West Street & Market Cross, Chichester
Whyke Lane, Chichester. This firm seems to have been particularly active in the 1950s and 1960s publishing black and white real photographic cards with and without borders showing Chichester, neighbouring downland villages, Fernhurst, Pagham Harbour, and the Selsey Peninsula. Most cards have printed captions in a variety of fonts and font sizes, but some lack captions. The Selsey cards with few exceptions are labelled on the back "Selsey Press, High Street, Selsey Bill, Sussex" and "Copyright. Chichester Photo Service Ltd.". Cards of other areas are generally labelled "Photo by Chichester Photographic Service Ltd.", but in a few cases are anonymous.
Brian Silver of the Surrey Postcard Club reports that Chichester Photographic Services Ltd produced at least 37 different cards of the Fernhurst area. The earliest Fernhurst cards carried no publisher's label, unlike later reprints and additions to the range. Brian has found one anonymous card that was posted in June 1940. The earliest Fernhurst card he has seen with a Chichester Photographic Services label was posted in August 1952.
Ben Dunk, who lived for many years in West Dean, reproduces some sepia-tinted collotype cards of the village in his Memoirs (see www.dunkantix.com). These cards were anonymously published he believes in the late 1930s by Chichester Photographic Services. One card shows the village church before it was burnt down in 1936.
Chichester Photographic Services remained in business until about 1968. Ben Dunk reports that Eric Peacock, whom he knew quite well, was the firm's photographer and manager in its post war years. Another key figure during the same period is said to have been Harry Guermonprez. According to Brian Silver, numbered cards ranging from 603 to 631 started to appear by June 1963. In addition to the view cards, the firm also produced cards of local people and events, for example, the passing out parade of the Royal Sussex Regiment at Chichester on April 24, 1958. Many of these "events" cards and "specials" have unlined (blank) backs, hand stamped with the firm's name and address, and the negative number.
Chichester Photographic Services' stock of 15,000 glass plate negatives created from 1938 onwards is now in the care of West Sussex Record Office.To directory of publishers
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