Floods at Bramber, November 20, 1911
In the early twentieth century the River Adur was very prone to winter flooding, and numerous postcards were published showing Beeding and Bramber under water, which are now keenly collected. Edward Carr, Walter Drewett and Albert Hall issued the majority of the cards, but in November 1911 when the Adur burst its banks yet again, another publisher made a brief appearance, offering for sale well-produced black and white real photographic cards of the flooding in the two villages. The cards all have neat captions in capitals at the base of the photographs, followed by the words "Chapman Photo" and typically a serial number ranging up to 14. Perhaps also in 1911 Chapman published some other cards of the area in summer time, including views of Steyning and Wiston. As with the flooding cards no initial is given or other clue as to Chapman's identity, but he was almost certainly Harry George Chapman, who by 1909 was working as a hairdresser in Steyning High Street. A captionless card of a dinner gathering (see Gallery) has been found that is labelled on the back "H. G. Chapman, High Street, Steyning" and other cards have come to light (judging from the numbering forming part of a set of six) showing the Beeding and Bramber flower show (undated) with backs labelled "H. G. Chapman, photographer, High Street, Steyning, Sussex".
Harry George Chapman was born at Beeding in 1881, one of seven children (2 girls and 5 boys) of two former Brightonians, Elizabeth and Harry Chapman. Harry Senior ran the Bridge Inn by the river at Upper Beeding during the late Victorian period. In 1901 Harry George Chapman was working as a rural postman. When the 1911 census was held, he appears to have eluded the enumerators. By this date his father was a widower, living with his elder daughter, Ethel Chapman, at the Bridge Inn. Harry George Chapman is still listed as a hairdresser at Steyning in Kelly's 1915 Sussex Directory. He is believed to have died in 1953, aged 79.To directory of publishers
Design: Lucid Design