Whitley Road Band of Hope Procession, Eastbourne, 1909
279 Seaside, Eastbourne. John Edwards for many years was a gasfitter and plumber by trade, but by 1895 he started working as a Conservative political agent. He also took up portrait photography, but on a very part-time basis. That he occasionally issued postcards of social events is demonstrated by the example shown above, which has his name and address printed on the back. A real photographic card, it has an unusually glossy surface and no border. The caption was evidently printed onto a transparent slip before being superimposed on the negative.
John Edwards was born at St Nicholas near Cardiff, in about 1857 if the 1881 and 1891 censuses are to be believed. The 1901 census, however, suggests that he was born in about 1847! He married Sarah Jane Lewis at Lewes in 1879, and their daughter, Ethel E. Edwards, was born at Eastbourne in 1881. The family lived in Ashford Road in Eastbourne for many years, but by 1901 moved to Gartreff Villa in Whitley Road. Kelly's 1905 Sussex Directory lists him as a Conservative registration agent at 128 Terminus Road, but this may have been an office address (as seems to have been 279 Seaside) rather than his home. He and Sarah are not listed as Eastbourne residents in the 1911 census, but whether this means that they had left the town is unclear.
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