Frank Turner


The pioneering aviator, Graham White, landed his seaplane in Newhaven Harbour on 20 July 1912 during his Round Britain Campaign to raise public awareness of the military capabilities of planes

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Photographer, 30 Meeching Road, Newhaven. Turner issued many portrait postcards of Newhaven residents and soldiers stationed in the town, mostly in sepia, with narrow white borders. Some cards are embossed, others are labelled on the back "Photo by F. Turner, 30 Meeching Road, Newhaven". The photographs were taken at his studio in Meeching Road or possibly in some cases in a portable tent that he erected at Army camps. Turner also undertook photography in the open air, recording, for example, Newhaven Bowls Club playing in front of the Sheffield Arms (like so much of his work this card is captionless).

In 1906 a Miss Stone ran a school at 30 Meeching Road, which was known as Alma House. She moved out and by 1909 Wiggin & Gray, photographers, had taken over the property. They were still there in 1910-11, when a Miss R. Gray was recorded as living at Alma House. However, when the 1911 census was held, Wiggins and Gray had gone, and William Elkington had moved in as photographer, sharing the Alma House premises with Amos Skinner (a coal merchant) and his family. Elkington was 25 years old and had been born in Jersey. He too seems to have had difficulty attracting enough business. Frank Turner was Elkington's successor at 30 Meeching Road and was already publishing postcards from this address by July 1912, as demonstrated by the card reproduced here as a titlepiece. In March 1914 he issued cards of two sailing boats wrecked in a storm on Newhaven beach.

Turner is listed as a photographer in Pike's Lewes and Newhaven Directories from 1913-14 to 1916-17. Before the end of the First World War, however, Joseph James Hill took over from Turner, who seems to have left Newhaven altogether. Hill moved in 1929 to 27 High Street, Newhaven.

Acknowledgement: Special thanks are due to Paul Green (Polegate) for providing much useful information about Turner and his cards.

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