The only trace of Charles McAlpine in Southampton was his inclusion in the Photographic Artist section of the 1861 Forbes and Bennett directory, at 94 High Street. In the 1860s number 94 was at the Town Quay end of the High Street, and the numbering is now different. According to the 1861 census the address was occupied by a coach builder journeyman and family. Number 94 must have been a large building, as the 1863 Post Office directory listed a cabinet maker and a tobacconist with the coach builder and family. Given the space all these businesses required, it seems possible that there was plenty of room for a travelling photographer's studio alongside the coach builder in 1861. The location was ideal, with plenty of potential customers passing by either on arrival in Southampton, or on their way to travel overseas.