J. Huntley


Argos Mill, Mayfield, before it fell into dilapidation. It is now undergoing major repair

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Mayfield. The card shown above is the only one that Huntley is known to have produced. A real photographic but badly faded, it shows the windmill on Argos Hill at Mayfield and is labelled on the back "J. Huntley - Photo Printer - Mayfield. It was postally used in 1908. The hand-stamped caption in Indian ink has deeply indented the surface of the photograph.

Huntley's identity is a mystery. He is not listed in Kelly's 1905 and 1909 Sussex Directories as a resident of Mayfield or the surrounding district. The 1901 census records that a James Huntley, born in about 1839 in Wiltshire, was a boot and shoemaker at Dalllington. He died at Toronto Cottage at Burwash Common in 1924, aged 85. He had a son, John Huntley (born in 1867), who in 1891 lived at Dallington and worked as a postman. By 1901, however, John is believed to have emigrated to Canada, where he died a few years before his father.

Neither the older nor younger of the two Dallington Huntleys appears likely to have been the mysterious Mayfield photo printer. Yet reports in newspapers published in mid Sussex in the opening years of the last century refer to a J. Huntley, who took part in various Mayfield sports events and Guy Fawkes celebrations, Was this the man who tried his hand at photo printing? And did he leave the area after only a few years?

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