IOW Photographers - Marfleet
|Photographer||Herbert Sidney Marfleet|
|Active Period||1920 - 1937|
|Lifespan||Born: 1887 Brixton, London||Died: 1950 IOW|
|Studio Addresses||The Broadway, Totland Bay|
|Associates||Hubert Kenneth (Ken) Merwood|
|Trade History||1921/22 Kelly's Directory (page 427)
Herbert S Marfleet, stationer, Broadway, Totland Bay
1923 Kelly's Directory (page 1206)
1924 Kelly's Directory (page 486)
1935 to 1939 Directories
|Earliest postmarked postcard found dated 1920
Latest postmarked postcard found dated 1937
Example of Herbert Marfleet's trade card
|Family History||Herbert Sidney Marfleet was born in 1887 in
Brixton, London, the son
of Herbert and Rosina (nee Davies) Marfleet
who had married in 1884 at Wandsworth, London. At the time of the 1891
census, the family was living at Bethnal Green, London, where Herbert senior
was the general manager of the cooperative stores.
The family settled on the Island in 1893, and Herbert senior became manager of Jordan and Stanley's shop at the Broadway, Totland (see photo above). It is said he was going round the island in a rowing boat and came ashore at Totland and liked it so much - he stayed!
The 1901 census records the family living at The Supply Stores, Totland, where Herbert senior was employed as a grocer's assistant with his wife Rosina letting out rooms. At that time, 14 year old Herbert junior was still a scholar.
In time, son Herbert Sidney married an Elsie Smith and, after coming out of the army, he started a stationer's business c1920 in the Broadway, Totland Bay. He quickly diversified into printing, publishing and photography. Whether he was introduced to this latter venture by the early photographer Arthur H Kirk who also had a studio in the Broadway, or bought into Arthur's business, is pure speculation. However, Herbert soon gained a reputation for taking topographical photos (mainly around West Wight) and his business expanded.
In 1922, he took into his employ a young man who was keen on photography - Hubert Kenneth Merwood (known as Ken). Ken was reckoned to be a very skilful photographer with a good eye for composition, and he accompanied Herbert on photographic expeditions. In 1926 Herbert's niece, Margery Edmunds, started working for her uncle and a romance blossomed between Ken and Margery with the result that they were married in 1937. Ken then left Herbert to start his own photographic business in Freshwater. Herbert died in 1950 (his wife having pre-deceased him in 1934), but it is not known whether he continued taking photographs much beyond 1937 when Ken left.
The 1947 Electoral Register shows both Herbert senior and junior living at Granville House, Broadway, Totland, which was next door to the Supply Stores.
Apart from the topographical photos, Herbert was also one of the official photographers at the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) camps held at Osborne between 1929 and 1933. These camps were organised for women members of Detachments from the Island and other counties and many examples of Herbert's photos have been published in books on the subject. To date, no evidence has been found to suggest that Herbert also took studio portrait photos. Although Herbert left a daughter, sadly, the whereabouts of his photographic records or plates has not been established.
My thanks to John Marfleet for supplying the
above photos and information.
|Further Notes||For further information please visit John Marfleet's website at www.marfleet.co.uk or e-mal him directly at email@example.com. Alternatively, to see examples of Herbert Marfleet's postcards, use the direct link http://web.ukonline.co.uk/john.marfleet/postcards/topo.htm.|