Boots, Brighton


S.S. Brighton ice rink, West Street, Brighton. Converted from a swimming pool, 1935

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In his book, Picture postcards and their publishers (1978, Golden Age Postcard Books, Malvern), Anthony Byatt records that Boots Cash Chemists of Nottingham started publishing postcards in 1899 and launched their very successful "Pelham Series" of views of English towns and villages by 1905. As part of this national marketing exercise Boots issued real photographic cards of Brighton, Lewes, Eastbourne and other places in Sussex. The Pelham Series appears to have been discontinued in the late 1920s, but during the 1930s the Boots branch at 157 Western Road in Brighton began issuing a series of real photographic cards of their own, showing the Palace Pier, the Devil's Dyke and other local landmarks. The cards are labelled on the back "Boots, The Chemists, Western Road, Brighton" or "Published by Boots The Chemists, 157 Western Road, Brighton" or (more rarely) "Boots, The Chemists, 157 Western Road & 17 St James's Street, Brighton". The photographs are sepia-tinted and have neatly printed titles. Although only a limited range was issued, the cards boast 5-digit serial numbers (e.g. 20752), which were presumably added by Harvey Barton & Son Ltd. of Bristol who printed the cards for Boots, mostly anonymously. 1938 and 1939 postmarks have been reported.

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