F. Seltman


Thakeham Church

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Photographer and postcard publisher, West Street, Storrington. Seltman issued some sepia-toned real photographic cards of Thakeham and Storrington in the late 1920s. The photographs usually have white borders and the captions are handwritten in small blocky capitals. His name is often to be found in the bottom right corner of the photographs. Some cards, however, are anonymous, but can be recognised from the handwriting of the captions. A 1928 postmark has been reported.

The photographs are well composed and carefully reproduced. Both winter and summer scenes are represented. Joan Ham in her book, Storrington through the twentieth century (2001, privately published, p. 266), reports that a fire destroyed Mr Seltman's wooden studio and all its contents in the early hours of August 12, 1926, so presumably all the photographs that appear on the cards were taken after this date. For some reason, Seltman seems not to be listed in inter-war Directories.

At the start of the 1920s a James Seltman set up the Lounge Studio at 24 Terminus Road in Eastbourne. An advertisement boasted that he had "a very wide knowledge of child portraiture, in which he has been extraordinarily successful", but despite his prowess the studio soon failed! No evidence has been found to suggest that he and the Storrington photographer with the same surname were related, but the possibility needs to be borne in mind.

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