East Parade, Bognor. The building nearest the camera was the Convalescent Home for Surrey Women, demolished in 1980
Proprietor of the Bognor Library and Bazaar, a stationer's shop, toy and fancy goods "warehouse" at 5 Waterloo Square in the heart of Bognor Regis. Burgess was born in the summer of 1865 at St. Pancras, London. His father was another Robert Burgess, born at St. Lukes, Middlesex in about 1849, and his mother was Eliza Burgess. In 1881 the family were living at 172 White Cross Street in London. By 1891 Briant Burgess had become a hosier's assistant in Brighton, but by 1899 he moved to Bognor and set up in business as a stationer and fancy goods merchant. When the 1901 census was held, he was single and living on his own at Waterloo Square. James Reeve Burgess, a collector for the Bognor Gas and Water Co. aged 66, lived next door. He was presumably a relative, but this remains to be confirmed. By 1918 Briant Burgess was married. He and his wife, Louisa, lived in a house called Alvaston in Canada Grove. He died in 1946, aged 80.
Burgess sold a varied range of printed cards of Bognor, Felpham, Bersted, Pagham and Slindon that were labelled either on the front or back "Published by R. Briant Burgess, Bognor", despite being supplied by Valentine's of Dundee, in some cases under their V. & S. Ltd. label. After the First World War he also sold blue-sheen collotype cards of Bognor which were labelled on the back "R. Briant Burgess, The Fancy Bazaar, Bognor on Sea". These do not seem to have been manufactured by Valentine's. The number and variety of cards that Burgess sold was unusual for a single shop retailer, and suggests that he acted as a wholesaler stationer, supplying a number of shops in the Bognor area with postcards, as well as shops in Pagham and Slindon. He appears, therefore, to have been a genuine publisher, commissioning cards from Valentine's and at least one other printer, then distributing them to retailers. A 1907 postmark has been found on a Bognor card, and a handwritten date of 1907 on a Slindon card, but most postmarks relate to the period 1909 to 1912.To directory of publishers
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