Crawley Photographers

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Professional Photographers in Crawley, Ifield and Three Bridges  

Thomas Antill - John Belchamber - George Parsons - Arthur Piper - John W. Slator - Harry Tullett

Thomas ANTILL  (1849-1897)

Recorded as a photographer in New Town, Ifield in the Census of 1881

Thomas Antill  was born around 1849 in Southwark, Surrey, South London, the son of Martha and William Samuel Antill (1826-1894), a carver and gilder of London. By 1854, William Samuel Antill had established a picture-frame making business in Brighton, Sussex, but his family continued to live in Newington, Surrey, South London. William Antill's wife and three children eventually joined him in Brighton around 1858. Although William S. Antill was primarily a carver and gilder, around 1864 he set himself up as a photographer at his business premises at 57 Preston Street, Brighton. From about 1867 onwards, William Antill was assisted in his photography business by his two eldest sons - William Antill junior (born 1848, Newington, Surrey ) and Thomas Antill (born 1849, Southwark).

Towards the end of 1870, Thomas Antill married, and he and his wife Emma settled in Worthing. The couple's first child, Thomas Edward Antill was born in Worthing in 1872. A daughter named Emma Matilda Antill was born in Worthing in 1874.

At the time of the 1881 Census, Thomas Antill, his wife, Emma, and their two children were living in New Town, Ifield. In the census return, Thomas Antill is recorded as a "Photographer", aged 31.

By 1891, Thomas Antill had moved on to Barnet, Hertfordshire, where he worked as a self-employed photographer.T homas Antill died towards the end of 1897, aged 48. His death was registered in the district of Barnet during the 4th Quarter of 1897.

[ABOVE ] The Plough Inn, Ifield, photographed around 1875.


John Thomas BELCHAMBER (born 1875, Brockham Green, Betchworth, Surrey)

 Active as a photographer in Crawley from 1905 to 1911.

John Thomas Belchamber was born in 1875 at Brockham Green, near Betchworth in Surrey, the son of Mary Ann and John Belchamber senior, a grocer and draper who ran the Post Office at Brockham Green.

Picture postcards of Brockham were published by Belchamber & Son (presumably John Belchamber senior, and his son John Thomas Belchamber). It is possible that John Thomas Belchamber produced the photographs for these cards.

There is evidence that Belchamber & Son were taking photographic portraits in Crawley as early as 1897. [See the cabinet card portrait of the Rice Family, illustrated below].

In 1905, John Thomas Belchamber married Annie Louise Botting. [The marriage of John Thomas Belchamber and Annie Louise Botting was registered in the Sussex district of Horsham during the 3rd Quarter 1905. Annie Louise Botting was born in Loxwood, Sussex, the daughter Louisa and Sydney Botting, a farmer of Loxwood Place, Wisborough Green, West Sussex.

John Thomas Belchamber had a photographic studio at 22 Brighton Road, Crawley from around 1905 to 1911.

Around 1913, John T. Belchamber took over the photographic studio of John Wheeler at 4 North Street, Horsham. John Belchamber and his wife remained in Horsham for just a couple of years. Mrs Annie Belchamber gave birth to a son named John Belchamber during the 3rd Quarter of 1914. By the time John and Annie Belchamber's next child (Mary Belchamber) was born in 1919, the family were living in the Westbourne area of West Sussex.

John Thomas Belchamber died in the West Sussex District of Chichester during the 4th Quarter of 1951, aged 76.

1911 CENSUS: 22 Brighton Road, Crawley






John Thomas BELCHAMBER Head

 Photographer (Employer)


Brockham Green, Surrey
Annie Louise BELCHAMBER wife  


Loxwood, Sussex
[ABOVE] John Thomas Belchamber and his wife, Annie Louise Belchamber, recorded at 22 Brighton Road, Crawley, at the time of the 1911 census. John Thomas Belchamber operated a photographic studio at 22 Brighton Road, Crawley from around 1905 to 1911.

Picture Post Cards by Belchamber & Son

The Brockham History website notes that picture postcards depicting the village of Brockham were published by Belchamber & Son during the first decade of the 20th century. Rendel Williams on his Sussex Postcards Info website points out that photographs produced by John Belchamber appeared on postcard views of Crawley issued by a London publisher, The London View Company. To read more about  the postcards produced by Belchamber & Son and to see an example of a postcard view of Crawley photographed by John Belchamber, click on the link below.

John Belchamber & Son of Crawley


The Rice Family of Crawley

The cabinet group portrait by Belchamber & Son of Crawley, illustrated on the left, shows James and Anne Rice and three of their younger children, photographed around 1897. The bearded figure seated in the middle of the picture is James Rice (1852-1915), a carpenter's joiner. James Rice was born in Turner's Hill (Worth) in 1852. Standing at the back is Mrs Anne Hannah Rice (1850-1904), James Rice's first wife. James Rice married Anne Hannah Lamburt at Crawley Down on 22nd February 1873. On the left-hand side of the picture is their daughter Lily Eliza Rice (born 1884). Lily Rice married William Ernest Cumbers in 1908 and emigrated to the United States.

The daughter standing on the right is Rose Rebecca Rice (born 1886). Rose Rice married Walter Court in 1911. The couple's first child Charles Walter Michael Court was born in Crawley on 29th September 1911. Walter and Rose Court and their young son Charles emigrated to Western Australia the following year. Rose Court gave birth to a second son in Australia. Rose's eldest son Charles Walter Michael Court became active in Australian politics and served as the Premier of Western Australia from 1974 to 1982.

The young boy standing between James Rice's knees is Charles Alfred James Rice (born 1892). Charles Rice, who was aged around five when this photograph was taken, married Nellie Tame in 1915 and fathered twin daughters. Charles Rice enlisted in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs) and fought on the Western Front during the First World War. Sergeant Charles A. J. Rice died in France on 29th January 1919 at the age of 27, leaving behind a widow and two young children.

[ABOVE] Cabinet portrait of  James Rice and Family by Belchamber & Son of Crawley (c1897). At the time this photograph was taken, James Rice and his family were living in the Ifield area of West Sussex. The Rice family resided in Malthouse Road, Crawley.


George PARSONS (1854-1935)

Active as a photographer in Crawley from the 1890s to 1918.

 [ABOVE ] Rubber stamped trade plate of  George Parsons, Photographer, Albert Studio, Crawley, Sussex.

 [ABOVE ] Portrait of a Young Woman. Carte-de-visite  by George Parsons of the Albert Studio, Crawley. (c1890)

[PHOTO - Courtesy of Chris Christian ]

George  Parsons was born in Ifield, near Crawley in 1854, the son of Sophia Tullett and Robert Parsons, a farm labourer. George was baptised in Crawley on 27th August 1854. George Parsons was the eldest of ten children. His father and mother and his nine siblings lived on Black Dog Farm in Worth, Sussex. George's father and brothers mainly worked on the farm, but they were also regularly employed as carters by Cheals Nursery in Crawley ( In 2005, Cheals Nursery became Squire's Garden Centre ). George's three sisters later worked as shopkeepers in the Crawley area.

As a young man, George Parsons was in domestic service, working as a coachman. Around 1882, George Parsons married a young servant girl, Mary Eliza Ennos (born 1861, Springfield, near Chelmsford, Essex ). The couple settled in Crawley, Sussex, where their two children were born - Beatrice Pauline (born December Quarter 1883, Crawley ) and Clarence George ( born December Quarter 1883, Crawley ).

George Parsons and his family lived at 6 Albert Cottages, Crawley. Although employed as a house painter, George Parsons took photographic portraits in a wooden studio at the end of his back garden. He gave this wooden building the rather grand title of the "Albert Studio".

A carte-de-visite portrait carrying a trade stamp with the wording "G. PARSONS, PHOTOGRAPHER, ALBERT STUDIO, CRAWLEY, SUSSEX" appears to date from about 1890.

At the time of the 1901 census, forty-six year old George Parsons was still living at 6, Albert Cottages, Crawley, and he gave his full-time occupation as "House Painter (worker)". George's 17 year old daughter was working as an apprentice dressmaker and his fifteen year old son Clarence was in domestic service, employed as a "House Boy".

[ABOVE] Albert Cottages, Crawley, where George Parsons lived and worked as a photographer in the 1890s.

Although he was clearly active as a photographer in Crawley in the 1890s, George Parsons is not listed as a professional photographer in Sussex trade directories until four years after the census was taken. George Parsons is listed under the heading of "Photographers" in the Trades Section of Kelly's Sussex Directory of 1905. His business address is given as High Street, Crawley. Later listings, published between 1907 and 1918, give George Parsons' studio address as 133 High Street, Crawley.

George Parsons died in 1935 and is buried in Crawley churchyard.



Thanks to Bob Parsons for the photograph of Albert Cottages, Crawley and the additional information on George Parsons. Bob Parsons is descended from Albert Parsons, a younger brother of George Parsons.


[ABOVE ] Cabinet portrait of two young girls by George Parsons of  Crawley. (c 1905). [TOP] Printed details of G. Parsons, Crawley on reverse.


 Arthur PIPER ( born c1859, Maidstone, Kent )

Active as a photographer in Crawley from 1895 to 1901.

Arthur Piper  was born around 1859 in Maidstone, Kent, the son of Rose and John Piper, a Customs Officer. At the time of the 1881 Census, Arthur Piper was living with his parents, together with his brother and sister, in Mistley, a riverside village near Manningtree in Essex. Arthur Piper, then aged 22, was already working as a photographer.

Around 1890, Arthur Piper married Hope Lilly Chapman, the daughter of Curtis and Rebecca Chapman of Lincoln. Hope was born in Lincoln on 3rd November 1869. Around 1877, the Chapman family moved to the Poplar district of London, where Hope's father, Curtis Chapman died in 1878, aged 46. In 1881, twelve year old Hope was living at 24 Samuda Street, Poplar, Tower Hamlets with her widowed mother, Mrs Rebecca Chapman, and three younger siblings.

Arthur and Hope Piper's first child, Mabel was born in Redhill, Surrey, around 1891. By 1895, Arthur Piper and his family were living in Crawley, Sussex, where their son, Arthur John , was born. The couple's third child, a daughter named Nellie, was born in Crawley at the end of the following year ( birth registered in the December Quarter of 1896 ). In Kelly's 1899 Directory of Sussex, Arthur Piper is listed as a photographer with a studio in Crawley.

At the time of the 1901 census, Arthur and his wife were running a coffee house in Crawley's High Street, but Arthur Piper was still earning a living from photography. In the 1901 census return, Arthur Piper is described as a "Coffee House Keeper & Photographer", aged 42.



John W. SLATOR ( born 1862, Long Sutton, Lincolnshire )

Active as a photographer in Three Bridges, near Crawley, from 1894 to 1911.

John William Bradley Slator was born in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire in 1862, the son of Sarah Ann Smith and William Slator (1835 -1868), an agricultural labourer. John's father, William Slator, died of Bright's disease on 11th April 1868. Before the end of the year, John's widowed mother, Mrs Sarah Ann Slator (born c1835 Long Sutton, Lincs) had re-married. Sarah Ann's new husband was William Crispin Corley ( born 1845, Hartismere, Suffolk ), also an agricultural labourer, and they married at Sutton St Nicholas, Lincolnshire, on 20th December 1868. At the time of the 1871 Census, eight year old John was living with his mother and step-father at Sutton St Nicholas in the parish of Lutton.

In 1881, John Slator was in service, working as a gardener for Mrs Louise Bassett of 36 Sydenham Park, Lewisham, Kent.

[ABOVE ] Portrait of  a Sarah Sergeant, wife of John W. Slator, the Three Bridges photographer (c1894). [PHOTO - Courtesy of  Mrs Jean Graves]

[ABOVE ] Portrait of  John W. Slator, photographer of Three Bridges.(c1894). [PHOTO - Courtesy of Mrs Jean Graves]

In 1883, John Slator married Sarah Sargeant (born 1861, Forest Row), daughter of Elizabeth and Abraham Sargeant, and settled in Camberwell, London.  In 1888, John Slator's wife gave birth to a son named William Bradley Slator ( birth registered in the district of Camberwell in the June Quarter of 1888 ). Two daughters were born during the family's stay in Camberwell - Ethel, born around 1891, and Alice Slator, born on 27th July 1892.

By 1894, John Slator and family were living in the Three Bridges area of Worth in Sussex. In that year, John Slator entered into partnership with Harry Tullett (see entry below) and together they established a photographic studio in the High Street of Three Bridges. John and Sarah's fourth child, Emily Ellen Slator was born in Worth in 1894 ( birth registered June Quarter of 1894). A second son, Charles Henry Slator was born in the summer of 1896. From 1899 to 1911, John W. Slator is listed as a photographer in Three Bridges, near Crawley. Photographic portraits produced by John Slator carry the studio address of "Malvern Studio, Crawley Road, Three Bridges,". The 1901 Census for Worth records John W. Slator as a "Photographer", aged 38.

Sarah Slator died in 1907 at the age of 46. Two years later, in 1909, John Slator married for a second time.( The marriage was registered in the district of East Grinstead in the December Quarter of 1909 ).

[ABOVE ] The back of a Tullett & Slator carte-de-visite photograph (c1894).

[PHOTO - Courtesy of Alison Graves]

1901 Census : Crawley Road, Three Bridges, Worth,

 John W. Slator

38 Photographer Long Sutton, Lincs
 Sarah  Slator wife 39   Forest Row, Sussex
 William  Slator son 12   Camberwell, London
 Ethel  Slator daughter 10   Camberwell, London

 Alice  Slator

daughter 8   Camberwell, London

 Emily  Slator

daughter 7   Worth, Sussex

 Charlie  Slator

son 4   Worth, Sussex
RG13 / 096 - page 2, folio 65

[ABOVE ] The details of John W. Slator and family from the 1901 Census return.

Cabinet Portraits by John W. Slator of Three Bridges, Crawley

[ABOVE ] Portrait of a Young Woman  by J. W. Slator , Artist & Photographer, Malvern Studio, Crawley Road, Three Bridges. Cabinet Photograph (c1898)

[ABOVE ] The reverse of the Portrait of a Young Woman by J. W. Slator , Artist & Photographer, Malvern Studio, Crawley Road, Three Bridges. Cabinet Photograph (c1898)

[ABOVE ] Portrait of  two children by J. W. Slator, Artist & Photographer, Malvern Studio, Crawley Road, Three Bridges. Cabinet Photograph (c1905). The reverse carries the inscripion "Joy & Doreen, 8 months & 5 yrs"

[ABOVE ] The reverse of  a cabinet portrait by J. W. Slator, Artist & Photographer, Malvern Studio, Crawley Road, Three Bridges. (c1905 )

Harry TULLETT ( born 1867, Worth, Sussex )

Active as a photographer in Three Bridges, near Crawley, from 1894 to 1902.

Harry Tullett was born in 1867 in Worth, Sussex. (Harry was baptised in Worth on 7th July 1867). He was the eldest son of Matilda Brooker and Henry Tullett, a blacksmith of Three Bridges.

In 1886, Harry Tullett married Alice Hoadley ( born 1866, Horley, Surrey ), the daughter of Elizabeth and William Hoadley, an agricultural labourer. The marriage took place in Seaford, Sussex, where the couple's first child was born around 1887. By 1892, Harry Tullett and his family were living in Worth, Sussex, where the birth of his daughter was registered in the December Quarter of 1892.

Around 1894, Harry Tullett entered into partnership with John Slator ( see entry above ). The firm of Tullett & Slator was in business at High Street, Three Bridges for less than a year. By 1895, Harry Tullett was working alone at the Three Bridges Studio.

In Kelly's Sussex Directory of 1895, Henry (Harry) Tullett of Three Bridges, Crawley, is listed under the heading of Photographers in the Trades Section. Harry Tullett is again listed as a photographer in Three Bridges in Kelly's Directory of 1899. The 1901 census for Worth, records Harry Tullett as a "Photographer & Grocer", aged 33.

Harry Tullett is not listed as a photographer in Three Bridges after 1902. However, Kelly's Post Office Directory of 1903 does list "H. Tullett" as a photographer in South Road Haywards Heath, which could mean Harry Tullett had moved his photography business to this new location. "H. Tullett, Photographer & Picture Frame Maker" is recorded at South Road, Haywards Heath until at least 1918. Between 1909 and 1911, a person named Harry Tullett is listed in trade directories as a Cycle Maker in Three Bridges and Worth, but this could be a reference to his retired blacksmith father, who would have been in his early seventies at this time.

1901 Census : High Street , Worth, Sussex

 Harry Tullett

Head 33 Photographer & Grocer Worth, Sussex

 Alice Tullett

wife 34   Horley, Surrey

 Charlie Tullett

son 14   Seaford, Sussex

 Bertha Tullett

daughter 8   Worth, Sussex

[ABOVE ] The details of Harry Tullett and family from the 1901 Census return.


[ABOVE ] A Tullett & Slator photograph showing 26 day old baby Elizabeth Mary Dunn in the arms of Mrs Cussens at Ifield Lodge, Crawley in 1894. The partnership between Harry Tullett and John Slator appears to have lasted less than twelve months.

[ABOVE ] The back of the Tullett & Slator cabinet photograph on the left. The photograph of the baby in the arms of a servant was taken at Ifield Lodge in 1894.The inscription in ink reads "Elizabeth Mary Dunn". In pencil the writer has given the age of baby Elizabeth as "26 days old".  The servant is identified as Mrs Cussens.



Thanks to Bob Parsons ( who is descended from Albert Parsons, a younger brother of George Parsons ), Lou Ann Glasgow ( who is descended from John Bradley Slator, the grandfather of John William Bradley Slator ) and Pat Brand ( who is descended from Mary Ann Slator, the sister of John William Bradley Slator ) for providing additional information on the family history of these photographers. A special thanks to Alison McLaughlin (Graves) and her mother Jean Graves (Slator) for permission to use the portraits of John William Bradley Slator and his wife Sarah Sergeant. Jean Slator's mother was Alice Slator, the third child of Sarah & John William Bradley Slator, the Three Bridges photographer. Thanks also to Chris Christian of Worthing for permission to use the carte-de-visite photograph by George Parsons of Crawley.

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This page is dedicated to the memory of Roger Bastable, teacher, local historian and author of several studies of Crawley including Crawley - A Pictorial History (1983), The Making of a New Town (1986) and Crawley: Then and Now (2003). Roger Bastable died in June 2007 at the age of 56.

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