EDWARD SANKEY

PHOTOGRAPHER AND POSTCARD PUBLISHER

 

2013-10-12 10.51.56.jpgThere is an excellent article called "Seeing the North with Sankey" about Edward Sankey, the photgrapher and postcard publisher from Barrow-in-Furness, in the 1993 edition of the Picture Postcard Annual. Written by K.J. Norman, who wrote many local history books on the area (many illustrated with Sankey photos and postcards) the article gives a wealth of information and examples of Sankey's work, and it is well worth ordering a back copy of this issue. The opening paragraph is as follows:

"Towards the end of the 19th century a young master printer working on a local newspaper gave up his job to start his own printing works in Barrow-in-Furness, thus establishing what was to become one of the foremost publishers of picture postcards in the North of England.”

“Edward Sankey embarked on his career as a jobbing printer in premises in Buccleuch Street in Barrow c.1895, printing, amongst other things, the names of local shopkeepers on the paper bags into which went most of the consumables bought by the public in those far-off days. The business also had a retail shop for the disposal of printed items, together with the sale (both wholesale and retail) of books and stationery. These items, along with the sale of photographic equipment, accessories and materials, formed the bulk of the firm''s retail trade for more than 70 years."

“During its lifetime the Sankey business occupied several different premises in Barrow, moving from the original 1895 Buccleuch Street address to a location in Ramsden Square in the early 1900’s and from thence to number 88 Duke Street. The next move was just a few yards south to number 78 Duke Street in 1921, where they were to remain for many years. This address housed only the shop and offices, the photographic activities being carried on a short distance away at 4 Slater Street, an arrangement which ended in 1948 ..[when the]... Sankey business moved over the road to 81 Duke Street on the corner of St. Vincent Street, a spacious building large enough to accommodate the retail and photographic operations under the same roof. There they remained until Raymond Sankey retired in 1970 and the business was wound up”.

In 2004 I had a small collection of postcards, but no real theme. As I continued collecting I realised I needed a theme, so chose to concentrate on the postcards published by Sankey in Barrow-in-Furness, so from 2008 concentrated solely on these. I managed to contact Ken Norman, who wrote a very helpful letter. Edward's son Raymond Sankey joined his father in the business, and was a close personal friend of Ken's. Raymond Sankey died in 2005 aged 100.

I was also able to contact Raymond's son Jeffery Sankey, who wrote back with the interesting information that he was in possession of over 10,000 original glass plate negatives, from which he can still make excellent quality prints. There are known to have been sample books showing the various postcards available (many of those I purchased had the telltale black paper glued to the back) and Jeffery also has 21 of these.

Between 2008 and 2011 I built up a collection of over 1,500 postcards - but after moving to France the cost of postage often exceeded the cost of buying a card, so I stopped. I believe there may be other large collections out there, but think it would be useful to display my collection on these pages, together with a bibliography.

Most of the published postcards have a serial number and some have suffixes, however there are many which don’t:

        Paddle Steamers

        Ships, Aeroplanes and Airships

        Multi-views, People and Pageants

The main numbered series are as follows:

        "A" Series Postcards

        “D” Series Postcards

        “E” Series Postcards

        “G” Series Postcards

        “H” Series Postcards

        Miscellaneous Postcards

        “000” Series Postcards

        “1000” Series Postcards

        “2000” Series Postcards

        “3000” Series Postcards

        “4000” Series Postcards

        “5000” Series Postcards

        “6000” Series Postcards

        “7000” Series Postcards

        “8000” Series Postcards

        “9000” Series Postcards


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timsankey28@gmail.com