1911 census Sergeant "Charles" Cremer was serving in the 149th Battery of the Royal Field Artillery and was living in Countess Weir, Devon with his wife and their 4 children - Bert William (born 1905), Frances Mary (born 1907), Edward (born 1908) and Lionel James Cremer (born 1910). In October 1914, Serjeant/ Saddler J. W."Charles" Cremer was serving with the 47th Howitzer Battery of the Royal Field Artillery near Ypres. On 1st November 1914, Serjeant Cremer was killed by enemy shellfire. After the death of his father, Lionel James "Jim" Cremer was sent to an orphanage in Brighton. It was while attending a school in Brighton in 1916 that Lionel James "Jim" Cremer was photographed by Frank Doran.

[ PHOTO: Courtesy of  John Cremer ]

School Portrait by Frank Doran (c1921)

[ABOVE] A school portrait photograph by Frank Doran of 16 Kingsley Road, Brighton (c1921). Frank Doran photographed pupils at their school and then arranged the purchase of the portrait by the parent via the class teacher. Parents could order enlargements by contacting Frank Doran at his home address. Mounted enlargements, measuring approximately 8 inches by six inches, cost three shillings and sixpence. Special "highly finished" copies were sold to parents for 5 shillings. The subject in this school portrait is Ralph Walter Marchant who was born in the Preston district of Brighton in 1910.

 [ PHOTO: Courtesy of  Darren Hopkinson ]

 

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Jill Langridge for providing a "Souvenir of the Great War" postcard which features a young member of the Stoner family. Thanks to Beryl Tucknott for providing a "Souvenir of the Great War" postcard portrait of her mother, Rose Adelaide Lillywhite. A special thank you to Beryl Tucknott for providing information about the circumstances surrounding the "Souvenir of the Great War" postcard portraits. Thanks also to Sue Craig of East Brighton Bygones. Thanks to Darren Hopkinson for providing the school photograph of Ralph Marchant. Thanks to Peter Merett  for supplying the school class cabinet photograph with the publicity on the reverse. Thanks to Robyn Fisher of Australia for providing the group photograph of a class at Ringmer Board School and to Rosemary Rickard Thornton of Raleigh, North Carolina, USA for the school group photograph taken by Frank Doran at Bexhill-on-Sea. Thanks to John Cremer for providing the "Souvenir of the Great War" postcard portrait of his great uncle Lionel James Cremer.

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