Mid-Sussex Photographers

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Photographers in Mid-Sussex Villages

Clayton - Handcross - Lindfield - Staplefield

Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott  -  Albert  Burtenshaw  -  George Chives  - Thomas Durrant  -  Charles Langridge  -  William Marchant  -  John Parker

Herbert Edward Tripp ABBOTT (1860-1931). Pharmaceutical Chemist who was active as a Photographer in Lindfield between 1897 and 1914.
Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 1860. Herbert was the youngest son of Louisa Freeman and Edmund Abbott, a tailor with business premises at 83 High Street, Lowestoft. Edmund Abbott (born c1815, Lowestoft) had married Louisa Freeman (born c1817, Lowestoft) in 1846 and this union produced 5 children: Edmund Freeman Abbott (born 1850), Clara Elizabeth Abbott (born 1851), Arthur John Abbott (born 1853 - died 1867)), Ernest Robert Abbott (born 1858) and Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott (born 1860).

Next door to his father's tailoring business in the High Street of Lowestoft was a chemist's shop. Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott became an assistant chemist and by the time the 1881 census was taken, Herbert, then aged 20, was working as a 'Chemist's Assistant' in East Barnet, Hertfordshire.

By 1891, Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott was running his own chemist's shop in his home town of Lowestoft. White's Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk for the Year 1891-1892 lists Herbert E. T. Abbott as a 'Chemist' at 31 High Street, Lowestoft. The 1891 census records Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott residing with his widowed father at 86 St Peter's Street, Lowestoft. On the census return, seventy-six year old Edmund Abbott, the Head of Household,  is described as a "Retired Tailor". Herbert Abbott, who was 30 years old and unmarried, is recorded on the return as "Chemist & Druggist (Employer)".

In 1892, Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott married Sarah Elizabeth Barrett (born 1860, Lowestoft, Suffolk), the daughter of Susannah and Peter Barrett, Sexton & Town Crier of Lowestoft. The couple's first child, a daughter named Kathleen Abbott, was born in Lowestoft in 1893. When Muriel Abbott, Herbert and Sarah Abbott's second daughter, was born in 1897, Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott was living with his family in the Sussex village of Lindfield, near Haywards Heath. A third daughter, Mildred Abbott, was born in Lindfield in 1900.

Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott had moved to Lindfield around 1894 to take over the running of a chemist's shop in the village's High Street. The 1901 census records Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott and his wife and children in the High Street of Lindfield. On the census return, Herbert E. T. Abbott is described as a 40 year old "Pharmaceutical Chemist" working on his own account. Herbert Abbott, his wife Sarah and their 3 daughters lived in accommodation attached to Abbott's chemist's shop in High Street, Lindfield. When the next census was taken on 2nd April 1911, Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott was still residing in the 6-roomed house connected to his shop. Living with the chemist was his wife Sarah, and their 3 daughters - Kathleen (aged 17), Muriel (aged 13) and Mildred Abbott (aged 10). On the census return, Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott declared that he was a "Pharmacist - Chemist" by profession and that he conducted his business on his own "at home." In April 1911, Herbert Abbott would have been approaching his 51st birthday, yet although he remarked on the census return that he had "no infirmity, only those of old age", he falsely gave his age as "48". Herbert's wife, Mrs Sarah Elizabeth Abbott, who was born the same year as her husband, similarly knocked 3 years off her real age, stating that she was 47 years old.

In addition to running the village's chemists shop, Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott appears to have also served as Lindfield's resident photographer between 1897 and 1914. I have a carte-de-visite in my own collection of photographs which carries the photographer's credit "ABBOTT, High Street, Lindfield". Herbert Abbott travelled as far afield as Horsted Keynes with his camera. In December 1913, Abbott travelled 5 miles to 'Tremans', the 17th Century manor house near Horsted Keynes, the home of Mrs Mary Benson (1841-1918), the widow of Edward White Benson (1829-1896), the former Archbishop of Canterbury. During his visit to 'Tremans', Abbott photographed Mrs Benson's three sons - Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925), Master of Magdalene College, the novelist Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940) and Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) a Papal Chamberlain. One of the group photographs of the Benson brothers taken that day by Herbert Abbott is now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Herbert Edward Tripp Abbott, chemist and druggist and part-time photographer of High Street, Lindfield, Sussex, died in 1931 at the age of 71.


[ABOVE ] The Sussex village of Lindfield pictured in a postcard issued around 1905.  Herbert E. T. Abbott operated a chemist's shop in the High Street of Lindfield for nearly 40 years, from around 1894 until his death in 1931. In the centre of the photograph stands the old Tiger Inn (which closed in 1916) and All Saints' Church.

[ABOVE ] Portrait of a man with a bushy moustache, a carte-de-visite by Herbert E. T. Abbott of High Street, Lindfield (c1905). The fact that Herbert Abbott was producing carte-de-visite portraits at his chemist's shop in the High Street of Lindfield suggests he was working as a part-time photographer in the village during the Edwardian period. A group portrait of the Benson Brothers (illustrated below) indicates that Abbott was still active as a semi-professional photographer in 1913.

[ABOVE ] A group portrait of the Benson brothers, the three sons of Edward White Benson (1829-1896), Archbishop of Canterbury, photographed by Herbert E. T. Abbott of  Lindfield in December 1913. This group portrait posed outside Benson family home of Tremans, near Horsted Keynes, shows from left to right: Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925), Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, who wrote the lyrics to Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory;  Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914) a Roman Catholic priest who was a private chamberlain to the Pope; Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940), the writer famous for his Mapp and Lucia novels. The above photograph appeared as an illustration to Arthur C. Benson's book  'Hugh: Memoirs of a Brother', written in December 1914, following his younger brother's death in October 1914 at the age of 42. Herbert Abbott's original photograph, a platinum print measuring 6 1/4 inches x 4 3/8 inches, is held by the National Portrait Gallery, London.
Albert  BURTENSHAW (1848-1936). Butler who was active as a Photographer in Clayton during the early 1870s.
Albert Burtenshaw was born in 1848 at Cuckfield, Sussex, the son of Sarah Packham (born c1815 Wivelsfield, Sussex) and Edward Burtenshaw (born c1816, West Grinstead, Sussex), an agricultural labourer.[ Albert Burtenshaw 's birth was registered in Cuckfield during the September Quarter of 1848]. At the time of the 1861 Census, Albert Burtenshaw was living with his parents at Ludgate Farm, Cuckfield.

Albert Burtenshaw was married before he was twenty. Albert Burtenshaw married Elizabeth Breden (born c1841, Balcombe, Sussex ) in the London district of Westmister in 1868. Albert and Elizabeth Burtenshaw''s first child, Edith Mary Burtenshaw was born in Lewes, Sussex during the 2nd Quarter of 1868. When Edith Mary was baptised in Lewes on 14th June 1868, Albert gave his occupation as "servant". Albert, his wife Elizabeth, and their young baby Edith then moved on to the Hurstpierpoint area of Sussex, where the couple's second child Lily Maude Burtenshaw was born during the 4th Quarter of 1869. It is in 1870 that Albert Burtenshaw is first recorded as a photographer in a local trade directory. In the 1870 edition of Kelly's Post Office Directory for Sussex, Albert Burtenshaw appears under the heading of 'Photographers' with an address of St John's Common, Clayton, Hurstpierpoint.

By 1871, Albert Burtenshaw was employed as a butler in the household of barrister and Justice of the Peace, Walter Wyndham Burrell (1814-1886), who resided in London but had a family home at Ockenden House in the West Sussex town of Cuckfield. At the time of the 1871 census, Albert Burtenshaw was residing in London with his employer, Walter Burrell, while Albert's wife and two daughters were living at a house in a row of terraced buildings in St John's Common, Clayton. On the 1871 census return, Mrs Elizabeth Burtenshaw describes herself as a "Butler's wife", aged 34. Albert Burtenshaw is recorded as a "Butler - Domestic Servant" at Walter Burrell's London residence at 5 Richmond Terrace, Westminster. Walter W. Burrell, the Head of the Household, gives his profession and occupation as "J.P. County Sussex, Landowner".

As Walter Wyndham Burrell's butler, Albert Burtenshaw's main duties were carried out in the Burrell family home in West Sussex. Although Albert Burtenshaw was primarily employed as a domestic servant for the Burrell family, he appears to have continued his career as as a photographer throughout the 1870s. The 1874 edition of Kelly's Post Office Directory for Sussex records Albert Burtenshaw as a photographer based in Cuckfield. A carte-de -visite view of Cuckfield, photographed by Albert Burtenshaw around 1875, carries a business address of  Ockenden Lane, Cuckfield, Sussex.

Albert Burtenshaw died at his home in Cuckfield in 1936 at the age of 88.
A more detailed account of the life and career of Albert Burtenshaw can be found on the Sussex PhotoHistory website under the heading of  'Professional  Photographers in Cuckfield' via the link below:

Albert  BURTENSHAW (1848-1936)

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a young man taken by Albert Burtenshaw of Ockenden Lane, Cuckfield (c1874). In 1870, Albert  Burtenshaw was working as a photographer from an address in St John's Common, Clayton, near Hurstpierpoint.
George CHIVES (1881-1966). Gardener, Church Sexton and Part-time Photographer in Staplefield between 1905 and 1915

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a young girl taken by George Chives of Staplefield  (c1908).

[ABOVE] The trade plate of the photographer George Chives of Staplefield (c1905).

George Chives was born in 1881 at Bentworth, near Alton, Hampshire, the son of Eliza and John Chives (born c1852 Winchester, Hants.) a wheelwright of Bentworth. [The birth of George Chives was registered in the Hampshire district of Alton during the 3rd Quarter of 1881].

George Chives began his working life as a baker. When the census was taken on 31st March 1901, George Chives was boarding at the home of Mrs Esther Funnell, a widowed farmer, in the hamlet of Halland in the parish of East Hoathly in East Sussex. On the census return, George Chives is recorded as a 19 year old "Journeyman Baker". Living in the same hamlet of Halland was Bertha Corke (born 1879, Halland, East Hoathly) the twenty-one year old daughter of Jane and Amos Corke, a master shoemaker & bootmaker. A relationship developed between Bertha Corke and George Chives during his stay in Halland and during the 2nd Quarter of 1903 in the district of Hailsham, the couple were married.

Around 1905, George and Bertha Chives settled in the West Sussex village of Staplefield on the outskirts of Haywards Heath. When George Chives arrived in Staplefield, the population of the village numbered less than 800. George Chives found work as a "Groom & Gardener". It is possible that George Chives was employed as a groom and gardener by the Vicar of St Mark's Church, because in 1911 he and his wife were residing at Vicarage Cottage, Staplefield, and between 1911 and 1915, George Chives served as the church's Sexton. The 1911 census records twenty-nine year old George Chives as "Groom, Gardener, Sexton" living at Vicarage Cottage, Staplefield. George Chives had been married to his wife Bertha for for over 7 years, but, according to the census return, the couple had no children.

George Chives died in 1966 in the New Forest district of Hampshire. George's wife, Bertha had died in the same district in 1963.

George Chives - Church Sexton and Part-time Photographer in Staplefield

The only evidence I have that George Chives was a photographer in Staplefield is a single carte-de-visite portrait of a young girl which carries the photographer's credit "George Chives, Staplefield". The carte-de-visite photograph dates from around 1908, when this particular format of portrait photography was going out of fashion, being superseded by the popular postcard format.

The village of Staplefield had a very small population (a total of 811 at the time of the 1911 census) and probably not large enough to support a full-time professional photographer during the first decade of the 20th Century. In the nearby town of Haywards Heath (located less than 4 miles away) there were 3 well-established photographic studios - Frederick Douglas Miller in Boltro Road, Bertram Tugwell in Franklynn road and Harry Tullett in South Road, Haywards Heath. If anyone in Staplefield wanted a photographic likeness of themself and was not prepared, or able, to make a journey into Haywards Heath, he or she could call on the services of George Chives, the Sexton at St Mark's Church, Staplefield who was probably one of the few inhabitants of the village who owned a camera.

[ABOVE] St Mark's Church, Staplefield photographed during the First World War. When this photograph was taken around 1915,  George Chives was employed as Sexton by St Mark's Church. In 1905, the Vicar of St Mark's Church was Rev. Arthur Frederick Bellman and, in 1909, he was replaced by Rev. Julian Leslie Stewart.
[ABOVE] Photograph of the High Street in Lindfield ( c1865). This view shows the old Lindfield Toll-gate which was set up in 1770 and taken down in 1884. This photograph was very likely to have been taken by William Durrant junior (1837-1918), who was the only photographer living in Lindfield at this time. The relatively long exposure times of the wet-plate camera meant that passers-by were obliged to stand stock-still to prevent any blurred images.

William DURRANT junior (1837-1918). Active as a photographer in Lindfield between 1865 and 1867

William Durrant was born in Brighton, Sussex, on 21st April 1837. William was the son of Elizabeth and William Durrant of Lindfield. William Durrant senior (1814-1901) was a native of Lindfield, but in the late 1830s he was living in Brighton. He married Elizabeth Humphreys (1817-1901) at St. Nicholas Church, Brighton on 11th April 1836 and their son William was born in the town a year later. William Durrant junior was baptised on 21st May 1837 at the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel in North Street, Brighton. William Durrant senior returned to Lindfield and in 1840, with his brother, Thomas Davey Durrant, he set up a factory to make pianofortes. The piano factory, known as the Sussex Pianoforte Manufactory, was located near Lindfield's High Street ( the site of the factory is now occupied by the Tollgate Car Park and the Lindfield Medical Centre ).

At the time of the 1861 Census, William Durrant senior and his wife were residing in Lindfield with their five children - William Durrant junior (aged 23), Elizabeth  (aged 21), Mary (aged 19), Charlotte (aged 15) and Edward (aged 13). Both William Durrant and William Durrant junior, his eldest son, give their occupation as "pianoforte maker" on the census return.

By 1866, William Durrant junior's uncle, Thomas Davey Durrant (1818-1903), had taken over the running of the piano factory and William Durrant senior had become a prosperous land owner and was living with his family at Pear Tree House, Lindfield.

William Durrant junior was first listed as a photographer in Lindfield in the 1866 edition of Kelly's Post Office Directory of Sussex. William Durrant junior's studio address in Lindfield's Commercial section is given as Pear Tree House, which was his father's home address. Some early photographs of Lindfield which date from the mid 1860s, such as a view of Lindfield's High Street showing the Turnpike Trust's Toll-gate, were probably taken by William Durrant junior during the few years he was active as a photographer in Lindfield. William Durrant junior was again listed as a photographer at Pear Tree House, Lindfield, when the next edition of Kelly's  Directory of Sussex was published in 1867.

When William Durrant junior first took up photography, he probably took his 'wet-plate' camera out on to the streets of Lindfield to capture images of the village which were familiar to him. Relatives, friends and neighbours in Lindfield posed in front of picturesque buildings and distinctive landmarks as William Durrant junior made a photographic record of the village. William Durrant junior was later to advertise himself as an artist as well as a photographer and one surviving signed photograph from his Lindfield days, entitled "A Study from Nature", shows that he was as much concerned with the artistic possibilities of the medium as with the commercial potential of photography. However, William Durrant junior wanted to be a professional photographer and in the 1860s the main market was in the field of portraiture. In 1861, the population of Lindfield was 1,917. Lindfield was a relatively large village, but it did not have enough inhabitants to provide a steady trade in portrait making. At least In the summer months, Durrant could look to visitors to supplement his trade. In Victorian times, Lindfield was regarded as a particularly pleasing village and attracted a fair number of visitors. The introduction to Lindfield in Kelly's 1867 Directory made the the following comments about its appeal for town dwellers:

"The village is noted for its extremely healthy situation, and for the picturesque and charming scenery by which it is surrounded: the beautiful common at the south end of the village adds very much to the attraction of the place. A large number of visitors from Brighton and London stay here during the summer months."

The extra numbers in the summer months were welcome, but probably not enough to secure a substantial or regular income for Durrant's photography business in Lindfield. The place to be for an enterprising portrait photographer was one of the rapidly expanding seaside towns, such as Torquay in Devon.

Around 1868, William Durrant junior travelled down to Devon and by 1869 he was working as a professional photographer in Torquay. In 1869, William Durrant is recorded as a photographer at a house named "Woodstock" in Abbey Road, Torquay. At the end of 1870, William Durrant married Rosa (Rose) Kate Brooke/Brook (born 1848, Plympton Devon ) in Torquay. Around the time of his marriage, Durrant established the Torbay Photographic Gallery at 17 Victoria Parade, Torquay. At the end of 1871, William Durrant's wife gave birth to their first child, Harold Humphrey Durrant. Two more sons were to follow, Leslie Bernard Durrant (born 1882, Torquay) and Gerald Hugh Durrant (born 1886, Torquay).

William Durrant operated a photographic studio in Torquay's Victoria Parade throughout the 1870s. Around 1878, William Durrant entered into a business partnership with Edward Henry Cox, a thirty year old photographer from London, to form the firm of Cox & Durrant.

William Durrant retired from photography (perhaps through ill health) around 1893, when he was in his mid-fifties. His wife, Rose Durrant, who at forty-five was 11 years his junior, decided to set up her own photographic studio in Torquay. The firm of Rose K. Durrant & Son was in business in Fleet Street, Torquay until around 1918.

William Durrant junior, Lindfield's pioneer photographer, died in Torquay, Devon, on 26th April 1918, a few days after his 81st birthday.

To read a more detailed account of the life and career of William Durrant, click on the link below:

William Durrant junior - Photographer of Lindfield

[ABOVE] The trade plate of William Durrant, Photographer, of Lindfield, Sussex, taken from the reverse of the carte-de-visite portrait illustrated below.

[ABOVE] A portrait of a mother with her child by William Durrant junior of  Lindfield (c1866).

[ABOVE] William Durrant junior of Lindfield listed as a professional photographer in the Trades section of Kelly's Directory of Sussex (c1866).

[ABOVE] A photograph of The Thatched Cottage, Lindfield (c1865). As William Durrant was the only photographer active in Lindfield around 1865, there is a good chance that this view was taken by him. The three girls posing on the left were probably asked by the photographer to stand completely still for the camera, but because of the lengthy exposure time, the youngest girl has fidgeted and as a result her image is slightly blurred.
Charles Walter Hills LANGRIDGE (1872-1959).  Gardener and Part-time Photographer in Handcross between 1905 and 1914.

[ABOVE] A cabinet card portrait of an unknown man taken by Charles Langridge of Handcross (c1907).  Charles Langridge was employed as Head Gardener on the Ashfold estate, Handcross by the wealthy London banker Lindsay Eric Smith (1852-1930). Charles Langridge supplemented his income by taking photographic portraits and producing 'real photograph' picture postcards for sale. In addition to cabinet card portraits, Charles Langridge issued many of his photographs as picture postcards. Langridge's 'real photograph' picture postcards covered dramatic local events (e.g. a motor car accident on Handcross Hill), sports team group pictures (e.g. The Handcross Football Team for the 1913-1914 season) and topographic views (e.g. the entrance to Handcross Park).

Charles Walter Hills Langridge was born at Clarke's Farm, near Horsted Keynes in 1872 and baptised at Horsted Keynes on 8th December 1872. Charles Langridge was the son of Eliza Baker and Richard Hills Langridge, a farmer of 105 acres at Clarke's Farm, near Horsted Keynes.

Charles' father, Richard Hills Langridge, was born in Horsted Keynes in 1826. In 1849, when he was aged around 23, Richard Hills Langridge married Harriet Gasson (born c1828, Fletching, Sussex) at St George's Church, Southwark. In 10 years of marriage, this union produced 5 children - Harriet (born 1850), George (born 1852), Emily (born 1854), Albert (born 1856) and Warden Langridge (born 1858 - died 1859).

Mrs Harriet Langridge, the first wife of Richard Hills Langridge, died in 1859 when she was only about 30 years of age. When the census was taken on 1861, Richard Hills Langridge was still farming at Clarke's Farm, but his farm land had been reduced to 72 acres and he was supplementing his income by working as a carpenter. On the census return, Richard Hills Langridge is described as a 35 year old widower and gives his occupation as "Carpenter & Farmer". Four of Richard Langridge's children were living with their widowed father at Clarke's Farm - Harriet (aged 11), George (aged 9), Emily (aged 7) and Albert (aged 5). To help raise his motherless children, Richard Hills Langridge had employed a 19 year old housekeeper named Eliza Baker. Eliza, who had been born in Horsted Keynes in 1842, was soon sharing her employer's bed and in the Autumn of 1862, she gave birth to a baby daughter, who was christened Mary Ann Baker at Horsted Keynes Church on 7th December 1862. Over the next 7 years Richard Hills Langridge fathered three more children with his young housekeeper - Louisa  (born 1865), Alfred (born 1867) and Ellen Baker (born 1868). Early in 1870, Richard Langridge decided to marry his young mistress, who was already pregnant with her 5th child. Richard Hills Langridge married Eliza Baker during the First Quarter of 1870, and his new wife gave birth to Richard's 10th child, Esther Langridge, a several months later. [Esther Langridge, was baptised in Horsted Keynes on 14th August 1870].

Charles Walter Hills Langridge, Richard Langridge's 11th child and his second wife's 6th child, was born during the Third Quarter of 1872. Five more children were to follow - Richard Hills Langridge (born 1876), Agnes Langridge (born 1877), Margaret Langridge (born 1880), Owen Langridge (born 1883) and Lucy Langridge (born 1885).

By the time the 1891 census was taken, Charles Langridge had left home and found work as a gardener on the Brambletye estate at Forest Row, near East Grinstead. On the census return, Charles Langridge is recorded a 19 year old servant boarding with two other gardeners, Henry Withey and William Rolfe, at Brambletye Botheys, East Grinstead.

By 1901, Charles Langridge had risen to the status of "Foreman Gardener" and was helping to maintain the Ashfold Gardens in Handcross. The Ashfold estate was owned by Lindsay Eric Smith (1852-1930), a very wealthy London banker. A decade later, 38 year old Charles Langridge was working as "Head Gardener" at Ashfold Gardens, Handcross. Newspaper and magazine reports on Charles Langridge's success in horticultural competitions indicate that he was still employed as Head Gardener at Ashfold Gardens, Handcross during the late 1920s and early 1930s.

Charles Walter Hills Langridge died in Surrey in 1959 at the age of 86. [Death registered in South Western Surrey during the 2nd Quarter of 1959].

Charles Walter Hills LANGRIDGE.  Part-time Photographer in Handcross between 1905 and 1914.

[ABOVE] A picture postcard captioned "Vanguard Motor Accident, Handcross, July 12th 1906".  The scene of the tragic accident was captured by a  number of photographers, including Charles Langridge of Ashfold, Handcross, who copyrighted a picture postcard entitled "'Smashed Motor Car (Vanguard) on Handcross Hill'" on 30th July 1906. The picture postcard above is from my own collection, but I have no evidence that this particular photograph was taken by Charles Langridge of Handcross. Presumably, Charles Langridge was one of many photographers who captured the aftermath of the accident on Handcross Hill. The Gravelroots website features a half dozen picture postcards published in 1906 which carry photographs of  'The Vanguard Motor Accident" at Handcross.
To read an interesting account of the Vanguard Motor Accident at Handcross and to view more photographs of the bus wreckage, click on the link below:

The Vanguard Motor Accident at Handcross, July 12th, 1906

[ABOVE] The trade plate of the photographer  Charles Langridge of Handcross (c1907). Charles Langridge, who resided at Ashfold Gardens, Handcross, is known to have taken photographic portraits in the 'cabinet card' format between 1905 and 1910.
It is possible that Charles Langridge began taking photographs in the Handcross area soon after he took up a gardening job at Ashfold Gardens around 1900, but we have firm documentary evidence that he was using a camera during the Summer of 1906.

Handcross was the scene of a terrible road accident which occurred on 12th July 1906. A double-decker Vanguard bus, owned by the London Motor Omnibus Company, was carrying 34 day trippers to Brighton when it careered out of control as it descended Handcross Hill. The brakes on the Vanguard bus failed and the speeding vehicle crashed into a tree, killing or seriously injuring the occupants of the upper deck. Ten people died as a result of the accident.

Soon after the crash, a number of photographers arrived at the scene of the accident and began taking pictures of the mangled remains of the bus. One of the photographers present was Charles Langridge. On 30th July 1906, Charles Langridge registered for copyright a postcard photograph which he entitled "'Smashed Motor Car (Vanguard) on Handcross Hill'. Carrying a copyright registration reference of No. 36351 and date stamped '1906 July 30", the copyright registration stated that both the ownership and authorship of the postcard photograph rested with 'Charles Langridge, Ashfold, Handcross, Crawley, Sussex'.

Surviving examples of Charles Langridge's photographic work provides evidence that he published a number of his photographs as picture postcards between 1906 and 1914. Like other photographers of the period, Charles Langridge produced picture postcards depicting important social events, topographical views and sporting groups. A postcard view captioned "Entrance to Handcross Park" was issued in 1911 and carries on the back of the card the picture credit "Eclipse Series by C. Langridge, High St., Handcross", which suggests he published a number of different postcard views during this period. The Sussex Online Parish Clerks website holds picture postcard by Charles Langridge which depicts the Handcross Football Team for the 1913-1914 season.

In addition to 'real photograph' picture postcards, Charles Langridge also produced photographic portraits in the 'cabinet card' format. I have a cabinet card portrait of a young man, which carries at the foot of the photograph the trade plate of "C. Langridge, Handcross". The Slaugham Archives website has another example of Langridge's portrait work; a cabinet card depicting an elderly man with a greying beard.

Handcross had a very small population during the Edwardian period and so could not support a full-time professional photographer. If an inhabitant of Handcross wanted a photographic portrait for any reason, but didn't want to make a journey of 4 or 5 miles into Crawley or Three Bridges, he or she could call upon the services of Charles Langridge.

William MARCHANT (1886-1965). Active as a photographer in Lindfield between 1912 and 1938
William Marchant was born on 21st August 1886 in Lindfield, Sussex, the son of Elizabeth Isted and John Henry Marchant, a brewer's drayman.

John Henry Marchant (born 1853, Lindfield) had married Elizabeth Isted (born 1852, Worth, Sussex) during the 4th Quarter of 1871. This union produced 6 children -  Ada Louisa Marchant (born 1876), Harry Marchant (born 1879), Mabel Alice Marchant (born 1882), Kate Marchant (born 1884), William Marchant (1886) and John Henry Marchant (born 1889). When the 1901 census was carried out, John Henry Marchant, his wife Elizabeth and their six children were living at 2 Somerset Cottages, Lindfield Common, Sussex, where they had been living for at least the last 10 years. On the census return, John Henry Marchant, the Head of the Family, is described as a 48 year old "Brewer's Drayman". The two eldest children were working and making a financial contribution to the household budget. Twenty-four year old Ada Marchant was working at home as a "Seamstress", whilst twenty-one year old Harry Marchant, John Marchant's eldest son, was employed as a "Grocer's Assistant".

As a young man, William Marchant trained as a printer. When the census was taken on 2nd April 1911, William Marchant was still living with his parents and unmarried siblings in Lindfield, but the family had now moved to a slightly larger building, Somerset House, a short distance from the cottage where they had resided previously. The house at Somerset House in Lewes Road, Lindfield, had 7 rooms, whilst the Marchant's previous home at 2 Somerset Cottages, had only 5 rooms. On the census return, William Marchant is described as a "Printer's Compositor", aged 24.

On 28th August 1912, William Marchant married Myra Ellen Kate Hookway (born 1880 Faringdon, Berkshire), the daughter of Arthur Frederick Hookway and his first wife, Blanche Mary Sherring. Myra's father Arthur Frederick Hookway (born 1850, Canterbury, Kent) was an organist and music teacher, who, after being forced to take work as a painter & decorator, emigrated to Australia in January 1908 with his second wife, Elizabeth, and their two young children. Myra Hookway, a daughter from Arthur's first marriage, remained in England and in 1911 was working as a "Lady's Maid" at Paxhill Park, Lindfield, a large country house belonging to William Arthur Sturdy, a wealthy stockbroker.

At the time of his marriage to Myra Hookway in 1912, William Marchant was still working as a printer, but, very soon after his wedding, he established himself as a professional photographer at 6 Luxford Road, Lindfield. Even before he set up his portrait studio in Luxford Road, William Marchant was taking photographs with his camera and publishing them as picture postcards. Marchant photographed views around Lindfield and, when the opportunity arose, recorded notable events in the local area ( e.g. the arrival of an airship at Lindfield Common, the unveiling of Lindfield's War Memorial). Once he had established a studio in Luxford Road, Marchant was able to offer his services as a portrait photographer.

Early in 1914, Mrs Myra Marchant, William's wife, gave birth to twin daughters - Edith and Elsie Marchant. [ The birth of Edith Marchant and Elsie Marchant was registered in the Mid-Sussex district of Cuckfield during the First Quarter of 1914 ]. Sadly, Elsie died in infancy, but Edith Marchant survived to reach adulthood.

Around 1927, William Marchant moved to new premises at The Studio, Sunte Avenue, Lindfield. William Marchant remained in business as a photographer in Sunte Avenue until at least 1938.

It appears that William Marchant remained in Lindfield for the whole of his life. William Marchant died in 1965, aged 79. [ The death of William Marchant was registered in the Mid-Sussex district of Cuckfield during the Third Quarter of 1965 ].


[ABOVE ] An old postcard view of Sunte Avenue, Lindfield where William Marchant operated as a photographer between 1927 and 1938.
Photographs by William Marchant in my collection are exclusively portraits taken at his Luxford Road studio. William Marchant of Lindfield also issued photographs of local views and events in the postcard format. To view  examples of William Marchant's postcard output and to read an account of his work as a postcard publisher, please visit Rendel William's excellent website Sussex Postcards Info at the link below:

Gallery of Postcards by William Marchant of Lindfield

[ABOVE] A postcard portrait of an unknown man taken by William Marchant of Lindfield (c1920)
[BELOW] The various trade plates utilised by the photographer William Marchant of Lindfield  on his postcard portraits produced between 1913 and 1927.

[ABOVE] Many of  William Marchant's early postcards were blind-stamped or impressed with the name and location  of his studio - "W. MARCHANT, LINDFIELD" - in block capitals. (1913-20)
[ABOVE] During the 1920s and 1930s, Many of  Marchant's early postcards were blind-stamped or impressed with his name and location in block capitals. (1913-1920)
[ABOVE] On Marchant's vignette portraits, where the image was surrounded by a blank space, the photographer could sign in pencil the credit "W. Marchant, Lindfield" (1913-1920)

Postcard Portraits by William Marchant of Lindfield

[ABOVE] A postcard portrait of a young woman taken by William Marchant of Lindfield (c1917). The young woman, identified only as "Vi" (Violet), was sending the promised photo to Lance Sergt. Jimmy Wilson, Highland Light Infantry, based in Curragh, Ireland. [ABOVE] A vignette portrait of an unknown woman taken by William Marchant of Lindfield (c1918). The photographer's signature "W. Marchant, Lindfield" is pencilled in the bottom right-hand corner of the card. [ABOVE] A vignette portrait of an elderly woman wearing spectacles, photographed  by William Marchant of Lindfield (c1918). The photographer's signature "W. Marchant, Lindfield" is pencilled in the bottom right-hand corner of the card.

[ABOVE] A portrait of a young child seated on a cushion, photographed by William Marchant of Lindfield (c1924). Impressed with the blind-stamp "W. Marchant, LINDFIELD" in the bottom right-hand corner. [ABOVE] A postcard portrait of an unknown woman taken by William Marchant of Lindfield (c1918). Impressed with the blind-stamp "W. MARCHANT, LINDFIELD" in the bottom right-hand corner. [ABOVE] A full-length postcard portrait of an unknown man taken by William Marchant of Lindfield (c1915). Impressed with the blind-stamp "W. MARCHANT, LINDFIELD" in the bottom right-hand corner.
John PARKER (1843-1897) - Watchmaker & Jeweller and Part-time Photographer in Lindfield
John Parker was born at Ardingly, Sussex, in 1843, the son of Elizabeth and John Parker, a watchmaker of Lindfield. John's father, John Parker senior (born c1802, Fletching, Sussex) had been a watchmaker in Lindfield as early as 1839, and, after a period in Ardingly, returned to the town in the 1850s to establish a watch and clock making business in Lindfield's High Street. [ The 1858 edition of Melville & Co.'s Directory of Sussex lists John Parker as a "watch & clock maker and jeweller" in Lindfield ]. The 1861 census records John Parker senior as a 59 year old "Watchmaker" in the High Street of Lindfield, sharing his home with his widowed daughter Mrs Sarah Perry (born c1828, Lindfield) and his 17 year old son, John Parker junior. The next census, taken on 2nd April 1871 indicates that 27 year old John Parker junior was assisting his 69 year old father in his watch-making business in a shop close to 'The Poplars' in Lindfield's High Street.

John Parker senior died in Lindfield early in 1878 at the age of 76. John Parker junior took over the running of his late father's watch-making business. On 5th September 1878, John Parker junior married Susannah Newnham (born 1843, Balcombe, Sussex), the daughter of Mary Anne and William Newnham. John and Susannah Parker do not appear to have produced any children. When the census was taken in 1891, forty-seven year old John Parker was recorded as a "Watchmaker & Jeweller" in the High Street of Lindfield. Parker was employing two apprentices, Walter Robert Paddle (aged 20) and Ernest Edward Bates (aged 17). John Parker was now a widower, his wife, Mrs Susannah Parker, having died earlier in the year at the age of 47.

The only evidence I have that John Parker took photographs as a sideline to his watch-making business is a portrait dating from 1895; on the reverse of the photograph is the credit "J. Parker, Watchmaker, High Street, Lindfield". John Parker's activity as a photographer would have been brief, as he died in Lindfield in 1897 at the age of 54.

Lindfield during the 1890s

The 1890 edition of Kelly's Directory of Sussex describes Lindfield as "a village and parish situated on the summit of a hill and on the banks of the river Ouse ...39 miles from London, 3 1/2 east from Cuckfield and 1 1/2 north-east from Haywards Heath". There was a Board School, built in 1883 for "125 boys, 106 girls & 90 infants" and an Assembly Hall which seated 200 persons and could be let for "concerts and entertainments". Kelly's Directory noted that an "Omnibus leaves the Tiger inn, Lindfield, for Hayward's Heath Railway station to meet the trains, six times, weekdays only, fare 6d."

The population of Lindfield in 1891 was 2,233.

[ABOVE] A picture postcard showing High Street, Lindfield during the early 1900s. John Parker (1843-1897) ran a long-established watch-making & jewellery business in the High Street of Lindfield between 1878 and 1897, the year of his death. John Parker's father, John Parker senior (c1802-1878), had worked as a watchmaker in Lindfield as early as 1839.

Lindfield's High Street in 1891

The 1891, Lindfield's High Street contained over two dozen shops and businesses, including bakers, boot-makers, butchers, coach builders, drapers, dress-makers, fishmongers, grocers, hairdressers, plumbers, saddlers, stationers, tailors, a beer-shop and an inn (The Tiger).

High Street, Lindfield, in 1891

High Street Amon Anscombe Retired Builder

 "  "

John Parker Watchmaker & Jeweller

 "  "

Herbert Perryman Chemist & Stationer
'The Poplars'


[ABOVE] John Parker and his neighbours in the High Street of Lindfield at the time of the 1891 census. 

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