The photo was taken by “Taylor” (A.H. Taylor, Ltd.) with a branch on Market Place, Nottingham

Fred Ash, Manchester and Bradford (“also at Nottingham & Blackpool”)



In 1901 Fred Ash, age 40, born Mansfield, Nottinghamshire was working as a photographer in Blackpool, Lancashire. In 1881 he was Frederick J Ash photographing at home in Moss Side Lancashire. In 1891 he’s Fred J Ash still somewhere in Lancashire.

Slater’s Directory, Manchester, Salford & Suburban Directory, 1911. [Part 3: Trades, Ecclesiastical, etc.]
Listed under Photographers: Ash Fred, 40 King Street.

Slater’s Manchester, Salford & Suburban Directory, 1909. [Part 3: Trades & Official Directories, etc.]
Still at 40 King St.

Slater’s Manchester, Salford & Suburban Directory, 1903. [Part 3: Trades & Official Directories, etc.]
Still at 40 King St

Frederic Joseph Ash was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in 1860, the son of Nottingham-born photographer Edwin Ash (1834-1892) and Alice (Harrison).  By 1881 he was living with his widowed mother in Lancashire, working as a photographer and was still in the county in 1891. The 1901 and 1911 census returns show his residence at 22 Raikes Parade, Blackpool. However he appears to have had branches in several places. For example Slater’s Trade Directories of 1903, 1909 and 1911 show him trading at 40 King Street, Salford. He also had studios in Blackburn, Derby and Leigh, and by 1909 had a studio at 20 Long Row in Nottingham. He also had connections with several other towns, mostly in Lancashire.
Frederic Joseph died in 1929.

Moving into the stickybacks and postcards field early in the 20th Century may have been good for business. We know that Fred employed doormen at his studios in 1903 – as one of them, William Jennings Cookson, having been dismissed for drunkenness, was in court for assault (Lancs Evening Post 22 June 1903 p4). We also know that in 1906 Fred was advertising to take over other premises for his photographic business in Blackburn, Derby and Leigh. He was also in 1907 advertising for staff at a studio at 20 Long Row, Nottingham (Notts Evening Post 30 Nov 1907 p7 and by 1912 had a studio at Greyhound Street, Nottingham (which may actually have been the same premises). At the time of his death Frederic was living at Kumara, Lytham Road, South Shore, Blackpool. He died on new years day at a hotel in Bournemouth, his estate was worth over £41,000. (£2.6 m in today’s money). His second wife, Beatrice Greenwood Hamer (1889-1964) may have run the business briefly after his death in 1929 (there are entries for Mrs Fred Ash in Manchester directories in 1932/3). However, by 1939 she had remarried and no longer seemed to be connected to the business.

1887-1892 16 George Street, St Helens
1889 South Beach Blackpool
1890-1932 6 Wellington Terrace Promenade, Blackpool
1895 3 Orchard Rd St Annes
1898-1901 91B Fishergate Preston
1899-1907 Larkhill House, 160 St Georges Rd, Bolton
1899-1915 40 King Street, Manchester
1901- 1907 2/4 Regent Square, Blackpool
1904 Central Beach, Blackpool
1904 20 Raikes Parade, Blackpool
1905-1909 41 Church Street, Blackpool
1913-1914 70A Market Street, Manchester
1915-1940 92 Bold Street, Liverpool (directories 1917-1940, but there is an earlier newspaper advert with this address in Oct 1915)
1923-1924 5/7 Wellington Terrace, Blackpool
1924 York Street, Blackpool
1928-1939 10 Corporation Street Manchester
1929 Fieldman’s Arcade, Blackpool
1932-1933 Mrs Fred Ash 10 Corporation Street, Manchester.

The photo below appears to be from around 1905 and pre-dates Fred Ash having a presence in Liverpool or Nottingham, so is earlier than 1907.


Arthur and Annie (formerly Ebbern) Paling’s son Frank, worked on the trains.   Wonder if this photo has any connection with him.   He was born about 1917.   Dave Stevenson told me that he’d met Frank.


Number 2





another fresh face; photographer is “A. Wrate, Skegness and Mablethorpe”


Gibson Bros, King St, Nottm









There is a date on the back of this “post card” (as all the previous photos sent today, they are post cards).
7 Sep 1940

I do hope he made it back home, whoever he is.   Obviously he’s just been issued his uniform.

This photo is a duplicate of one in the ‘music box’ collection.

Photographer is Byron & Son, Nottingham, established 1852

If you look at the image of the standing person in the photo (or lady sitting on a chair) and you can see both head and feet with a carpet some old furniture and studio props such as a curtain, the man may have a jacket buttoned only at the top and the woman has a down to the ground wide dress and her ears cannot be seen for the hair covering it and the back of the card has a simple print for the photographers name and the cardboard feels a bit thin – it is from the first half of the 1860s. If you can see her ears it is the later 1860s. Such cards usually have square corners.
1870s CDV 1870s
If the portrait is a half or three-quarter (no feet) the ladies hair is less severe, with perhaps a curl, and perhaps much jewellery and perhaps sitting down in a more casual way, clothes trimmed with lace or tassles. Men wore lounge suits with matching waistcoats by the middle of the decade. The ladies look like they are wearing heavy furnishing rather than dresses. The cardboard is thicker and stronger (less flexible than a playing card) and the printing on the back is typeset with fonts but usually one large word, and perhaps a border, and the rest small and coloured inks may be used and a logo may appear. The card may have rounded corners – (mid to late 1870s). These date from the 1870s. (Some still show full length and a carpet in the early 1870s)
1880s CDV 1880s
The ladies dress may be severe and close fitting or it has a bustle (1881-1886 ish), skirts had pleated edges, boys wore sailor suits and velvet suits, Men did not wear frock coats and wore a morning-coat suit or a lounge suit, top hat, bowler or straw hat. Norfolk jackets were popular as were more casual clothes. Ladies wore tight fitting jackets, high white collars or ruffs a brooch at the neck, lots of buttons in rows, tight fitting sleeves, odd little hats, hair plain or curls usually pulled back. The back of the card is quite filled with print, with medals, famous customers, branches, and could be artistic. Studio furniture and chairs look as if from a fine country house.
1890s CDV 1890s
Women wore tailor-made suits and plain with little ornamentation (brooch at the neck), hair in a bun with no fringes. Sleeves became wider until by 1895 the ‘leg of mutton’ shape with sort of upstanding ‘wings’ on the shoulders. Collars were high and with a ruffle or lace under the stiff outer. Sleeves became tighter by 1897 and frilled bodices came into fashion. Most cartes were head and shoulders only, the backs were very elaborate and artistic, coloured backs and gold print common. Plain backs with the photographer’s name on the lower front, some like this occur from about 1889. Many cabinet card seem to date from the 1880s and 1890s
1900s Cabinet card 1900 and after 
Wide sleeved blouses were still worn for a few years, but for many this was the era of the blouse and simple skirt and straw boater hat, and wide hats for special occasions. Those enormously wide brimmed hats date from June 1911 onward and were often worn with a short slit in the skirt. In the 1920s hair was cut short (for some) and the hemline rose for the first time ever. in 1898 Postcards replaced cabinet cards and CDVs as the main type of cheap studio portrait and peaking during the First World War. Some cabinet and CDV photos were produced for the first decade of the century as there was still a demand, but the later cabinet card looked a little different, simple logo and studio on the bottom front and often with embossed patterns or channels and saw-cut edges or pinking and rarely any writing on the back.

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