Sidney Harry Smith


Hastings Pier

To home page
To directory of publishers

Bookseller and stationer at Hastings. Smith was born at St Pancras in London in 1871. He took over as proprietor of the Castle Library and Bazaar at 1 York Buildings between Wellington Square and Queen's Road during 1908 or early 1909 (in time to be listed in Pike's 1909 Hastings Directory and Kelly's 1909 Sussex Directory), possibly leasing the business from the previous proprietors, Foster & Son. The 1911 census records that he lived at 83 Braybrooke Road in Hastings with Minnie Frances Smith, his wife of 13 years (born in about 1873 at Marylebone), and 12-year-old daughter, Stella Blanche Smith, who had been born in Islington.

Smith is last listed at Hastings in Pike's 1912 Town Directory. In 1913 the business was once again being run by Foster & Son. In the meantime Smith perhaps had returned with his family to London. While he was at Hastings, he sold some good quality, sepia-tinted real photographic cards of the town, with captions entirely in capitals. These were labelled in green on the verso "S. H. Smith, Castle Library, Hastings". 1909, 1911 and 1912 postmarks have been reported. The cards have 5 digit serial numbers (e.g. 13336), which suggests that they were supplied by a large volume printing firm. In addition, Smith also sold collotype cards of Hastings, with backs printed in brown. The cards were not numbered and the captions employed lower case as well as capitals.

Further research is needed to establish just what role Smith had in the production of these cards. Conceivably he was just a proxy selling on behalf of an anonymous publisher.

Design: Lucid Design