Author Topic: Watts' Place, Chatham  (Read 1992 times)

Offline shoot999

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2021, 07:39:32 PM »
In my time working for watts,one of the senior trustees was aMr Read ,he had a family business in Rochester high street ,corner of vines lane,mostly China wear and expensive ornaments,
He was a real gentalman of the old school. My point :- Mr Read had a number of albums containing photographs of much of watts property ,I was privileged to see a few of them,some dated back to ww1 at least,have a vague idea the photographer responsible for many of the.photos was was a firm called How's had a studio somewhere near the Synagogue in Rochester /Chatham high street,just wondering if Thay are still around?may be watts administration ,or Rochester mesueam.just asking .


Howe T E Ltd were commercial and portrait photographers at 24 High Street Chatham. Looking at street view now it is CederOak Training Centre, next door to Tangs Chinese Restaurant, which has been there as a restaurant  for over 60 years under various names.

Offline smiler

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2021, 07:03:51 PM »
Colin Walsh I used to go into Reads [was it Reeves] china shop quite often for a look around I remember the upstairs part very low ceiling which made it look very long room. Sold lovely crockery.

Offline castle261

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #35 on: August 19, 2021, 08:40:49 PM »
I remember this area well - I only used it as a short cut to the buses.
To pack so many businesses - in a small area like `Watts Place` was unusual - I never visited any of the three cafes - very unusual for one short street.
For people that may not know the area ` Watts Place ` is a very short street with no pavement`s
with lamp lights in the centre. The shop`s therefor, are small looking on the outside. if you go down the street now it is a derelict wide ally way, with a kink in it, whereas, when Watts Place was alive, it
was very straight. Used car dealers had taken over between them, taken some of the space.

Offline Colin walsh

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #34 on: April 24, 2020, 05:34:47 PM »
In my time working for watts,one of the senior trustees was aMr Read ,he had a family business in Rochester high street ,corner of vines lane,mostly China wear and expensive ornaments,
He was a real gentalman of the old school. My point :- Mr Read had a number of albums containing photographs of much of watts property ,I was privileged to see a few of them,some dated back to ww1 at least,have a vague idea the photographer responsible for many of the.photos was was a firm called How's had a studio somewhere near the Synagogue in Rochester /Chatham high street,just wondering if Thay are still around?may be watts administration ,or Rochester mesueam.just asking .

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #33 on: April 24, 2020, 11:21:15 AM »
CAT. That's exactly what I said- one day! So it's frustrating that now I have " all the time in the world", I'm not at home & just have this Chromebook & no slides to copy, let alone the copier! Your wife must have the patience of Jobe, so congratulations to her. I think shoot999 has it, with the absence of portraits, they are the work of a freelance photographer, travelling the County. By the way, your cellar may be cool but make sure it isn't damp, otherwise you could get mould forming on the glass slides. Particularly when they've been out of their sleeves in the presence of people- warm moist air. "Which"( that I am a member of), did a Test Lab. report on dehumidifiers some time ago &, as usual, some were a lot better than others.   

Offline shoot999

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #32 on: April 24, 2020, 08:51:15 AM »
Many thanks all for the comments regards their saving. Each slide measures 120mm x 90mm (roughly 4 3/4'' x 3 1/2''). Whilst I do think they are from a private studio collection, there are very few actual person portraits, instead large amounts of curious events in, and around Kent ranging from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s.
  That sounds about right for a professional studio/photographer. Whilst the portrait work gave a steady stream of revenue, many of the studios at the time freelanced for the various local papers. In fact a key factor in running a story was whether a photo of the event/place/incident was available.  For example Dudley Studios of Watts Place freelanced for the local Medway Papers, East Kent Gazette, Kent Messenger, etc. So these guys were out and about most days snapping away at anything and everything on spec. 

Offline castle261

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2020, 01:16:52 AM »
Exellent idea Smiffy - My particular interest is in the layout of the Brook between the Town Hall,
along the Brook, to Sly Kate`s Hill. The raised pavement along the north side + the area of the
roads, displaced by the Pentagon. Years ago half of the `Brook `was like the banks in Rochester
High Street, for half it`s length - raised 8)   :-X

 ( Slickett`s Hill )

Offline Smiffy

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2020, 10:01:09 PM »
As well as guess the place, perhaps you should start your own topic where you can occasionally post one of your slides that you think may be of particular interest? CAT's Collection :)

Offline CAT

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2020, 06:38:17 PM »
Many thanks all for the comments regards their saving. Each slide measures 120mm x 90mm (roughly 4 3/4'' x 3 1/2''). Whilst I do think they are from a private studio collection, there are very few actual person portraits, instead large amounts of curious events in, and around Kent ranging from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s. Storing is a problem, but they came in 159 handmade wooden boxes each with approximately 160 slides in each and are stored in my cellar, which maintains a cool [/size]dry environment. These are separated into subject groups, some of several slides, some singular, with each group placed in a paper envelope with a simple description written in pencil and a reference(?) number. My very patient wife catalogued them all over a very gloomy winter and produced a digital spreadsheet. We spent a bomb a few years ago and have the ability to scan them at home and together we have done about 400, so only another 24,600 to go as well as my collection of Victorian church slides (approx. 400) and 1960-70s historic [/size]Kent houses 35mm slides (approx. 2400)  :( . Its finding the time, but one day!.   

Offline Dave Smith

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2020, 09:54:35 AM »
Cat. Fantastic that all those have been salvaged rather than destroyed as so often happens," good on you"! If those are all glass plates (1/4 plate is 41/4" x 31/4" & 1/2 plate 61/2" x 41/4" if I remember rightly) they were probably from a photographic studio, who tended to take portraits on tripod mounted plate cameras & had the facilities to develop, fix & dry them. AND store them! The photographer was also a keen photographer, which would be a natural hobby, to go out & about taking pictures around Kent. He'd have used the camera- or similar- that he was most familiar with, hand held or tripod. I think you've got your work cut out trying to copy them- although copiers now will convert negatives to positives- as that size copier would "cost a bomb"! AND it would take for ever! Sorry to be negative but having had the job of transferring 3,500 35mm slides to my computer- & doing less than half, I speak from experience. A lot, I suspect will be portraits?, so maybe print( contact) any that take your fancy & then copy them to computer via your printer. You can join in the " guess the place" then.

Offline Mike Gunnill

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2020, 08:48:22 AM »
A bit of both. I purchased them from a friend, who informed me they came from the cellar of an abandoned building in Canterbury being demolished  in the mid-late 1950s. In total there are nearly 25,000 seperate images of all types of topics from around Kent with a strong bios towards the Medway towns.




Very interesting find CAT. Well done.
Mike Gunnill

< One Day More >

Offline stuartwaters

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2020, 07:29:52 AM »
Colin, there's no need to apologise. Keep on posting - even if your memories sometimes play tricks (don't all of us suffer from this at times?) they can still act as a prompt for other peoples recollections.


Indeed, I couldn't agree more. The whole point of a forum is to discuss things and the more senior amongst us will have first hand recollections of things that the more junior ones can only read about in books. So, if anyone feels they can contribute to a discussion, please do so without fear of embarrassment. Memories can get confused, facts forgotten and the point is that all this can come out during the discussion.
"I did not say the French would not come, I said they will not come by sea" - Admiral Sir John Jervis, 1st Earl St Vincent.

Offline Smiffy

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #25 on: April 23, 2020, 01:50:28 AM »
CAT, that's an amazing find, you may have some unique and rare views amongst them. Just storing them alone must be a bit of a problem. How far have you got in cataloging them all - I assume that you are scanning them in to your computer and storing them electronically for convenient reference? With 25,000 to sort out this sounds like it might be a long job!

Offline CAT

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2020, 11:19:04 PM »
A bit of both. I purchased them from a friend, who informed me they came from the cellar of an abandoned building in Canterbury being demolished  in the mid-late 1950s. In total there are nearly 25,000 seperate images of all types of topics from around Kent with a strong bios towards the Medway towns.

Offline Smiffy

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Re: Watts' Place, Chatham
« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2020, 10:24:46 PM »
Invicta Alec - I agree with you about the car being a Jowett Javelin. My brother-in-law's father had one, and according to him it would never run if it was raining!
 
CAT, where did you get the glass plates? Were they rescued from a skip or something, or did you purchase them?