Mystery photos of Brighton and Hove

Photo:Unknown family group

Unknown family group

From the private collection of Julia Jeyes

Family group from Worcester Villas

By Jennifer Drury

Julia Jeyes sent in this family portrait telling us that,

'I am in the process of having the kitchen in my house in Worcester Villas refurbished, and during the building works, this old photo was found in the ceiling. I think Worcester Villas dates back to about 1910/1911, and we have only lived in the property for the past 12 years. The people who lived there before us were called the Solomons, but I don’t know much more than that. We are all intrigued and enchanted by the photograph and would be really interested in finding out who the people are, and if the photo can be reunited with their descendants'.

Do you recognise the people in the photograph? Might they be your ancestors? If you can help, please leave a comment below.


This page was added on 13/03/2013.
Comments about this page

Might be useful to check out the local synagogue marriage records with a name like Solomons.

By Stefan Bremner-Morris (14/03/2013)

I do not know the people in the photo but I had a similar sort of experience regarding old photos years ago. I lived in London for a number of years. I was walking around the shops near to Crystal Palace when I saw a skip on the side of the road, and as an avid skip raker (still am) I had to have a good nose. I retrieved some wood scraps and other pieces of stuff when I noticed a carrier bag. I opened the bag and inside were about twenty old photos and some glass slides. Being a mad keen photographer I tucked the bag under my arm and was away home to look at my treasures. The photos were of a family with kids that were long gone from this earth. I always feel a bit sad looking at old photos of people that have long departed. The clothes that they wore, the furniture surrounding them always enthralled me. I still have the photos and often look at them and wonder what sort of life they lived all those years ago. So nostalgic for me. Mike Peirson.

By Mick Peirson (14/03/2013)

Julia, you can discover who lived in your house by looking at the directories in the Brighton History Centre (currently housed in the Brighton Museum, soon to be transferred to the Jubilee Library then later to the Keep near Falmer). You can also look at the 1911 census which is searchable online for a fee.

By Janet Beal (14/03/2013)

Hi Julia, The houses in Worcester Villas were developed from around 1901 onwards, although your house was a later addition of around 1909, originally having the name 'Holmwood' before being numbered. It would seem from their attire that the individuals in the picture dated from the early 20th century and so far as I can ascertain, the original occupant of your house was a Mrs. Saunders in 1909. Following her short occupancy was a Miss A. Smale in 1910, but by the end of that same year, Harold M. Pett, a Surveyor, and his new wife, Beatrice had moved in. They lived there from around 1910 until around 1926, but I could not find any offspring born there to the couple. However, the picture need not necessarily represent that couple, but might be relatives or friends of someone else that lived in the house. After the Petts, William John Hawkins moved in and the family remained there until the mid 1960's, succeeded by a Horace Collins. Hope this gives you something to go upon, regards, Andy

By Andy Grant (14/03/2013)

Goodness me how interesting! Thank you so much for all of you comments. It has fired me up to try and find out more. I did think that the couple look like they may be European, as in Italian or Spanish (the man's shoes are quite flamboyant!). I will walk around the house this afternoon thinking of all the other feet who have walked where my happy family is now. Makes you tingle a bit. I shall do some research too and post back if I find out more. Thanks again for all of your comments Julia

By Julia Jeyes (14/03/2013)

Julia, my mother worked for a Catering company in Shoreham called Streets of Shoreham and I'm sure the owner was a Mrs. Solomons. I don't know where they lived but the last time I saw her was about 1961/2 when Streets were doing an event at Field Place in Worthing. Streets had a few small bakers in the area, one being along Portland Road near what was Ingram Crescent.

By Christopher McBrien (12/05/2013)

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