Photographs, Negatives, Slides and Plates of Lincolnshire


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Boston : Manager and Staff outside The Picturedrome in the High Street [1925]

An excellent photograph showing the manager and staff on the steps of The Picturedrome that stood on the High Street in Boston. I can confidently state that the image was captured in May 1925 because the headlines on the billboard for the Pathé Super Gazette newsreel includes the "London May Queen" and the "Bomb Explosion in Sofia Cathedral." The latter event occurred in April 1925 but would have taken a while for it to appear on British cinema screens. Another headline is for the "World's Largest Carillon," a newsreel item on the completion of the carillon of bells made at Gillett & Johnston's foundry at Croydon. The work was completed in May 1925 and inspected by the King and Queen. The contract was placed by the Park Avenue Baptist Church, New York, owing to a munificent donation by John Davison Rockefeller Jr., in memory of his mother. The bells were shipped from London on the Cunarder "Albania."

The Picturedrome was originally known as The Quay Picture House when it opened to the public on Thursday January 29th, 1914. The second cinema to open in Boston, the building was converted from a private residence, the former home of Dr. Edward Bass Reckitt. He was a surgeon in Boston for 33 years but left the town shortly after his wife's death. The proprietor, George Sadler, successfully applied for a licence for the cinema in November 1913. The architect was Archibald Theodore Sadler of Nottingham. Undertaken by Messrs. John T. Barber and Sons of High Street, the work involved the removal of the interior walls and an extension to the rear. According to the Boston Guardian the cost of the alterations and additions amounted to about £3,500. The cinema could seat 350 people, with 73 seats in a small balcony, with 180 sixpenny and 100 threepenny seats in the stalls. Tea and biscuits were provided for the occupants of the balcony seats. The wholesale confectioner Walter Kipping was awarded the contract for the supply of all chocolate sweetmeats consumed in the cinema. The Renaissance-style frontage, the work of Messrs. Lazzaroni of Nottingham, featured marble steps leading up to the entrance, with its finely-worked ceiling, and well-appointed lounge. The name of the cinema was picked out in electric lights, and in addition there were several arc lights. The cinema was dubbed "Cosy" and soon became known as the Cosy Picture House.

The opening programme of films featured the thriller "In The Northern Wastes," billed as strong meat for drama lovers, "Capers of Cupid," a drama released in the previous year. There was also a screening of "The Escape," described as a movie featuring "the most exciting and unexpected incidents, dealing with the dash for freedom of an American convict." In addition to an Italian travel picture, the opening night also screened "The Snare of Fate," a romantic drama made in 1913.

In this 1925 photograph the manager and staff can be seen standing on the marble steps. When the cinema first opened the manager was John Hudson. However, by 1914 he had been succeeded by J. J. Kelly. By the end of World War One the manager and proprietor of the cinema was Leonard G. Pycock. He had served with the 3rd Lincolnshire Regiment. By the early 1920s the Cosy Picture House was leased and run by Fred C. Johnson. I believe the name of the cinema changed to The Picturedrome when the business was sold by George Sadler to Hunts Cinemas Ltd., the managing director being Sidney Reach. The only member of the 1925 staff I can name is Ruth Watson who was employed as a cashier.

The film being advertised to the left of the steps of The Picturedrome was "Ramshackle House," a 1924 romantic drama starring Betty Compson. The silent movie era was drawing to its end; a few years later The Picturedrome became the first Boston cinema to feature 'talkies' when "The Singing Fool" was screened in October 1929. Disaster struck in the spring of the following year when the cinema was destroyed by fire in April 1930. Dr. Wright and his wife, who lived next door, could smell burning paint in the middle of the night and evacuated the house. With a wind fanning the flames, the fire spread rapidly. Captain Bradley, realising that the building was doomed, concentrated all efforts of his fire crew on saving the neighbouring houses. Within two hours the cinema was completely gutted. Sidney Reach estimated the damage to be around £7,000 but confirmed that the building was not fully insured.

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Friskney : School [c.1912]

The origins of the Public Elementary Schools at Friskney dates back to 1860 when £800 was spent on a building erected on land donated by the vicar. The school used to close each October during the potato-picking season in which the pupils could earn 1s. 3d. to 2s. 6d. per day picking spuds. The headmaster at the time of this photograph was Frederick Wildmore. He first came to Friskney in 1900, when he was appointed assistant master. He stayed for two years before spending another two years at St. John's College at York. The following year he was assistant master at a Lincoln school, and it was in 1909 that he was appointed headmaster at Friskney. In the following year he married Lena Cullin, of Billinghay. For 37 years Frederick Wildmore took an active part in all the sporting and social activities of the village. He was chairman of the Bowls Club, a member of the Tennis Club, and vice-president of the Football Club. He also helped to organise the War Savings, Wings for Victory and War Weapons campaigns, and was interested in the Nursing Association, of which his wife was treasurer for many years. He was also a lay reader, an appointment which he held from the 1914-18 war, and was also Vicar's Warden. For some time he had been vice-president of the Friskney branch of the British Legion. It was little wonder that, following his death in November 1946 it was stated that he "was a source of inspiration and friendship to young and old alike, and no man could have given more devotion to his village."

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Wainfleet : Grocery and Drapery Shop of Charles and Betsy Parker in the High Street [c.1906]

An Edwardian image of the grocery and drapery shop of Charles and Betsy Parker at No.4 High Street in Wainfleet. Born in nearby Friskney in 1864, Charles Parker grew up in Wainfleet where his father was a brick manufacturer at Low Road. He served his apprenticeship in these premises when the business was run by Frederick and Alice Chapman. After running this shop for a number of years, Charles and Betsy Parker moved to Burgh le Marsh where they kept the Fleece Inn.

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Bardney : Grocery and Drapery Shop of Arthur and Mary Treadgold [c.1913]

This photograph shows the grocery and draper's shop that once stood on the junction of Station Road and Horncastle Road at Bardney, a site that was later occupied by a grass bank with trees. The image probably dates from the early years of King George V's reign. Marston-born Arthur Treadgold was both grocer and draper, though the clothing side of the business was run by his wife Mary whom he married in 1896. Members of her family formed part of the staff who worked at these premises. Indeed, her brother, George Brumwell, would become a partner in the business. By the end of the Edwardian period nine people were engaged in the busy firm. Arthur Treadgold remained at the helm until failing health caused him to be admitted to Bromhead Nursing Home where he died at the end of February 1941. Widow Mary lived for two more decades before her death in December 1960.

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