Fading Images

 Sepia photograph of unknown group at Emmanual College Cambridge



only search www.FadingImages.uk


Site news -
Our Blog

Surnames A to Z

by location

Post Office
Terrace Studio


Dating Old

Other local
History Resources

Stickyback and
other small
format portraits

Links and References


From Elsewhere


Who were they?


For Sale

Please Help
Us With This

Ownership and
Attribution of Images
and Use of Images
From This Site

Powered By Web Wiz Green Hosting

Old Photographs - Cambridgeshire Photographers - Who Were They?

Many commercial photographers offered cartes de visite or cabinet portraits priced per dozen. Cartes and cabinet portraits were often exchanged between friends and relatives. Identical portraits would have ended up in different family albums, which may well have been passed on through different families and ended up in different parts of the UK, or indeed of the world. It's quite possible therefore that today, somewhere, a family historian is grappling to identify the subject of a photograph who has already been identified in another album by someone researching a different family. So - take a look at the images below and if you have any ideas of the identity of the sitter in any one of them, please contact the person listing the image. We may, by some miracle, be able to help each other to identify someone who was photographed 100 to 150 years ago.

1. Shown below is a cabinet photograph by D.R.Spencely of Littleport showing a three quarter length portrait of a smart, authoritative seated gentleman holding a small volume, with a curved rim bowler hat on a table at his side. The reverse of the mount depicts winged cherubs undertaking various photographic tasks and the mount is by the litho printers Bernhard Wachtl of Vienna. This would appear to be from the late 1890s. Below this photograph is a close-up of the sitter's features. We are most grateful to Jess Mason for permission to show this image. Jess believes the subject to be his Great Grandfather, Reuben Shelton, and would welcome contact (via webmaster@fadingimages.uk) from anyone who comes across a similar image or can add anything to his knowledge.

Portrait of a gentleman by David Robert Spencely, Littleport, with thanks to Jess Mason

Detail from a portrait of a gentleman by David Robert Spencely, Littleport, with thanks to Jess Mason


2. The photos below by John Bull, Peterborough, from the 1860s, have been sent by Heather Adam (scottie_dog@hotmail.com) and may be of members of a family by the name of Aves. Do you have these images in a family album?

unidentified sitter - by Bull PeterboroughReverse unidentified sitter by Bull

Unidentified sitter by BullReverse, unidentified sitter by Bull


3. The photos below are from a family album of the Clark family. Diane Clark writes from Australia to say: " Both mine and my husband’s family came from Cambridgeshire. When Chris’s mother (Grace Clark) died we found many old photographs in her attic. Some were in their original frames and others in albums. Sadly mum had never shown the photos to Chris so we did not know who they were, except by deduction. I have scanned many of these photos and a small number have been professionally scanned to preserve them as the originals are becoming spotted with age. Attached are some of them as they may help others searching for their family. As well I would like to know the names of some of the people in the photographs." Three photos sent by Diane are shown below.

Clark wedding photograph

Professionally scanned wedding photograph of Grace Clark’s parents:  Robert George Willers and Eleanor Harriett Fordham on 19 October 1907.  They were married at St Philip’s Church Cambridge. Both lived in Cambridge at the time, although Robert had been born in Teversham on 18 March 1880 and Eleanor in Linton in the 2nd quarter of 1879. The couple seated in the front row are the bride and groom. The bridesmaids have a strong family resemblance to the bride, so maybe her sisters. The identity of the men is unknown.

Clark photograph

A couple plus their child from Grace Clark’s stepmother’s photograph album. Album owner was Lois Gertrude Cracknell  born Linton 1st quarter 1886. Grace’s stepmother was the niece of her Grandfather’s second wife. Her grandfather was Frederick Fordham, Eleanor Fordham’s father.

Starr and Rignall portrait - Willers?

This is from a Starr and Rignall postcard. Diane believes it to be a portrait of Lois Gertrude Willers nee Cracknell, Robert’s Willers' second wife. Robert married Gertie in 1920. Can you identify the sitter?


Top of page


www.FadingImages.uk is a non-commercial web site for local and family historians, listing photographers in Cambridgeshire 1840-2000
This page was last modified: 15 January 2021, 15:20

contact us

This site is powered by Web Wiz Green Hosting. We have been using their services for many years and are more than happy to recommend them to you.