Henry William Tubb


Tubb's eye catching publicity card for a Southwick baker

To home page
To directory of publishers
To gallery

Photographer, in 1899 at 2 Portland Road, opposite Portslade Station, but by 1907 also at 39 Station Road in Portslade. Within about a year he transferred all his business to Station Road and remained there until the early 1930s.

Although primarily a portrait photographer, Tubb published about 50 to 100 different real photographic cards of Portslade and Southwick. The black and white, less commonly sepia-toned, pictures have his name, seemingly intended as a signature, in their bottom left or right corners. They often lack captions or borders. Captions when present tend to be in very small, neat blocky capitals underneath Tubb's name.

Particularly inspired is Tubb's publicity card for G.J. Lord, a Southwick baker, reproduced above. Lord's two identical delivery carts are drawn up outside his Spring Gardens bakery, facing in opposite directions, so that each appears to be the mirror image of the other.

On the edge of Portslade a graceful footbridge used to span a tree-lined sunken lane. Nearly all publishers of postcards of the village included at least one view of the bridge, and Tubb was no exception (a 1910 postmark has been seen). He also produced cards of the old brewery, picturesque houses in Church Street (June 1906 postmark noted), and more unusual subjects such as the entrance drive to St Mary's Convent, and the ugly gas works on the waterfront.

From an early stage Tubb was concerned to record special events. For example, he produced a real photographic card of the landslip that carried away part of the bank of the canal at Southwick Lock in April 1907, necessitating urgent repairs. Other real photographic cards show the Coronation Procession at Portslade in 1911 and the Nurses' Fete at Portslade in May 1912. A card with black borders showing a group of fishermen is entitled "Hove Deep Sea Anglers May 1923". A similar card dates from 1925.

Tubb was born in 1867 at Climping, west of Littlehampton. His father, Charles Frederick Tubb, a coachman and groom, had been born in 1845 at Farley near Winchester. His mother, Jane Tubb, had also been born near Winchester, at Otterbourne in about 1844. He had at least three sisters and five brothers. The 1881 census records that he had left school and become an apprentice, but does not state his trade. On July 21,1890 he married Sarah Hopkins, who had been born in about 1868 at Littlehampton, and was the daughter of Granby Hopkins, a shipwright. The couple married at the Parish Church at Littlehampton, though at the time Tubb was working as a photographic assistant in Brighton.

The 1891 census records that he was boarding with a confectioner and his family at 11 South Street in Dorking, and continuing to work as a photographer's assistant. Sarah was not with him, though she moved to Dorking quite soon afterwards. Their daughter, Matilda Agnes Tubb, was born in the town in 1892. Tubb returned to Sussex with Sarah and Matilda and in 1899 set up in business at 2 Portland Road, Portslade, opposite Portslade Station. He specialised in photographing wedding groups and garden parties as well as studio portraiture. Like many other photographers, he also made picture frames. A second daughter, Olive Una Tubb, was born in 1903. The 1911 census records that both Matilda and Sarah were assisting Tubb with his business at 39 Station Road in Portslade.

Sarah Tubb died at Portslade in 1919, aged 54. On January 5, 1920, Matilda Tubb married Albert Candy at St Andrew's Church at Portslade by Sea. Albert was a fitter and turner from Norway Street, and the son of Albert George Candy, who was also a fitter. Henry Tubb attended his daughter's wedding.

For further details of Tubb's life and examples of his portrait photography you are recommended to visit David Simkin's website at (

To directory of publishers
To gallery

Design: Lucid Design