Wilfrid Tadd


The tiny chapel dedicated to St. Wilfrid at Norton, on the shore of Pagham Harbour

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Farm labourer and postcard publisher, 8 Station Road, Selsey. Wilfrid Tadd was born on 7 January 1888 at Selsey and was the youngest son of George and Clara Tadd. He had 6 brothers and 6 sisters. The family lived at various addresses in Selsey before settling at 8 Station Road by 1911.

George Tadd had been born at Selsey in about 1844, and was an agricultural labourer. In 1867 he married Clara Lambard, who was three years younger and came from Sidlesham. It is not known what prompted Wilfrid to take up photography. Perhaps he hoped to supplement his income as an agricultural labourer. For what seems to have been a brief period, he specialised in producing postcards of newly erected or newly purchased houses at Selsey, no doubt to supply direct to their owners. The card shown above is unusual in that it does not depict a private house, but the tiny St. Wilfrid's Chapel at Norton on the edge of Pagham Harbour. Of mediaeval origin, the chapel had once formed the chancel of a much larger church, most of which was dismantled in the 1860s and moved stone by stone to Selsey to incorporate in the new parish church that was then under construction. The chapel was dedicated to St. Wilfrid in 1917, which is possibly when his more modern namesake photographed it. Visitors may have purchased the resulting postcards at the chapel to take away as keep-sakes.

Wilfrid produced both sepia-tinted and black and white postcards. They rarely come up for sale today, and evidently were produced only in small numbers. All examples that have been found have white borders and lack captions. Most are stamped on the back in purple ink "W. Tadd, 8 Station Road, Selsey-on-Sea" enclosed in a small decorative frame, but some are anonymous. No postally used examples have been found, nor any other indication of when they were produced.

Wilfrid is not listed as a photographer or as a Selsey resident in any of the various Kelly's Sussex Directories that have been consulted. He died in hospital in Chichester aged 89 on 9 September 1977. His death certificate describes him as a retired master builder of 34 Church Road, Selsey.

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