London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

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scarymonster
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London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

Post by scarymonster »

Hi all, I've been collecting postcards and postcard scans of my local area for a while. It was mostly cleared in the 1960's for redevelopment and council estates and I've always been fascinated with what was there before. In my main batch the cards are numbered but there is no series name or publisher so I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas which may help my search to slowly fill the gaps. I've listed the cards with references which may provide some clues.

All my cards are in and around what is now London NW5 in the Gospel Oak, Lismore Circus, Malden Road area and some of the streets no longer exist. The area usually comes under Kentish Town and they are Edwardian, quite dark and slightly glossy photo cards (a lot better picture quality than lets say the Charles Martin series).


56245 Malden Road NW (Gipsy Queen Hotel)
56247 Malden Road NW
56253 Carlton Street NW
56255 Carlton Road NW
56256 Carlton Road NW
56257 Carlton Street NW
56262 Lismore Circus Gardens NW
56274 Ashdown Street NW
56277 St Andrew's NW (Malden Road)
56282 Rochford Street NW

Thank you in advance for any information.

All the best,
Garry

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Re: London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

Post by eastlondonpostcard »

Hello Garry - a hard to find area!

If you have illustrations/examples of front and back of these gems it would help identify these... believe I have 'some similar-numbered' RPs of NW London - here is an example:
Image
and the back looks like this:
Image

Is it similar to yours, I wonder?

Lovely postcards these, do not know the publisher either I'm afraid.
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Re: London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

Post by scarymonster »

Hi and thanks for the reply.

Yes it does look like the same series. I've seen others today on a popular auction site but numbered much later and from the 1920's and from another area around the country. Could they really be the same series, into the 10's of thousands of cards, fascinating. :)

Anyway, I found a text file note I'd made after one of my purchases and it says the card is by 'Bells'. So there we have it although I can't find any history of them on the net and certainly no indexes of cards.

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Re: London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

Post by About Postcards »

Not sure it's them but the only "Bell's" publisher that comes to mind is the "BELLS PHOTOGRAPHIC Co. Ltd. from Essex" often referred to as "Bell's Photo Co Ltd". While Essex based (Westcliffe on sea?) their output covered a wide geographic area. You'll find quite a lot of their output on the internet.

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Re: London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

Post by eastlondonpostcard »

The Bell's postcards certainly are similar in style and it is quite possible that they sold the pictures on to other producers?? - this has been known with other publishers, after all... but the Bell's Postcard I know of do have their name on the back and there have been many styles of back.

Here are some examples of Bell's series backs:
Image
#21566 Harlesden Road N W
Image
#28601 North Villas N W
Image
#30335 Harley Rd. N W
Image
#146055 Corbets Tey, Essex

As you can see different style spanning 40 years! I'm sure I can find plenty more examples - and check out the high numbers...

Bells postcards (especially the early ones) are well known for fading too, they seemed to have got better at it in later years.

Not sure if anyone has done a published study on Bells Postcard output - I know of a collector who is compiling a list of them... I will have to find out more and let you know.
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Re: London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

Post by jwjc20 »

Bells’ Photo Company, Limited (this is the version of their name used on their certificate of incorporation) produced a good number of anonymous cards with various backs possibly even more than their named output. This is confirmed by the same card appearing in both anonymous and named versions and anonymous cards being handstamped with Bells' address as samples.
The anonymous card illustrated is typical of a Bells' anonymous card.
Pre WWII their numbering nearly reached 150,000 but I suspect there are a number of gaps in the sequence.
I doubt whether anybody has compiled a complete list though you may find some have been compiled for particular areas - for instance I could extract one from my listing of cards for my home town

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Re: London NW series with no publisher but numbered, any info?

Post by linda »

hello garry i came across this post card site by accident as sometimes happens with the internet.

i have been doing family research my family came from n.w. london around kentish town. As you stated many streets have disappeared in a clearance programe .
I just entered ROCHFORD STREET N.W. LONDON & your list came up !!!!!! I just could not believe it nor would i have thought of looking in your area. so you can guess what i am going to ask ---- is it possible to send a copy of this particular card i would happily pay for any expence involved. i must look at the rest of the site. my mum & many of her siblings were born in rochford st the family name is MARTIN. I live in brisbane aus. i was born in new end hospital hampstead.

regards linda cameron

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