Arthur Edward Whale


The old Granary, Cowdray Park, Midhurst

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Tobacconist, North Street, Midhurst. Whale set up in business as a tobacconist in North Street at Midhurst in the early 1930s (he is listed in Kelly's 1934 Sussex Directory, but not in the 1930 edition). He was still trading in 1938. It is not known whether he retired before the outbreak of war or continued working perhaps until after peace returned.

Whale published modern-looking real photographic cards of the Midhurst area, which are now hard to come by and presumably were produced only in small numbers. All the cards have white borders and machine printed captions in capitals. The titlepiece shows Whale's card of the picturesque old granary in Cowdray Park. Other cards show, for example, the so-called "Round House" in Cowdray Park, streets of old timbered buildings at Midhurst, the River Rother and the Mill Pool, a popular local beauty spot. Cars are conspicuously absent. Whale's name is invariably printed to the left of the captions, usually entirely in capitals, but sometimes (as shown above) in lower case after an initial capital "W". No postmarks have been reported.

Arthur Edward Whale was born on March 30, 1884 in the Limehouse area of East London, which was also the birthplace of his mother, Amelia Ann Whale and his father, Joshua Samuel Whale, who worked as a confectioner. He was the fifth of seven or more children. The family lived for many years in the High Street in Poplar. When he was old enough, Arthur helped his father with the confectionery business. He married Doris Chivers at Poplar in 1917, and in 1918 moved with her to Exeter in Devon, where their son, Kenneth Whale, was born. Why he later chose to settle in Midhurst is not known. He died in retirement at 8 Walton Road in Bognor Regis on July 10, 1977. His son Kenneth, who registered the death, was living at the time at 15 Winchester Drive in Chichester.

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