Gardiner (Worthing)

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 Annie Gardiner & Walter Gardiner - Worthing Photographers

[ABOVE] Annie Gardiner and Walter Gardiner, the married couple who established the photographic studio of "Walter Gardiner" at Bath Place, Worthing in 1893. Mrs Annie Gardiner, pictured on the left (c1895), was born in Wallingford, Berkshire in 1864, the daughter of  the photographer Henry Jenkins. Annie Jenkins, who had assisted her father in his photographic studio since the ageof twelve and had served an apprenticeship with the Aylesbury photographers Maria and Samuel Glendenning Payne, was probably the more experienced photographer when she married Walter Gardiner in 1887. Walter James Gardiner, pictured on the right, became a very accomplished photographer, but as a young man he was more interested in becoming a successful businessman. In Australia, Walter "looked around for a good business proposition" and a career in photography was just one of many possible options. Walter's first choice was to "go into poultry rearing on a large scale" and he only turned to photography as a commercial venture after his poultry farm was well established.  [PHOTOS : Courtesy of Mike Hemsley of WGphoto]

Walter James GARDINER ( born 1862, Maidstone - died 1938 )


Annie GARDINER ( born 1864, Wallingford, Berkshire )

Walter Gardiner's Family Background

Walter James Gardiner was born on 6th May 1862 in Maidstone, Kent. Walter was the second of three children born to John Gardiner and his first wife Harriett Fuller. Walter's father, John Job Gardiner was born in Oxford in 1830, the son of Mary and James Gardiner, a mason from Bletchingdon. On 22nd August 1859, John Job Gardiner, then aged 29, married Harriet Fuller (born 1840, Boxley, Kent) at Boxley, a village situated between Maidstone and Chatham. The couple set up home in Maidstone, Kent, where their first child, Sarah Ann Gardiner was born during the First Quarter of 1860. Walter James Gardiner, the couple's first son, was born in Maidstone a few years later in 1862. John and Harriet's third child, John Gardiner, was born in Maidstone during the 2nd Quarter of 1864.

After the birth of his third child, John Gardiner returned to his home city of Oxford with his wife and three children. Harriett Gardiner, John Gardiner's first wife, died in Oxford during the 2nd Quarter of 1869 at the age of twenty-nine. Within a year, John Gardiner married for a second time. John Gardiner's new wife was Alice Ann Bloxham, the twenty-seven year old daughter of Mary Ann Butler and William Bloxham, a labourer from Chacombe in Oxfordshire. Alice Ann Bloxham was born in Wardington, Oxfordshire on 12th February 1843 and was baptised within the Banbury Methodist Circuit on 19th March, 1843. When Alice Ann Bloxham married John Job Gardiner in the Banbury District during the 2nd Quarter of 1870, the young woman was taking on a forty-year old widower with three young children aged six, eight and ten. During her long marriage to John Gardiner, Alice gave birth to another eight children - William Edwin Gardiner (born 1871, Oxford - died 1890, Oxford), Percy Gardiner (born 1872, Oxford), Mary Gardiner (born 1874, Oxford), Vida Castle Gardiner (born 1876, Oxford), Eveleen (Evelyn) Gardiner (born 1878, Oxford - died 1895, Headington), Dorothy Margaret Gardiner (born 1879, Oxford), James Gardiner (born 1880, Oxford) and Louis (Lewis) Gardiner (born 1882, Oxford).

At the time of the 1881 census, John J. Gardiner (born 1830 Oxford), was employed as the Bailiff of Oxford Market and is recorded as living at No 9 Market Street, Oxford, with his wife Alice and his ten children. (The couple's last child, Louis, was born a year later in 1882). In the 1881 census return, Walter James Gardiner, John Gardiner's eldest son, is listed as an eighteen year old "Ironmonger's Assistant".

Walter Gardiner and Annie Elizabeth Jenkins

In August 1887, at the age of twenty-five, Walter James Gardiner married Annie Elizabeth Jenkins (born 19th January 1864, Wallingford, Berkshire) in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Annie Jenkins was the daughter of Elizabeth Barrett Payne and Henry Jenkins (born 1838), a photographer and hairdresser of Wallingford, Berkshire. From the age of twelve, Annie assisted her father in his photography business, retouching his photographic portraits. For a few years she was apprenticed to her aunt and uncle, the Aylesbury photographers Samuel Glendenning Payne ( born 1835 Aylesbury, Bucks.) and Maria Payne (born c1842, Kettering, Northants.). Annie was probably trained as a photo colourist as her aunt and uncle employed at least four colourists at their studio at 43 New Road, Aylesbury. In 1881, Annie Jenkins, then aged only 17, was working as a "Photographer & Hairdresser's Assistant" at her father's shop. Later that year, Annie moved with her family to Tunbridge Wells, Kent, where her father took over the studio of David Robert Everest at 40 Grosvenor Road. On 31st August 1887, Annie Elizabeth Jenkins married Walter James Gardiner at the Baptist Tabernacle in Tunbridge Wells.

Walter and Annie Gardiner in Australia

Walter and Annie Gardiner had decided to emigrate and on 1st September 1887, the day after their marriage, they departed on the migrant passenger ship "Austral", bound for New Zealand. During the long voyage, the young couple heard stories that New Zealand, the country where they had hoped they would make their fortune, was, as Annie wrote at the time, "in a fearful state", where "business is nothing" and investors were "getting no interest". After a voyage of six weeks, the"Austral" called in at the Australian port of Melbourne, where Walter and Annie decided to disembark and give up on the idea of settling in New Zealand. In a letter to her family in England, Annie Gardiner wrote from Melbourne: "Very pleased to step on land again and leave the wretched old ship. Employment is very scarce here. Everyone crowds into this centre and so on Monday, Walter and I are going up country to a part our friends advise - Bairnsdale, a place of 2000 to 3000 inhabitants is a town of a very large district. The land is wonderfully good. They say we can get a grant of three acres each if we settle here."

Walter and Annie Gardiner made their way to Bairnsdale, a developing town some 170 miles east of Melbourne. First settled by Europeans in 1842, Bairnsdale had grown into a township when gold was discovered nearby in the 1850s. After the "gold rush" was over, many of the miners settled in the Bairnsdale area and made a living by farming and market gardening. By 1888, Walter and Annie had bought some land about three miles from the centre of Bairnsdale and had started a poultry and egg farm. When they first arrived in Bairnsdale, Walter and Annie Gardiner were pleased with their decision to settle in this part of Australia and were confident that they could make a good living in the district of Bairnsdale. In a letter home, Annie Gardiner wrote : " ... we are now in a regular Kent, hops and all, with plenty of rivers and lakes. Lovely climate, grow anything, and what is better still, the place is just taking a rush ahead for the railway is to be opened here next month and a bridge is to be built which will double the value of land." The Gardiners were determined to start a business in the area, but Annie's letters reveal that initially they were not sure what type of commercial venture would suit them. Annie reported that Walter was looking around for a good business proposition. In one letter, Annie Gardiner wrote : "We called at several wholesale houses dealing in all sorts of trades; our pile of circulars would amuse you, from boots to photographic goods". Walter Gardiner eventually decided to establish an egg and poultry business on the ten acres of land he had purchased on the outskirts of Bairnsdale. The poultry farm provided a living but, according to Annie, Walter Gardiner continued to look around for a business opportunity in Bairnsdale. An additional income became a particular priority after the arrival of children. Walter and Annie's first child, John Henry Gardiner was born in Bairnsdale on 9th May 1888. Annie gave birth to a second son, Frank Barrett Gardiner, on 1st October 1889. A third boy, William Raphael Gardiner, arrived on 8th May 1891.

The Gardiners had brought with them some photographic equipment, including a half-plate camera, and were able to supplement their income from their farm by taking portraits and views of the surrounding countryside. Annie Gardiner noted in her letters that "Bairnsdale is in the heart of the only extensive lake district in Australia  and the holiday resort of all the swells and rich visitors to the colony". According to Geoffrey Godden, some of the landscape photographs taken by Walter and Annie Gardiner were specially commissioned by view publishers. Eventually, Walter and Annie Gardiner founded the photography firm of Gardiner & Co., establishing a studio in Main Street, Bairnsdale. The Gardiner's career as professional photographers in Australia was brief. After five years of trying to build a new life in Australia, economic circumstances finally forced the Gardiners to quit Bairnsdale. The Gardiners had arrived in Bairnsdale at the height of the land boom, but very soon the property market collapsed and banks began to fail. By the time the Gardiners returned to England around 1893, Bairnsdale and other towns in Victoria, Australia were experiencing a severe economic depression.

From Bairnsdale, Walter and Annie Gardiner journeyed across Australia to the port of Fremantle in Western Australia. On 11th April 1893, before the Gardiner family set sail for England, Annie Gardiner gave birth to yet another son, Ernest Fremantle Gardiner, whose middle name commemorated their stay in Western Australia.

[ABOVE] A very poor image of the design that appeared on the reverse of portraits produced by Gardiner & Co. in Bairnsdale, Australia. Walter and Annie Gardiner apparently established a photographic studio in Bairnsdale's Main Street around 1890, a couple of years before the couple left Australia and returned to England. The business address reads "North Gippsland Photographic Depot, GARDINER & Co., Alpha Studio, Main Street, BAIRNSDALE".

[ABOVE] A portrait of Walter Gardiner's step mother, Mrs Alice Ann Gardiner, probably taken by Walter himself. (c1897). [PHOTO : Courtesy of Mike Hemsley of WGphoto]

[ABOVE] A portrait of Walter Gardiner taken around the time he returned to England from Australia and set himself up as a photographer in Worthing (c1893)

[ABOVE] A map of the area around Melbourne, Victoria, showing the location of Bairnsdale (highlighted in yellow) in South East Australia, where Walter and Annie Gardiner lived between 1887 and 1893.

Walter and Annie Gardiner's Children


Date and Place of Birth

John Henry GARDINER 9th May 1888, Bairnsdale, VIC. Australia
Frank Barrett GARDINER 1st October 1889, Bairnsdale, VIC. Australia
William Raphael GARDINER 8th May 1891, Bairnsdale, VIC. Australia
Ernest Fremantle GARDINER 11th April 1893, Fremantle, West. Australia
Gladys GARDINER 2nd July 1896, Worthing, Sussex
Joyce GARDINER 15th September 1897, Worthing, Sussex
Hubert James GARDINER 23rd March 1901, Worthing, Sussex
Mark GARDINER 6th August 1906, Worthing, Sussex
[ABOVE] Details of the eight children born to Annie and Walter Gardiner

Walter and Annie Gardiner in Worthing

At the end of their time in Australia, Walter and Annie Gardiner had run a portrait studio and photographic depot in the town of Bairnsdale. Given Annie's experience in photography and Walter's recent spell as a studio photographer in Australia, the choice of a career on their return to England appeared obvious.  In 1893, with the financial assistance of family members, Walter Gardiner and his wife Annie purchased the photographic business of Edward Pattison Pett at Bath Place, Worthing. Over a period of twelve years or more, the photographer Edward Pattison Pett (1845-1896) had built up a successful business at his studio in Bath Place. The studio, which was situated at the top of a handsome neo-classical style building near the seafront, was equipped with the standard north-facing skylight and all the photographic equipment necessary for successful daylight portraiture.

Under the studio name of "Walter Gardiner", the husband and wife team produced carte-de-visite and cabinet format portraits, photographic illustrations for town guide books and other local publications, and early picture postcards, featuring views of Worthing.



[ABOVE] The trade plate of Walter Gardiner, photographer of  Bath Place, Worthing (c1895).

Walter Gardiner's Bath Place Studio in Worthing

[ABOVE] A photographic illustration showing the interior of Walter Gardiner's photographic studio in Bath Place, Worthing (c1895). (An  exterior view of the studio's main entrance can be seen in the inset picture in the top right-hand corner - see an enlarged version of this picture on the right).

The photographic studio in Bath Place, Worthing, was established around 1859 by the veteran photographer Samuel Fox (1801-1867). This studio, which Fox called The Worthing Photographic Institute was situated in Bath Buildings, next to the Royal Sea House Hotel on Marine Parade. When Samuel Fox died in Worthing early in 1867, his photography business passed first to his widow, Mrs Catherine Fox and then to her two eldest daughters, Annette and Blanche Fox. The famous photography firm of James Russell & Sons of Chichester acquired the Bath Place studio around 1873. It appears that Josiah Russell (born 1839, Chichester) was persuaded to close his own premises in Worthing's High Street and take control of the Bath Place studio on behalf of his father and brothers. When Josiah Russell left Worthing around 1877, the managerial duties at the Bath Place studio passed to Edward Pattison Pett (1845-1896). Edward Pattison Pett managed Russell & Sons' Worthing branch until about 1880, when he took over the ownership of the Bath Place studio. In 1893, E. Pattison Pett sold the business to Walter & Annie Gardiner.

The Gardiner's Bath Place studio in Worthing was in a prime position, located near the Seafront, not far from Worthing Pier and the Royal Hotel.




[ABOVE] A photographic illustration produced in the early 1890s showing the exterior of Edward Pattison Pett's photographic studio in Bath Place, Worthing. [ A halftone photo-engraving with the trade mark signature of  Georg Meisenbach, the inventor of this half-tone printing process]. In 1893, Walter and Annie Gardiner purchased the Bath Place studio from Edward Pattison Pett. After seven years at the Bath Place Studio, the Gardiner's opened a new studio on The Broadway, Worthing.


[ABOVE] A portrait of unknown woman, taken at Walter Gardiner's Worthing Studio(c1915)

[ABOVE] A studio portrait of a street musician, photographed by Walter Gardiner in his daylight studio. [PHOTO : Courtesy of Mike Hemsley of WGphoto]

[ABOVE] Portrait of a woman holding a strip of lace, a carte-de-visite portrait by Walter Gardiner of The Broadway, Brighton Road, Worthing [c1902]


Photographic Portraits from the Walter Gardiner Studio


Click here to view  photographic portraits from the Walter Gardiner studio (1893-1910)


Walter Gardiner - Pioneer of the Picture Postcard [ This section has drawn heavily on the work of Geoffrey Godden, author of the article "Walter Gardiner, Postcard Pioneer" and the excellent book "Collecting Picture Postcards", which contains a section on the early picture postcards produced by Walter Gardiner ]

Geoffrey Godden, the author of the book "Collecting Picture Postcards", has described Walter Gardiner as "a pioneer designer of British local-view postcards". Tony Byatt, another expert on the history of picture postcards, discovered that Walter Gardiner had registered a set of designs for pictorial postcards and notepaper at the Stationer's Hall on 8th October 1894, only five weeks after the British Post Office had made the decision to allow private individuals to produce their own picture postcards.

The pictorial postcards designed by Walter Gardiner were unusual in that they incorporated pictures derived from photographic views rather than line drawings. Walter Gardiner's pictorial postcards featured small pictures which were based on Gardiner's own photographs of Worthing and the surrounding area. The earliest "local view" picture postcards published around September 1894 featured engraved line drawings of Scarborough. Walter Gardiner's pictorial cards of October 1894 were possibly the first picture postcards to include local views taken from photographs. Walter Gardiner's photographic views were turned into images that could be printed in large numbers by the process of zincography, an early form of photographic engraving. The zincographic process involved coating a zinc plate with light sensitive chemicals and then transferring the photographic image by either exposing the plate in contact with a glass photographic negative or from a chromo-carbon print. The process of zincography or photo-zincography enabled Gardiner's individual photographs to be reproduced mechanically on a printing press. In the registration records at the Stationer's Hall in London, Walter Gardiner in his role as photographer and designer was entered as "the author" of the pictorial card designs, yet the "proprietor of copyright" of the picture postcards is named as Charles Fibbens (1848-1925), a former newspaper reporter and stationer, who, as co-owner of The Worthing Gazette, had access to the company's printing press. Walter Gardiner the Photographer and Charles Fibbens the Publisher formed a viable partnership in the production of "local view" picture postcards.

Walter Gardiner's pictorial cards were issued as a set, each card featuring a number of photograph-based views linked together by decorative drawings of fruit, flowers and foliage. Walter Gardiner's postcard designs included at least forty different local views, probably all photographed by Gardiner himself. A surviving publicity sheet for Gardiner's pictorial postcards proclaimed that each card contained "several views of Worthing and its vicinity, including the Sea Front, the Pier, the Park, the Town Hall, the principal Hotels, the Gig Garden and Archbishop Becket's Palace, West tarring, Broadwater Church, &c., &c." Geoffrey Godden, who has studied the history of the picture postcard, has suggested Gardiner's pictorial cards were "perhaps the first to use photographs, rather than drawings and engravings" on a British picture postcard.

Walter Gardiner was a creative innovator in the production of picture postcards and photographic greetings cards. In November 1894, Gardiner placed the following advert in the Worthing Gazette :

Special for the Christmas Season : Portraits mounted as Christmas Cards, without extra charge. Worthing Views as Christmas Cards.

Call at the Studio, Bath Pace. Walter Gardiner, Photographer.

From around 1900, Walter and Annie Gardiner also produced their own specially designed pictorial postcards to promote their photographic business. These personalised advertising postcards from "Mr & Mrs Walter Gardiner" carried details of their two studios and pictures that illustrated their work as "Photographers & Miniature Painters". On one of these personalised publicity cards produced in 1902, a miniature portrait of two girls within a small locket, presumably drawn by Annie Gardiner, was printed in the corner of the illustrated card to promote Mrs Gardiner's work as a miniature artist.

From 1902, with the introduction of divided-back postcards, where the address and message could be written on one side of the card, permitting the whole of the other side to carry a picture or photograph, Walter Gardiner was able to produce "real photograph" postcards which could feature local views and events and standard studio portraits. (see Walter Gardiner in the Age of the Picture Postcard below ).

[ABOVE] A Pictorial Postcard designed by Walter Gardiner, incorporating photographic views taken by the Worthing photographer (c1894). Gardiner deliberately included pictures of grapes and tomatoes in his design to emphasize the seaside resort's fine climate and promote Worthing's market gardening. Under the picture of Worthing beach, the artist-photographer has printed "Designed by Walter Gardiner". The sender of the postcard would write a message in the blank space beneath the pictorial design. The details of the addressee and the halfpenny adhesive stamp would be placed on the other side of the card.

[ABOVE] A publicity sheet advertising Walter Gardiner's Pictorial Postcards, the designs of which Gardiner had registered in October 1894. The designs of these pictorial postcards featured photographic views of Worthing ornamented with pictures of  flowers and fruit. The above publicity sheet follows the design format of  Walter Gardiner's Pictorial Postcards, with photographic views and flower illustrations bordering the text of the advertising. On Gardiner's original pictorial postcards the space occupied by the printed text would have been left blank for the sender's hand-written message.

The Broadway Studio

[ABOVE LEFT] The Broadway, Worthing, where Walter Gardiner opened a new portrait studio in July 1900. [ABOVE RIGHT] Picture postcard of The Broadway, Worthing, photographed from the opposite direction.

[ABOVE] A photographic view of  the Walter Gardiner studio on The Broadway, Worthing (c1930).

[PHOTO : Courtesy of Mike Hemsley of WGphoto]

In July 1900, the Gardiners opened a new studio at The Broadway, Brighton Road, Worthing. The Worthing Gazette of 25th July 1900 reported that the Gardiner's new Broadway Studio would open the next day on Thursday, 26th July 1900. The article in the Worthing Gazette explained that Mr & Mrs Gardiner realised that "their well known premises in Bath Place are far from sufficient for ordinary purposes and they have accordingly displayed considerable enterprise in supplementing the accommodation by means of a very handsome and suitable establishment in what is very aptly named The Broadway, in Brighton Road."

The Broadway on Worthing's Brighton Road was a new development consisting of a parade of shops in a tree-lined avenue that ran from the northern end of The Steyne to the bottom of Park Road. For a brief time, the Gardiners ran the long established Bath Place studio alongside their modern new studio in The Broadway, but within a few years the old studio was closed. In 1903, The Broadway Studio was being advertised by Mr & Mrs Gardiner as the "largest studio in South England". The Gardiner's studio was located at 10 & 11 The Broadway on the corner of a parade of attractive shops. The photographic portrait studio was located at the top of a large, three-storey building. On the ground floor of the building was a shop that sold picture postcards and framed photographs of views of Worthing and attractive places in the vicinity.

The Walter Gardiner Studio was very much a family business. When the Broadway Studio opened in July 1900, the proprietors were listed as Mr & Mrs Walter Gardiner. As young men, Mr and Mrs Gardiner's sons Frank and William worked alongside their parents in the Broadway Studio. After serving in the First World War, Frank Barrett Gardiner (born 1889, Bairnsdale, Australia) established his own photographic studio in Hemel Hempstead, but his younger brother William remained at his parents' studio  Worthing.

The Gardiners continued at the Broadway Studio well into the the twentieth century. When Walter Gardiner retired around 1929, his son William Raphael Gardiner (born 1891, Bairnsdale, Australia) took over the running of the photography business. The Walter Gardiner Photographic Studio was eventually passed on to William Gardiner's son, Derek Gardiner (born 1924, Worthing). The firm of Walter Gardiner Photography continues in Worthing to this day under the name of WGphoto.



[ABOVE] Detail from the picture postcard of The Broadway, Worthing, illustrated above right. Walter Gardiner's studio can be seen in the centre, framed by the trees. A sign near the doorway proclaims Gardiner "The Children's Photographer".

[ABOVE] Picture postcard of The Broadway, Brighton Road, Worthing, showing, on the far right, Walter Gardiner's studio and shop. Rows of picture postcards can be seen in Gardiner's shop window (1901).

Walter Gardiner in the Age of the Picture Postcard

[ABOVE] A picture postcard of a Worthing Concert Party by Walter Gardiner( c1910). A credit of "WALTER GARDINER, Worthing" , printed in green ink appears on the reverse of this postcard.




[ABOVE] A postcard portrait by Walter Gardiner, Broadway Studio, Worthing (1910).


Walter Gardiner and Local Politics


ABOVE] A detail from a printed portrait gallery featuring thirty-one elected members of  The First Council of Greater Worthing in 1903. Councillor Walter Gardiner can be seen in the middle of the bottom row in this detail. Councillor Francis Tate ( at the extreme right of the top row) was a master stonemason by trade, but also operated a photographic studio in Worthing between 1895 and 1899. Walter Gardiner served on the borough council for 33 years and was elected Mayor of Worthing in 1925.



Photographic Portraits from the Walter Gardiner Studio


Click here to view  photographic portraits from the Walter Gardiner studio (1893-1910)

The Walter Gardiner Archive

Up until recent times, the firm of WGphoto held many of the glass negatives produced by the studio of Walter Gardiner between 1893 and 1955. A selection of these images can be viewed in the archive section of the WGphoto website. In November 2007, Mike Hemsley, the owner of WGphoto placed around 116,000 images from the Walter Gardiner Archive into the safe hands of West Sussex County Library Services for posterity (see below for more details)

A selection of images from the Walter Gardiner Archive can be viewed at . There are also links to the archive through the picture of Gardiner's Bath Place Studio in 1893 (left).


The Walter Gardiner Archive - News Update (November 2007)

When the husband and wife team of Walter and Annie Gardiner purchased the studio of Edward Pattison Pett at Bath Place, Worthing in 1893, they acquired a number of the photographic negatives which had been produced by Pett over the previous decade. Under the studio name of "Walter Gardiner", Walter and Annie Gardiner took thousands of photographs over a period of thirty years or more. The Gardiner photographs included studio portraits taken at the Bath Place Studio and their new studio on The Broadway in Worthing's London Road, views of the town, and photographs of activities and events taken on location in Worthing and the surrounding area. Images captured by the Gardiners' camera included picturesque views of everyday life in and around the villages of Burpham, Findon and Salvington and notable events, such as the early flights from Shoreham Aerodrome (Shoreham Airport) in 1910. The photographs taken by Edward Pattison Pett in the 1880s and the Gardiners during the late Victorian period and the first few decades of the twentieth century provided the foundation for The Walter Gardiner Archive. After the Gardiner photography business was handed on to Walter and Annie's son, William Gardiner (1891-1975), in the 1930s, many more studio portraits and a pictorial record of Worthing during the Second World War period were added to the growing archive. When William's son Derek Gardiner (born 1924) took over the family business in the 1960s, the Walter Gardiner Studio started to concentrate on commercial photography, producing shots for publicity brochures, advertisements, and promotional campaigns on behalf of commerce and industry. The development of the commercial photography side of the business in the 1970s and 1980s meant that the Walter Gardiner Archive now contained a wide selection of images, ranging from rural scenes of sheep washing pictured in 1908 to sharp and brilliant shots of the interior of a Pharmaceutical Plant photographed in 1972.

Mike Hemsley, the present owner of the Walter Gardiner photography firm (now trading under the name WGphoto), recently made the decision to place some 116,000 photographic negatives from the Walter Gardiner Archive into the hands of the West Sussex County Library Service so that this unique collection of images, which date from the 1880s to modern times, can be correctly stored and systematically archived for the benefit of future generations. It is hoped that the thousands of historic photographs which form the Walter Gardiner Archive will be catalogued and safely archived and that most of the important images will be scanned and made available for public viewing on the West Sussex Past Pictures website provided by the West Sussex Past: Heritage Consortium ( a partnership between the West Sussex County Library Service and a number of local museums located in West Sussex ).

[ABOVE] Sheep-washer, Burpham (1908). A detail from a portrait by Walter Gardiner of Worthing. One of the thousands of images in The Walter Gardiner Archive.

[ABOVE] The logo of WGphoto, the firm which, until recently, held The Walter Gardiner Archive.


 To access over 5000 images of West Sussex in the past, currently held in various West Sussex collections, just click on the link below :

West Sussex Past Pictures


To reach the website of Mike Hemsley of WGphoto, just click on the link below :




Thanks to the following for their contributions to the Walter & Annie Gardiner story : Mike Jenkins, currently of  Johor, Malaysia. [ Mike is the grandson of Kate Marshall (nee Jenkins) and Harry Jenkins]; Miriam Smith of Maryborough, Queensland [ Miriam is a first cousin, twice removed, of Annie Gardiner (nee Jenkins) ]; I am grateful to Paul and Philippa Freund for bringing my attention to the identity of Walter Gardiner's mother. Philippa Freund has been researching the history of the Gardiner Family. ( I understand that Philippa Freund was assisted in her research into the family history of John Job Gardiner and his second wife Alice Ann Bloxham by contributions from members of the Banbury area RootsWeb group, including Rosemary Probert, Bill Watson and Josie Whitworth ) ; A special thank you to Mike Hemsley, FBIPP, the current owner of WGphoto, who kindly provided some of the images from the Walter Gardiner Archive and has helped me to bring the Walter Gardiner story up to date ; Thanks also to Pat Knight of Walter Gardiner Photography, Worthing ; I also acknowledge the important contribution of Geoffrey Godden, author of both the article "Walter Gardiner, Postcard Pioneer" ( Picture Postcard Monthly, November 1996) and the book "Collecting Picture Postcards" (Phillimore & Co.,1996), which contains a section on the early picture postcards produced by Walter Gardiner; Tony Byatt, another expert in the history of picture postcards, located the 1894 registration of Walter Gardiner's pictorial postcard designs in the records of Stationer's Hall. Mr Byatt is the author of many books and articles on the picture postcard, including an important illustrated book on Britain's major postcard publishers active between 1894 and 1939 -  "Picture Postcards and Their Publishers" by Anthony Byatt (Golden Age Postcard Books,1978).

Click here for brief notes on Walter Gardiner and other notable Worthing Photographers

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