Lancing Photographers

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Photographers and Picture Postcard Publishers in Lancing

 Arthur George Colbourne - McCarthy Brothers - Wintons - Clara Wivil - Robert Wright

Arthur George COLBOURNE (born 1876, Lancing, Sussex)

Arthur George Colbourne was born at Lancing in 1876, the son of John Colbourne and Mary Jane Lintott.[ Birth registered in the Steyning District during the March Quarter of 1876]. John Colbourne, Arthur's father, was born in 1849 at Finchdean, Hampshire, the son of George and Jane Colbourne. By 1870, John Colbourne had settled in Sussex and in 1871, he married Mary Jane Lintott (born 1848 Stedham, Sussex), the daughter of Jane and William Lintott, a local farmer. [ Marriage of John Colbourne and Mary Lintott took place in the district of Cuckfield in the December Quarter of 1871]. Around the time of their marriage, John Colbourne, set up business in Lancing as a baker and grocer. During their marriage, John and Mary Colbourne produced at least eleven sons*. Arthur George Colbourne was the couple's third son, after William Frederick John (born 1873, Lancing) and Walter Henry (born 1874, Lancing). At the time of the 1881 census, there were six Colbourne boys - John (William Frederick), aged 8, Walter, aged 7, Arthur, aged 5, Charles, aged 2, Herbert, aged 1, and baby Bernard (entered as "Harry" on the census return). In the 1881 census, John Colbourne gives his own occupation as baker and was employing an assistant in his grocery store. By the end of the 1880s, John Colbourne is listed in local directories as a grocer, baker draper and general provisions merchant with a shop in South Lancing. On the evening of 19th November, 1890, John Colbourne died from his injuries after he was thrown from his cart while driving through the neighbouring village of Findon. John Colbourne was aged 41 at the time of his accidental death and left a widow and nine surviving sons. Mrs Mary Colbourne, took over the running of her late husband's business in South Lancing. As they reached adulthood, Mary Colbourne's sons assisted her in the grocery business. Colbourne's stores were situated in South Street at the junction with Penhill Road. At the time of the 1901 census, two of her adult sons - twenty-seven year old Walter Henry Colbourne and Arthur George Colbourne, then aged 25, are listed as grocer's assistants. Bernard Barton Colbourne had worked in the family grocery business, but in 1899 he had joined the Royal Navy.**( William Frederick John Colbourne had married in 1893 and was employed as a beef salesman; Two other sons were working in the meat trade - Charles Edward Colbourne was running a butcher's shop in Lancing and Herbert Patrick Colbourne was working as a butcher in Uckfield ).

In 1898, Arthur George Colbourne married Caroline Eveline Marriott (born 1876, Northampton), the daughter of two school teachers Martha and William John Marriott [ Arthur George Colbourne's marriage to Caroline registered in the Steyning district during the September Quarter of 1898 ]. William and Martha Marriott, had previously worked as school teachers in Northampton and Leicestershire, but had moved down to Lancing to take over the running of the National School. Arthur Colbourne was employed as by his mother as a "Grocer's assistant" in 1901, but by 1905 he had taken over a confectioners shop and post office in South Lancing.

From around 1905, Arthur George Colbourne started to publish picture postcards from his shop in South Lancing. It is not clear whether Colbourne published pictures made by other photographers or whether he photographed the views which he issued as picture postcards between 1905 and 1910. Among the subjects featured in the views published by A. G. Colbourne are - 'Station Road, Lancing', 'Salt Lake, Lancing', 'The Street, Lancing', 'The Beach, Lancing' and pictures of "Old Cottages' in North Lancing and South Lancing. A number of picture postcards featuring the various Colbourne businesses in South Street and Penhill Road, Lancing.

Arthur's mother, Mrs Mary Colbourne, retired from the grocery business around 1910 and in Kelly's Directory of 1911, the grocery store in South Lancing carries the name of "A. G. Colbourne & Co." Arthur Colbourne continued to operate the post office and newsagents shop in South Street. At this time, the drapery side of the business was being run by Arthur's older brother Walter Henry Colbourne. Mrs Mary Colbourne, the former head of the grocery and draper business, died on 28th December 1923, at the age of 75.


* Apparently the couple produced a total of thirteen children, but not all survived into adulthood. Robert Lintott Colbourne, for instance, was born in 1883, but his death is recorded in the December Quarter of 1883.

**  Bernard Barton Colbourne served in the Royal Navy until 1905. Bernard Colbourne ran his own butcher's shop in Worthing until June 1915, when he enlisted into the Royal Sussex Regiment to fight in the First World War. Bernard Colbourne was killed in action on the Somme in October 1916 at the age of 36. [See link to the First World War website "UNCHANGED BY TIME", below ]

Colbourne Links

Photographs and postcard views of the various Colbourne businesses can be accessed by clicking on the link below and searching the West Sussex Past Pictures database with the word "Colbourne".

  West Sussex Past Pictures

Information on Bernard Barton Colbourne and details of his military service and his death in action can be viewed at Sue Light's excellent website "Unchanged by Time", which is devoted the men of Lancing, Steyning, and Bramber who fought and died in the Great War. The page on Bernard Barton Colbourne can be viewed by clicking on the link below.



McCARTHY Bros ( Eric & Norman McCarthy )

Norman McCARTHY (born c1888, Chingford Essex - died 1945 ) Eric Justin McCARTHY (born 1890, Walthamstow, Essex - died 1931)

The McCarthy Family

Norman McCarthy and Eric McCarthy were the sons of Mary and William McCarthy. Their father William McCarthy (born c1857, Islington, London) was an artist by profession, but there is some evidence that he started his working career as a pawnbroker in partnership with his brother. After his marriage, William McCarthy and his wife Mary lived in the Lea Valley district of Essex ( Chingford/ Walthamstow ) on the fringes of North London. Norman McCarthy was born at Chingford, Essex around 1888 and his brother Eric Justin McCarthy was born at nearby Walthamstow in 1890 [ Birth of Eric Justin McCarthy registered in the West Ham District during the September Quarter of 1890 ]. Three more children were born to William and Mary McCarthy between 1893 and 1900 - Ivan Austen McCarthy (born 1893, Walthamstow), Eileen (born 1896, Highams Park, Essex) and Gladys Ethel McCarthy ( born 1899, Chingford, Essex). At the time of the 1901 Census, William McCarthy and his family were living in the urban district of Sutton in Surrey. In 1904, Ivan Austen McCarthy, Norman and Eric's younger brother, died at the young age of eleven.[ Death registered in the Croydon District in the June Quarter of 1904].

By 1908, the McCarthy family were living in Lancing. A "Mr. McCarthy" is mentioned as an Art Master at Lancing College and this could refer to William McCarthy or one of his sons. Norman and Eric McCarthy set up a photography studio in South Street, between the Lancing Reading Room and "The Three Horse Shoes" public house. The McCarthy Brothers studio in South Lancing is listed in Kelly's Post Office Directory of 1909. The McCarthy Brothers are listed as photographers in South Street in The Worthing & District Directory for 1914-1915 and in Kelly's 1915 Directory. Interestingly, Kelly's Directory of 1915 also lists William McCarthy as a photographer at Marine Parade, Worthing. The McCarthy Brothers are not listed as photographers in Kelly's Post Office Directory of 1918, but it is known that the McCarthy Brothers were in business together until the mid 1920s.

The McCarthy family acquired The Old Tithe Barn in North Lancing and asked the architect Blunden Shadbolt (1879-1949) to help them convert the barn into a guest house. By 1924, the conversion was complete and between 1924 and 1927, William McCarthy is listed in local directories as the proprietor of "Ye Old Tithe Barn".

Eric and Norman went their separate ways after 1924. Eric McCarthy married Connie Austen and established a photography business at Chelmer House at the end of Lancing's South Street. Eric McCarthy ran his photography business in Lancing under the name of "Justin McCarthy" until his early death from dental sepsis in 1931. Eric was only 41 years of age when he died.

Norman McCarthy married Violet Grieves at Lancing in 1932. Norman and Violet McCarthy ran a guest house together until Norman's death in 1945. 

[ABOVE] The McCarthy Family with members of the Austen Family, photographed on South Lancing beach by Eric McCarthy in 1912. Norman McCarthy is the young man lying at the front of the picture, supporting his head with his right hand. Seated immediately behind Norman with their arms linked, are his parents Mary and William McCarthy. William and Mary's two daughters - thirteen year old Gladys and sixteen year old Eileen - are probably the two girls seated on the right hand side of the picture. [Photograph - Courtesy of Philip Fry]

The photograph above is taken from Philip Fry's  book "Lancing & Sompting - A Second Selection", which features a number of photographs produced by the McCarthy Brothers. [ see below for details of  Philip Fry's two books on Lancing and Sompting published by Sutton Publishing Limited ]. Philip Fry's books include the whole range of the McCarthy Brothers' photographic output - picture postcards featuring views of Lancing and the surrounding area, studio portraits, wedding photographs, outdoor portraits, and group photographs. Philip Fry informs me that the McCarthy Brothers also took photographic views of Hove, Littlehampton and Shoreham.


[ABOVE] One of the McCarthy brothers pictured with his camera in a photograph showing the damage to Mrs Austen's bungalow sustained during the Great Storm of  22nd/23rd March 1913. A total of 54 houses and bungalows were destroyed or badly damaged by the violent storm. In the caption to the original photograph, the man on the left is described as "Mr. McCarthy, art master at Lancing College, and one of the family of photographers."

[ABOVE] A class photograph taken at Miss Bunting's Private School in Lancing. Gladys McCarthy, the younger sister of Norman and Eric McCarthy, stands at the far left in the back row of the group. Miss Bunting, standing in the centre of the back row, lived at 'The Poplars' in Penhill Road, Lancing. This photograph dates from about 1910.



Much of the information on the McCarthy Family in Lancing is taken from "Lancing & Sompting - A Second Selection" by Philip Fry (Sutton Publishing,1998). Thanks to Philip Fry for allowing me to use the photograph of the McCarthy Family and providing me with additional information on the McCarthy Brothers and other Lancing photographers.


A number of picture postcards and photographs of Lancing, Findon and Shoreham carry the name of Winton. The Winton family originated from Shoreham and members of the family settled in Worthing, Findon and New Shoreham.

Thomas Winton (born 1844 Shoreham) married Maria Swan (born 1843, Worthing)  in 1866 at Worthing and went on to establish a grocery store in The Square, Findon around 1873. Thomas Winton was also the sub-postmaster in Findon. In the 1881 census, Thomas Winton is shown living at the Post Office, Findon Street, Findon, with his wife Maria and four children - Thomas (born 1868, Worthing), Ernest (born 1873, Findon), Edward (born 1875, Findon) and Maria (born 1878, Findon). In the 1881 census, Thomas Winton is described as a "General Shopkeeper", aged 36. When the 1901 census was taken, fifty-six year old Thomas Winton gave his occupation as "Sub Post Master". He was assisted in the Post Office and general store by his wife Maria and three of his children - twenty-three year old daughter Maria and his two youngest sons - George (born c1881, Findon) and William (born 1882, Findon). On 16th September 1906, George Winton married Kate Dickenson (born c1877). Around this time, George Winton took over the running of the family business of Winton & Son in Findon. Picture postcards showing views of Findon, including Winton's Post Office & Stores in Findon Square, were published by "Winton & Son" before the First World War period.

William Edward Winton (born 1852 Shoreham) was a printer by trade. William Edward Winton married Emma Lower (born c1854, Shoreham) in 1872. In the 1881 census, William E. Winton is recorded as a twenty-eight year old "Printer (Master)" residing in the High Street of New Shoreham with his wife Emma and four children - William Clement Winton (born 1873,Shoreham), Lionel (born 1875, Shoreham), Norman Edward (born 1878, Shoreham), and Ivy Winifred Winton (born 1879, Shoreham). William Edward Winton was joined by three of his sons in the family printing business and in the early 1900s the firm was known as William Edward Winton & Sons. By 1901, Lionel Winton had left Shoreham and was working as a "Printer's Compositor" in Aldrington. In the 1901 census return, twenty-seven year old William Clement Winton is described as a general printer and his younger brother Ralph is entered as a "Printer's Apprentice", aged 17. Four daughters were living at the family home in New Shoreham - twenty-one year old Ivy Winifred Winton, Daisy Blanche (born 1882, Shoreham), Myrtle (born 1885, Shoreham) and Pansy Winton (born 1888, Shoreham). By 1905, William Winton junior is listed as a Retail Stationer with business premises in High Street, Shoreham. Between 1900 and 1916 a number of photographs were produced in Shoreham marked with the trade plate "WINTON PHOTO", "W.WINTON PHOTO" and "W.WINTON JNR".

Photographs by "WINTON"

Over thirty photographs marked "WINTON PHOTO" can be accessed by clicking on the link below and searching the West Sussex Past Pictures database with the word "Winton".

  West Sussex Past Pictures

Clara Ann WIVIL ( born 1856, Morice Town, near Devonport, Devon - died 1932, Lancing, Sussex )

Clara Ann Wivil was born in 1856 at Morice Town, a residential area near Devonport Dockyard, Plymouth, Devon. Clara's father William Henry Wivil (c1834-1880) was a Royal Navy Engineer. Henry Wivil was promoted to the rank of Engineer in 1865 and from 1868 to 1870 he served on HMS Antelope, an iron-hulled, paddle-wheeled steam vessel. In 1880, William Wivil died at the age of 46. [ Death registered in the South Stoneham District of Hampshire during the June Quarter of 1880 ]. When the 1881 census was taken, Engineer Wivil's family are recorded at Hampton Villa, Paynes Road, Freemantle, in the Millbrook district of Southampton. The head of the household, Mrs Sarah E. Wivil, is described as a "widow of RN Engineer",aged 47. Mrs Sarah Wivil, who was born in Fareham Hampshire around 1834, appears to have been William Henry Wivil's second wife. ( William Henry Wivil apparently married Mary Ann Wearing in 1854. It seems that Engineer Wivil married for a second time in the Morice Town / Devonport area in 1868). Clara Wivil is recorded in the census as an "Artist", aged 24. Clara is listed as the eldest of three daughters. (A brother, William James Wivil , was born in 1858, but died in 1879 at the age of 21). Clara's eighteen year old sister, Alice Maud Mary Wivil, also gives her occupation as "Artist".[ Alice Wivil was born in Morice Town and her birth was registered in the district of Stoke Damerel during the December Quarter of 1862 ]. The youngest daughter, eight year old Sarah Eva Wivil, was born in Portsmouth in 1872 [ Birth registered in the Portsea District during the December Quarter of 1872 ].

Mrs Sarah Wivil and her three daughters appear to have remained in the Southampton area for the next ten years. Clara's sister, Alice Maud Mary Wivil, was living in the Millbrook area of Southampton when she married Arthur Christopher Adams in 1891 [ Marriage registered in the district of South Stoneham during the September Quarter of 1891 ]. By the following year, Mrs Wivil and her two unmarried daughters were in Sussex. Sarah Eva Wivil, the youngest daughter, was married in Brighton during the September Quarter of 1893. Mrs Sarah Wivil and Clara Wivil settled in Lancing, Sussex. In a local directory of 1905, Mrs Wivil is listed with an address in Penhill Road, South Lancing. At the time of the 1901 census, Clara Wivil is recorded at Pomora Villa, near Pond Row, Lancing. The census enumerator describes Miss Clara Wivil as a "Photographer (Employer) ", aged 44.

By 1912, Miss Wivil was the proprietor of the well known Brighton photography firm of E. Hawkins & Co. of 32 Preston Street, Brighton. In May 1912, when a photograph of the Australian Cricket Team of 1912 was registered with the Stationers' Company for copyright purposes, the copyright owner of the work was given as Clara Ann Wivil, 3 Chatham Place, Brighton, trading as E. Hawkins & Co., 32 Preston Street, Brighton. The actual photographer of the Australian Cricket Team picture was Frederick William Perrott of 46 Prinsep Road, Hove, described on the copyright registration form as the "copyright author". Frederick William Perrott (1871-1946) was a London photographer who had moved to Hove after working as a photographer in Willesden.

It appears that Miss Clara Wivil was the proprietor of E. Hawkins & Company of Brighton in the years leading up to the First World War. E. Hawkins & Co. of 32 Preston Street, Brighton, was a long established firm of photographers which had specialized in producing photographs of individual cricketers and cricket teams since 1884. In advertisements issued between 1910 and 1915, the firm of E. Hawkins & Co. were described as "Photographers Royal & Cricket Specialists". During the period Miss Wivil ran the company, E. Hawkins & Co. had the "Largest Collection of Cricket photos in the Kingdom", holding pictures of celebrated "cricket elevens" and "portraits of nearly every Cricketer of note".

Clara Ann Wivil died at Lancing in 1932 at the age of 76. A gravestone in the churchyard of St James the Less Church in Lancing records the passing of Miss Wivil and her married sister Mrs Alice Adams. The inscription on the gravestone reads: " In  loving memory of  CLARA ANN  WIVIL, who entered into rest Dec 18th 1932, aged 76. Also her sister ALICE MAUD MARY ADAMS who fell asleep March 9th 1943, aged 80."

[ABOVE] A cabinet photograph of the famous cricketer Charles Burgess Fry (1872-1956) produced by the photography firm of E. Hawkins & Co. of 32 Preston Street, Brighton. Miss Clara Wivil was the proprietor of E. Hawkins & Co., "Photographers Royal & Cricket Specialists", in the years leading up to the First World War.

The Hawkins photographic studio at 32 Preston Street, Brighton was established around 1861 by Charles Hawkins (1825-1871). After the death of Charles Hawkins in 1871, the studio of 'C. Hawkins' was run by his widow, Eliza Hawkins (c1828-1887). The Hawkins studio passed to George Thatcher (born 1839, Brighton) when Mrs Eliza Hawkins died in June 1887. From this date the firm was known as "E. Hawkins" in memory of Eliza Hawkins.


Thanks to Ann Powell and the Lancing & Sompting Local History Group for providing the details of the inscription on Clara Wivil's gravestone  in the churchyard of St James the Less Church, Lancing. The details of Clara Wivil's connection with E. Hawkins & Co. of Brighton in 1912 was found on the National Archives website.

Robert WRIGHT  (1818-1862 )

Robert Wright was was born in Bungay, Suffolk in 1818, the son of Robert Wright and Mary Ann Harvey [ Robert Wright junior was baptised in Bungay on 30th May 1818 ]. Robert Wright entered the teaching profession and it appears that he was appointed as a School Master at Lancing Grammar School around 1844. (According to "British History OnLine", Lancing Grammar School was a fee-paying boys' school founded at South Lancing around 1820). Robert Wright was the School Master at Lancing Grammar School from around 1844 until his death in 1862 . During his time at Lancing Grammar School, Wright became interested in photography and between 1857 and 1860 he produced a number of photographs of Lancing Grammar School and the surrounding area. Wright also photographed some of the pupils of Lancing Grammar School in arranged poses outside the school building. In Wright's photographs, the boys are shown taking part in various activities - playing cricket, exercising in the school yard, having their haircut and so on. Wright published these pictures in the form of stereoscopic photographs. The stereoscopic photographs are mounted on cards and on the back of each card is a printed label, which reads "Mr. Wright, Grammar School, Lancing."

Robert Wright died on 15th March 1862, apparently at Lancing - his death being registered in the District of Worthing during the March Quarter of 1862. Wright's home town of Bungay was advised of his death in a notice that was published in the Beccles & Bungay Weekly News on 25th March 1862 :

On the 15th March, in his 44th year, highly respected, and deeply lamented,
Robert WRIGHT, Esq., for nearly 17 years the conscientious and indefatigable
principal of the Lancing Grammar School, Sussex.

In the churchyard of St James the Less Church in Lancing there is a memorial to Robert Wright which differs in detail from the death notice in the Beccles & Bungay Weekly News. The inscription on the gravestone reads: " Sacred  to the memory of  ROBERT WRIGHT who died March 14th 1862,  aged 43.  A husband, father, friend, a Christian too.  Thy life was true and peace did crown thy end. Also of ALICE JANE, infant daughter of ROBERT and ANNE WRIGHT, aged 11 months ."



Thanks to West Sussex Past and Martin Hayes, County Local Studies Librarian of the West Sussex County Council Library Service. Thanks also to Peter Gundry of South Africa for pointing out that Robert Wright was not a founder member of the Lancing Grammar School as it was established at least twenty years before his arrival in Lancing. Peter Gundry is a descendant of Thomas Bowe, who attended Lancing Grammar School in the late 1830s and then, in 1852, married Harriet Emma Jones, the daughter of John Maurice Jones, the Master of Lancing Grammar School before Robert Wright's appointment. Thanks to Ann Powell and the Lancing & Sompting Local History Group for providing the details of the inscription on Robert Wright's gravestone  in the churchyard of St James the Less Church, Lancing.

[ABOVE] A photograph of Lancing Grammar School, a detail from a stereoscopic photograph produced by Robert Wright, School Master and Principal of Lancing Grammar School. (c1860) [ Photo :Courtesy of West Sussex County Council Library Service. Image Ref: PP/WSL/P002546]

Robert Wright of Lancing Grammar School produced over a dozen stereoscopic photographs of the Grammar School and its pupils, the village of Lancing and Shoreham-by-Sea. Wright's photographs, which can be viewed on the West Sussex Past Pictures website, include : Boys seated in front of Lancing Grammar School (1857);  Boys playing cricket in front of Lancing Grammar School (1858); Lancing Grammar School (c1858);  School boys having hair cut in the open air (1858) ; South Street and Grammar School, Lancing (1858); Lancing Grammar School at Brighton Road, Lancing (c1860); Men outside a house in Lancing (1858); Road in Lancing (1858); Interior of St James the Less Church, Lancing (c1860) and two images of the Old Norfolk Bridge, Shoreham-by-Sea (c1860);


Photographs by Mr. Robert Wright of Lancing Grammar School

Around a dozen pictures taken from Robert Wright's stereoscopic photographs can be viewed at the website of the West Sussex Past Heritage Consortium, produced in association with West Sussex County Council. Robert Wright's photographs,  can be accessed by clicking on the link below and searching the database with the words " Wright Lancing".

 West Sussex Past Pictures



Census returns for 1881,1901 ; Kelly's Post Office Directory of Sussex (1909, 1915,1918) ; The Worthing & District Directory for 1914-1915;
West Sussex Past Pictures ; FreeBMD ; British History OnLine ;
Lancing & Sompting  by Philip Fry (Sutton Publishing,1995). ISBN  1-84015-046-7
Lancing & Sompting - A Second Selection  by Philip Fry (Sutton Publishing,1998). ISBN   0-7509-1363-0
Lancing - A Pictorial History by George Shaw  (Phillimore & Co,1982). ISBN   0-85033-455-1

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