William Weeks Pearson


Group of holidaymakers at Hastings

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22 Whitefriars Road, Hastings. William James Weeks was the stepson of George Pearson. Born William James Weeks at Ashford in Kent on June 11, 1870, he worked as a professional photographer under the name of William Weeks Pearson. His mother had married George Pearson when he was seven. During the 1880s George moved to Ore and then Hastings with his family, and soon set up in business as a photographer. After leaving school, William seems to have worked as an assistant photographer for his stepfather, gradually learning his trade. By 1901, however, he was operating as a photographer on his own account.

In 1889 William married Sarah Elizabeth Ades, who was the daughter of a stone sawyer from Ore. Both the 1891 and 1901 censuses record that the couple had delayed setting up home together and were sharing his stepfather and mother's house at 30 Vicarage Road in Hastings. By 1905, however, they moved to nearby Whitefriars Road.

The 1901 census lists five children from the marriage. Whether there were more cannot readily be established because the 1911 census omits all mention of the family.

William specialised in photographing groups of holidaymakers on Hastings beach. In addition he took pictures of holidaymakers setting off on day trips in charabancs, no doubt quickly preparing prints that he could sell to the holidaymakers on their return. Like his stepfather, he also travelled around the district taking school photographs. Only rarely did he produce postcard views of Hastings. He was still active as a photographer and living at 22 Whitefriars Road in 1929, but by the early 1930s he seems to have retired. He died at Hastings in late 1935.

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