William Wareham


Quayside, Littlehampton

To home page
To directory of publishers
To gallery

Photographer, Littlehampton. Wareham was born in Brighton in 1862. He was one of four children of Henry Wareham, who had been born in about 1826 at Exton in Hampshire, and Harriett Wareham, who came from Coleshill in Berkshire and was about two years younger than her husband. The 1871 census records that Henry was running a lodging house at 127 Kings Road in Brighton. By 1881 he was in charge of another lodging house, at 15 Clifton Terrace in Brighton. His son William was working as a carpenter and living at the lodging house with his two sisters, Annie and Jessie Wareham.

In 1890 William Wareham married Ada Baker, who had been born in about 1864 at Aldingbourne in Sussex. The 1891 census records that he and Ada were living at Worthing, and that he was a County Court Bailiff. By 1892, however, they moved to Littlehampton, where he opened a stationer's shop and bookstore in Beach Road. Kelly's 1895 Directory lists him at 5 Beach Road, but the 1899 edition and 1901 census locate him at Numbers 3 & 4. He was only a few doors away from John White & Son, who were Littlehampton's leading photographers. According to the 1911 census he and Ada had once had a child, but it had died.

By 1905 Wareham began selling collotype cards of Littlehampton, Rustington, Tortington and Arundel. It is likely that he took at least some of the photographs himself, as he is known to have become interested in photography at about this date. Some of the cards with black and white pictures and captions and backs printed in red were supplied by the London-based firm of Frederick Hartmann. Others with black and white pictures but black captions and black backs were variously printed in Saxony, possibly by the same firm that had supplied Hartmann, and in Britain by Valentines of Dundee. The Valentines cards were labelled on the back "Wareham, Littlehampton. V & S Ltd. D.". In addition, Wareham issued some coloured halftones, with green printed backs, which again came from Hartmann. He also sold some coloured collotype cards with black backs, of unknown origin. One of the more pleasing of these coloured cards shows the harbour in vivid blue with a paddle steamer (Worthing Belle) in the foreground taking on passengers. Another shows Church Street with a family riding on donkeys. As far as is known, all the coloured cards that Wareham issued are labelled on the reverse "Wareham, Littlehampton".

Wareham is believed to have also been the publisher of some halftone cards of Littlehampton and Arundel that are labelled "The 'Arun' Series". These were printed in Britain. His name does not appear on the halftones, but at least one shows the same scene as a real photographic that he is known to have issued, so there is little reason to doubt their authorship.

Wareham sold real photographic cards in much smaller numbers than printed cards. Some of the cards lack captions and appear to have been prepared in a hurry, perhaps as a souvenir of a special occasion, for example a captionless real photographic of crowds thronging Littlehampton Pier, which is stamped "Wareham, Littlehampton" on the reverse. A note that someone has added on the back asserts that the photograph was taken in September 1908. Much more sophisticated is a sepia tinted real photographic dating from c. 1920, which shows holidaymakers on the beach and the Parade at Littlehampton. The caption is neatly handwritten in capitals. Even more memorable is a real photographic card showing the Littlehampton lifeboat, the Brothers Freeman, being paraded through the town on Flag Day, 1915. Other good quality real photographics, some with borders, others borderless, show Burpham village and the Arun valley viewed from the northern end of Arundel Park. Wareham also issued a series of interesting real photographics showing Littlehampton in winter after a light fall of snow. No postmarks or other indication of the date have been reported.

When Pike's Bognor, Littlehampton & Arundel Directory for 1910-11 was compiled, Wareham was still living at 3 Beach Road, but by the time the 1911 census was held he had moved with his wife to 11 Clifton Road. The census describes him as a retired stationer. By 1915 Wareham was working as a photographer at 60 Pier Road, though he continued to live at Clifton Road, , which remained his home for the rest of his life. He was still in business at Pier Road in 1930.

Wareham was the publisher of a Penny Guide to Littlehampton and District, with a brief text and twenty halftone views of the town and neighbourhood. Undated, it gives his address as 3 and 5 Beach Road, which suggests it was published before 1912-13. An advertisement on the back describes him as a "Discount bookseller and stationer", who sold picture post cards "in great variety". He also sold china and Devonshire pottery, bibles, prayer and hymn books, as well as a range of "Seaside Requisites".

Wareham died on October 30, 1933, aged 71. His estate was valued for probate at £1349.

Tony Pratt recalls the history of the sailing ships and motor boats photographed by Frank Spry and William Wareham at Littlehampton in an absorbing article in the October 2013 issue of Picture Postcard Monthly (pages 36 -38).

To directory of publishers
To gallery

Design: Lucid Design