Staff at the Sackville Hotel, Bexhill, in 1910
Eastbourne and Bexhill photographer. Leon Balk was a Jewish émigré from Lithuania, who set up a photographic studio in Langney Road at Eastbourne in about 1903 (see David Simkin's website http://photohistory-sussex.co.uk). About two years later Balk established a second studio at 69a Devonshire Road in Bexhill in partnership with Otto Brown, who had worked as a photographer in Hampshire. The partnership was short lived and in about 1906 Brown left Bexhill to establish his own studio in Worthing. Balk then closed his Eastbourne studio and concentrated on running the Bexhill business himself. When the 1911 census was held, he was living at 23 Sackville Road in Bexhill with his wife, Minnie Balk (another émigré), to whom he had been married for 10 years, and three children (Maurice Balk, aged 9, born in London); Philipp Balk, aged 7, born at Eastbourne; and 6 month old Bessie Balk, born at Bexhill). He was 38 and his wife 34 years old. He had become a naturalised British citizen in 1906. Although mainly a studio photographer, he is known to have published occasional postcards. Balk remained at Bexhill until 1915, but he then appears to have returned to Eastbourne to set up in business there once again (see Devonshire Studios).
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