Thursday, October 25, 2018

More New Cross Faces from 1860s to 1900s

As mentioned before, I periodically look on Ebay and similar sites for interesting local photos (the ones here are all currently on sale, click links for futher details). I am particularly fascinated by the products of photographers' studios, of which there were a number on the New Cross Road in the Victorian/Edwardian era.

The first photo here is of a finely whiskered gentleman photographed by C.Goulder, Artist and Photographer, 341 New Cross Road (ebay link). Seemingly Charles Goulder was operating there in 1867, and at other premies in Deptford in the same period.

Elsewhere online I found this card from the photographer:

Often with these images we don't know who the subject is. What makes this next one quite intriguing is that there is some information, as the photo was sent as a postcard by the young man pictured. The photographer's address can be made on the back as 251 New Cross Road - I believe the photographer to be R & J Foster who had studios here and at 21 London Road, Greenwich

The postcard was sent from Peckham, on 4 January 1913 to a Miss Selina Cowen, 130 St James Street, Burnley (ebay details). The message reads 'My dear Selina, I am sending you my photo wishing a Happy New Year [loving?] brother Bennett'

The 1911 census has Selina Cowen, then aged 10, living at this address as the adopted daughter of Aaron (a tailor shopkeeper) and Annie Cowen. Intriguingly all three are stated to have been born in Russia, the parents having become 'naturalized British subjects' in 1895.  I would speculate that they could have been Russian Jewish emigres, Cowen was sometimes adopted as an anglicised version of Cohen.

I couldn't find any trace of a Bennett Cowen from this time, though maybe if his sister was adopted they could have had different names. As a long shot, there was a Bennett Cohen of around the right age (born c.1898) living with his father Abraham Cohen, another Russian born tailor, in Leeds in 1901 and 1911 Census.

The final photograph was taken by P. Luton of 24 New Cross Road in 1909. It shows the Swiss Gymnastic Society, London (ebay) - one of a number of societies at the time for Swiss people based in the capital.

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