Eastbourne Photographers (Ba)

Click here to return to Home Page


Professional Photographers in Eastbourne ( B ) 

 Leon Balk - Eugene F. Bampton - Ernest Beattie - Mr Bennett - John Berryman - Albert Best - Bijou Portrait Studio - Frederick Bourne - Herbert Briggs - William Brothwell - Henry Browne

 Leon BALK ( born 1878, Taurage, Lithuania )  Photographer active in Eastbourne between 1903 and 1906

Leon Balk was born in 1878 in Taurage (Tavrig), a town in the western part of Lithuania. At the time of Leon's birth, this part of Lithuania was under the control of Russia. There was a flourishing Jewish community in Taurage and at the end of the 19th century, over 50% of the inhabitants of Taurage were Jews. However, in the late 19th century, there was a tide of emigration from Lithuania.  During the period 1899 -1903, over 52,000 Lithuanians emigrated to the United States. Large numbers of Lithuanian Jews sailed for South Africa, but a considerable number arrived in England and Scotland. Young men had fled Lithuania to avoid being conscripted into the Russian Army. Others were seeking a better life in Britain. Many of the Lithuanian Jews left their homes in Taurage to escape persecution from the Russian authorities and the growing anti-Semitic violence. Leon Balk appears to have left Lithuania as a young man and probably arrived in London after 1901.

Leon Balk settled in Eastbourne, Sussex around 1903. In an Eastbourne directory of 1904, Leon Balk is listed as a photographer at 114 Langney Road, Eastbourne. By 1905, Leon Balk was operating a photographic studio at 116 Langney Road, Eastbourne. Around this time, Leon Balk entered into partnership with Otto Brown (born 1883, Long Sutton, Somerset), a young artist who had previously worked as a photographer in Hampshire. The firm of Balk & Brown operated a photographic studio at 69 Devonshire Road, Bexhill-on-Sea. It appears that Otto Brown was based at the Bexhill studio in Devonshire Road, while Leon Balk stayed in Eastbourne.

Leon Balk was living still living at 116 Langney Road, Eastbourne when in August 1906 he became a Naturalised British Citizen (Jewish Chronicle 7th September 1906, page 34 ). Although he was a Jew from Lithuania, Balk's place of origin is given as Russia in the published list of Naturalisations.

Around 1906, Otto Brown left Bexhill and established his own studio in Worthing at 2 Chapel Road. Leon Balk took over the Bexhill studio and remained in business at 69a Devonshire Road until 1915.

[ABOVE] A portrait of Leon Balk, a photographer in Eastbourne and Bexhill during Edwardian times.

[ABOVE] The trade plate of  Leon Balk, photographer of 116 Langney Road,  Eastbourne (c1906).



Portrait of Leon Balk - Courtesy of Martin Balk, a grandson of Leon Balk. Details of Leon Balk's naturalisation taken from "Naturalisations published in the Jewish Chronicle between 1902 and 1906" extracted by Ian Melville and featured on the British-Jewry List website. Thank you Ian.

Examples of the Photographic Work of Leon Balk of Eastbourne ( 1903-1906 )

Carte-de-visite Portraits by Leon Balk of Eastbourne

[ABOVE] Portrait of a Bearded Man, photographed by Leon Balk of 114 Langney Road, Eastbourne. Carte-de-visite, dated on reverse "June 1904 ".

[ABOVE] Portrait of a Young Woman in a Hat, photographed by Leon Balk of 114 Langney Road, Eastbourne. Inscribed on reverse "To dear Aunt Alice, from Eva". (c1903)

[ABOVE] Portrait of a Young Woman holding a book and seated on a studio bench, photographed by Leon Balk of 116 Langney Road, Eastbourne. (c1906)


                                                      Cabinet Photographs by Leon Balk of Eastbourne

[ABOVE] Group portrait of a family, photographed by Leon Balk of 114 Langney Road, Eastbourne. Cabinet format (c1903). [ABOVE] Portrait of a young man, photographed by Leon Balk of 114 Langney Road, Eastbourne. Cabinet format (c1904).  

Eugene Frederick BAMPTON (1846-1911)

Eugene Frederick Bampton was born Marylebone, London in 1846, the son of Sabra and John Bampton, a tailor. [The birth of Eugene Frederick Bampton was registered in the Marylebone district of London during the 3rd Quarter of 1846].

John Bampton, Eugene's father, had married Sabra Ballington at Darley Dale, Derbyshire, on 1st January 1836. After the birth of their first child George (born 1838), John and Sabra Bampton moved to London, where at least five more children were born - John (born 1841), Isaac Jarvis (born 1843), Eugene Frederick (born 1846), Thomas Arthur (born 1849) and Mary Sabra Bampton (born 1853). Sabra Ballington (1814-1899), Eugene's mother was originally from Edensor, a model village on the Chatsworth estate near Bakewell in Derbyshire. As a teenager, Eugene Bampton returned to his mother's home village of Edensor to live with relatives. Eugene Bampton was baptised in Edensor on 28th April 1861 at the age of fourteen.

[ABOVE] The village of Edensor in Derbyshire where Eugene Bampton began his photographic career

In the 1870s, Eugene Bampton was earning a living as a photographer in the Edensor district of Derbyshire. Bampton was principally an outdoor photographer, taking photographs of homes and residences in the area. Around 1880, Eugene Bampton moved from Edensor in Derbyshire to the Sussex seaside resort of Eastbourne. Cabinet photographs produced by Eugene Bampton around this time are marked "E. F. BAMPTON (late of Edensor, Chatsworth), EASTBOURNE".  During his stay in Eastbourne, Eugene Bampton was still mainly producing photographic views of grand houses and villas in the local area. A printed notice on the reverse of Bampton's photographs informed his customers that "Residences (are) taken to Order".

At the time of the 1881 census, Eugene Bampton was living alongside his twenty-seven year old sister Mary Sabra Bampton at the home of their unmarried aunt Miss Mary Bampton at 3 Church Street, Eastbourne. On the 1881 census return Eugene Fred Bampton is described as an "Artist in Photography", aged 34. Ten years later, when the 1891 census was taken, Eugene Bampton was living in Brixton, South London and working as a "mercantile agent". Eugene Bampton is recorded in Lambeth at the time of the 1901 census when he is described as an "Agent for advertisements", aged 54.

Eugene Bampton never married. When the census was taken on 2nd April, 1911, Eugene Frederick Bampton describes himself as a 64 year old bachelor working as an "Advertising Canvasser". At this time, Bampton was living in Maida Vale, West London.

Eugene Frederick Bampton died at Hampstead, North London, in 1911.

[ABOVE]  Photograph of an unknown house by Eugene Bampton of Eastbourne. Cabinet format (c 1880). On the reverse of the cabinet card is printed " E. F. BAMPTON" (LATE OF EDENSOR, CHATSWORTH), EASTBOURNE" (see below).

[ABOVE]  The trade plate of Eugene Frederick Bampton of Eastbourne, "Late of Edensor, Chatsworth", as printed on the reverse of a cabinet photograph.  (see above).


Thanks to Brett Payne of Tauranga, New Zealand (author of the excellent website  Photographers & Photographic Studios in Derbyshire, England) for providing additional information on Eugene F. Bampton.


 Click here to return to Home Page