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Butlers' Photographs from the 1880s / 90s

These photographs of places away from Bristol are taken from pages of a photo album believed to have belonged to the Butler family, you can see other photographs from the album here.

Johnson & Co Ironmongers

This is clearly not a typical tourist shot, but why was it included?

Is there a link is to the Butler family? Maybe they were selling Butler & Co products? Is it where the Butler family bought their tennis rackets? Or perhaps they were just impressed by the window display.

Update March 2024:-

We have now identified this ironmongers as being in Staines, Middlesex (now Staines-on-Thames) - there are three other photos from the Staines area in the album, see below, this gave us the clue as to where to look. There are other photos of the Thames & Windsor, so these were probably taken on a trip to the area.

The Staines Historical Walks webpage says:

"On the High Street just east of the Blue Anchor was the site of Johnson & Sharp's Iron Foundry. This started here in a small ironmongers founded by the Ashby Family in 1790."

"One manager was a Mr Johnson and he named the business Johnson & Company (1889 - 1894). When managers and partners changed he would also change the name, first to Johnson & Smith, then back to Johnson & Company, later Johnson & Sharp (1905 - c1910) and finally Johnson & Clark."

For comparison, Surrey Live has a photo of the shop as 'Johnson & Smith' in 1900 - with 'Staines Iron Works, Engineers & Iron Founders' painted on the building. The article has a brief history of the area.

Johnson & Co Ironmongers


These show Staines Town Hall and Laleham Church, unusually for the album, these have written titles which confirm their location.

A further photo from Staines shows what is now called the Thames Lodge (formerly the Pack Horse and the Woolpack) which is next to the railway bridge over the river. Note the semaphore signals on the railway.

More River Thames

We have not identified the location of these, but they all appear to be of the River Thames.


Windsor Castle from the River Thames, The Long Walk and the statue of George III

Country Retreat

These are on the back of two of the views of Tintern (see below) so could be in that area, or they may relate to the Thames / Staines trip. The two gentlemen in the first photograph look very formally dressed (at least to modern eys) for this to have been a 'holiday'.

This doesn't appear to be any of the Butler properties, it could be in the Bristol area, but most likely is from one of their trips away.

Tintern Abbey

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