Webster & Webb


"A sou' wester at Bognor"

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Booksellers, stationers, newsagents and lending library proprietors at 61, 63 & 65 High Street and 4 The Arcade, Bognor. Webster and Webb acquired their High Street shop (once known as Hounsom's Library) from its then owner, Henry Lovett, in 1891. Lovett also sold them his printing works in Lennox Street, where the Bognor Observer and Chichester Observer newspapers were produced. Vanessa Mills in her book, Bognor Regis, a pictorial history (1995, Phillimore, Chichester), reproduces a photograph of the High Street shop front and advertisement for the firm dating from about 1915.

Nothing much seems to be recorded about Webster, who lived at 1 Canada Grove in Bognor. His partner, William Boucher Sutton Webb, was born in Holborn in London in 1863, and in 1899 married Kate Lovett, daughter of Henry.

Webster and Webb issued coloured, black and white, and sepia-tinted collotype cards of Bognor and Arundel from 1904 to about 1910 or perhaps even later. A card of giant waves breaking against the Esplanade appears to have been artistically embellished. A card of Bognor viewed from the pier shared the same picture as a card issued by Charles E. Thomas. Some of the cards were printed in Germany, and Woolstone Bros. of East London supplied many others as part of their Milton Series. There is no evidence that Webster & Webb printed any cards themselves, but the fact that they issued cards of Arundel as well as Bognor could indicate that they were genuine publishers and not simply retailers.

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