Lewis G. Ball


Cyclists passing through Crawley often stopped at the Northgate tea rooms and restaurant for food and refreshment (1923 postmark)

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Photographer, 22 Brighton Road, Crawley (next to the railway crossing). Ball was in business by 1921 and still active in the late 1930s. His studio had previously belonged to Bellchamber & Sons and then to Percy Swan-Taylor, who seems not to have published any cards.

Ball was principally a portrait photographer, but he also produced a small number of real photographic cards. Some of these show local landmarks, such as the ancient Crawley Elm and the Ancient Priors House, or street scenes, such as the view of the Brighton Road reproduced by Michael Goldsmith in his book, Crawley and district in old picture postcards (1987, European Library, Zaltbommel, The Netherlands, page 67). Others record local events, for example the dedication of Rusper War Memorial on August 21, 1921, the fire at Longley's timber yard on March 20, 1924, and the fire that destroyed the Imperial Cinema on August 4, 1928. The photographs are sometimes sepia-tinted, but more often black and white with narrow white borders. Captions, if present, are often underlined. The photographs on some cards are marked "L. Ball". More commonly, however, they are unmarked, but the cards are rubber-stamped on the back "Lewis G. Ball, Photographer, Crawley". Ball is believed to have also issued some anonymous cards of Crawley, for example a card showing an accident to a Rolls Royce car at the railway crossing (reproduced by Goldsmith, page 65).

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