John Arnold


Queen's Place, Shoreham (August 1904 postmark seen)

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Photographer and photographic materials dealer at Shoreham-by-Sea. In business by autumn 1905. Kelly's 1907 and 1911 Sussex Directories give his address as 26 East Street, but by 1913 he moved to Brunswick Road. Pike's 1918 Directory lists two addresses: Brunswick Road and 11 New Road. Arnold seems to have ceased trading around 1923.

Arnold issued a small number of RPs of Shoreham and district, many of which have unfortunately become badly faded. Some cards have his name and address on the back, or just his name on the front, but others are anonymous. Many lack captions, for example his cards of carthorses at work on the Downs and crowds gathering in a park for the 1908 Empire Day celebrations at Shoreham.

Arnold's earliest known card shows spectators staring at the smoking remains of the famous coaching inn between Lancing and Shoreham known as the Sussex Pad, which burnt down in October 1905. In the bottom right corner of the photograph is a handwritten caption: "Ruins of Ye Old Sussex Pad. Photo by J. Arnold", written mainly in lower case. There is no publisher's label on the reverse. Generally similar in design is the sepia-tinted view of Queens Place, Shoreham, illustrated above, in which local children pose for their photograph. This card has a handwritten caption in capitals, followed by "J. Arnold". A February 1907 postmark has been seen, but the photograph cannot be later than summer 1906 as it shows trees in full leaf.

The March 1992 issue of Picture Postcard Monthly reproduces an interesting card that Arnold published showing a horse-drawn van used by the Church Army in its missionary work converting the heathen in Sussex. The card is labelled on the back "Arnold's Photo Stores, Brunswick Road, Shoreham", which proves it was issued after 1911.

John Arnold was born at West Hoathly in 1859. He married Annie Louise Bishop, a teacher (born at Brackley in Northants), in about 1880 and they had three children: Minnie Rose Arnold (born at West Hoathly in 1881), Margaret Ethel Arnold (born at Southwick on June 1, 1883, and known as Marguerite or Daisy) and Sybil Arnold (born at Shoreham in 1884). John had a varied career. The 1881 census describes him as a baker and farmer; at this stage he was living at Sharpthorne House at West Hoathly. In 1883 he was living at 1 Colebrook Terrace in Southwick, where he had a grocery business. By 1891 he had become a builder and carpenter in Southwick. In 1901 he and his family were settled at Shoreham, but the census entry is only partially legible and John's occupation is teasingly unclear - he is listed as a "technical" something! In August 1908 when registering his copyright ownership of a photo of Bungalow Town, John gave his address as 22 Queens Place, Shoreham. The 1911 census records that by then he and his family were living at 11 Athole Terrace in Shoreham. He is described as a photographer and picture framer; Louise assisted him in his work. The 1919 Electoral Register lists John and Louise as voters at 11 New Road, Shoreham.

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