George Bryant Luff


Worthing parade after storm, March 1912

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Luff was born at Broadwater in 1878, and, as far as is known, was the only son of Thomas Luff (born in about 1826 at Kirdford) and Harriett Luff (born in about 1845 in Cornwall). He had several sisters including Thirza (or Thursa, born in late 1864 or early in 1865), Nora (born in late 1866 or early 1867), Maud (born in 1868) and Selina (born in 1881). The family lived in Broadwater Street, where Thomas kept a sweet shop.

When Thomas died in 1896, Harriett took charge of the shop, assisted by Selina. The 1901 census records that George Luff was still living at home, but had become a journeyman baker. He married Annie Jackson, daughter of Henry Lawrence Jackson, a former dairyman who was deceased, on June 18, 1907 at St Anne's Parish Church in Wandsworth. At the time of the wedding, the couple were living at 4 Knoll Road in Wandsworth.

George Luff returned with Annie to Worthing to open a home made sweet shop at 129 Montague Street (this was while his mother was still running the family shop in Broadwater). He soon gained a reputation for high class confectionery, and received orders from all over the country and also from abroad.

Although primarily a confectioner, Luff published some interesting sepia-toned real photographic cards dated March 5, 1912, showing Worthing Parade after a major storm. The card illustrated records the huge amounts of shingle thrown up by the sea. Two other cards, one showing the Parade flooded by the high tide, are reproduced by Rob Blann in his book Edwardian Worthing - eventful era in a lifeboat town (1991, privately published, p. 146). The photographs have white borders and handwritten captions with distinctive, joined up lettering. Some are stamped on the back in green ink "Published by Luff, Worthing", but others with captions written in the same style and presumably issued by Luff are anonymous. An uncaptioned card probably recording the same flooding event is reproduced in the Gallery.

Luff also issued a black and white real photographic card showing Worthing Pier after the great storm in March 1913. A publicity card of his shop that was collotyped in Saxony may have been commissioned from the London publisher Hartmann. Another fine Luff card showing horses pulling the Worthing lifeboat into the sea is reproduced by Rob Blann in his book on page 143.

Luff was still in business at 129 Montague Street in 1935. For many years he and Annie lived at 4 Caledonian Place (West Building) in Worthing. He died in 1952 at the age of 73.

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