Albert Edward Hall


The Bramber floods of October 1924

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Photographer, 61 High Street, Steyning. Active from about 1923 onwards until the Second World War, in competition with W.J Drewett. Hall specialised in issuing real photographic cards, mostly of local events and country houses, but including a few general views of Steyning streets. His cards usually have facsimile handwritten captions, no borders and, contrary to the fashion of the period, are generally black and white rather than sepia. Most have the words "Hall, Steyning" written on the front, but a few are embossed "A. E. Hall, Steyning". An uncaptioned card of Steyning church and lych gate is stamped "Hall, Photographer, Steyning" on the back in blue ink, and a card of a detachment of soldiers in the Royal Sussex Regiment, which is believed to date from 1939 or the war years, is also stamped on the back in blue "Copyright Photograph, Hall, Steyning".

Hall's real photographic cards of the Bramber floods in October 1924 and in January and February 1925 are particularly fine, as are his cards of Steyning Hospital Parades in 1923 and 1924. Also in 1924 he issued cards recording the announcement of the General Election results and the visit, in October, of Earl Winterton. In October 1925 he photographed Steyning's new motor fire engine (see Gallery). He issued at least 18 different cards of the fiercely contested Walking Race at Steyning in April 1926.

Aylwin Guilmant in her book, Bygone Steyning, Bramber and Beeding (1988, Phillimore, Chichester) reproduces an interesting selection of Hall cards, for example the Bramber and Beeding fete in September 1927, the tenth anniversary party of Bramber and Beeding Womens' Institute in 1928, Steyning Carnival in 1929 and mothers and children attending the Bramber and Beeding Welfare Clinic in 1930. Cards of Bramber and Beeding Coronation Parade in May 1937 and Royal Engineers mobilising at Steyning in July 1939 are late works.

Albert Hall married Rose Ellen Wood at Steyning on November 7, 1916. She was the daughter of William Wood, a local labourer, and had been born in Steyning in 1890. According to the marriage certificate, Albert was the son of William Norman Hall, deceased, and was serving as a private in the Royal Army Medical Corps at Ripon in Yorkshire. If he has been correctly identified in the 1901 and earlier census returns, he was born in about 1887 into a large family at Long Buckby in Northamptonshire. His mother, Annie Hall came from the village of Riccall between York and Selby. His father, who died in the 1890s, was born at March in Cambridgeshire in about 1840 and worked for many years as a carpenter at Long Buckby. It is not known whether Albert and Rose had any children.

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