Local Folk

Harry Albert Collings: Master Fishmonger & Poulterer

By Peter David Collings

Born in 1874

Harry Albert Collings, (1874-1960) is shown on the right in the photo. My grandfather Harry was Brighton born and lived here nearly all his life. His parents were William Collings 1840 and Sarah Gunn 1841. He married his first wife Elizabeth Willa Harman at St.Nicholas Church. She was the (rumoured illegitimate) daughter of Mary Ann Harman, who later  married William E. Allen.

Bred seven children

The couple went on to have seven children as follows, Henry William (1892-1969), George Albert (1894-1976), Willa Elizabeth (1897- unknown), Sidney James (1901-1984), Gladys Rose (b.1905),Thomas Alfred (1907-1980), and Robert Leslie (1907-1965).

I would very much like to know where this photograph was taken. If anyone can help, please will you leave comment below.

Photo:My grandfather Harry Albert Collings is on the right

My grandfather Harry Albert Collings is on the right

Peter David Collings

This page was added on 15/04/2012.
Comments about this page

I believe this to be 129, St James' St, Brighton. Could someone confirm this for me, please. Also, would it be possible to confirm the owner of the shop and its history via Kelly's directory? Thanks in advance.

By Peter David Collings (26/05/2017)

I have looked at my earliest Kellys for 1914. I can find no Collings listed under the commercial directory apart from a COLLING who is an antique dealer in Preston St and Norfolk Rd . No COLLINS either as a fishmonger. I have trawled St James St and no luck there either although there are other fishmongers listed. 129 SJS is listed as Ross & Sons outfitters [the name is still on show today]. Andy has extensive resources and should be of more help.

By Geoffrey Mead (28/05/2017)

Peter, there does not appear to be at any stage such usage of 129, St James's St. I believe that this may have been 12a, Upper St James's St, which was the premises of fishmonger Thomas Crosskeys. H.A. Collings was the manager of the business at that address and lived at no 13 (either next door or above the premises in 1911). I cannot definitively tie the photo to that address, but it does give you something to work upon. Hope it helps. Regards Andy

By Andy Grant (28/05/2017)

Kelly's 1914 has at 12a & 13 Upper SJS as Mrs LE Tassell fishmonger. The building on the left of this image shows some patterned brickwork similar to some pubs but there is little else to identify with accuracy.

By Geoffrey Mead (29/05/2017)

Hi again Peter, given Geoff's comments and that neither the St. James's St nor the Upper St. James's Street addresses seem to resemble the adjacent buildings, I was wondering whether this was elsewhere. In 1939 H.A. Collings and his family were living in Bognor Regis at 11, Clifton Road - perhaps the shop was in Bognor? Further investigation indicates that Collings was listed as a fishmonger at 13, Upper St James Street until the mid 1920s and although resident in Queens Park Rd he no longer features in the shop premises. Regards

By Andy Grant (31/05/2017)

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