Unusual small Carte de Visite ( 4cm x 7cm) late 1890s
Nellie G Smith advertised as The West End Photo Company, (successors to Chalkley Gould), for at least 15 years before her own name was added to advertisements in 1915. Despite being a later photographer, she is included as a Southampton Victorian Photographer because her career began in the late Nineteenth Century, and as successor to the firm of Chalkley Gould, she was connected to much earlier photographers in Southampton.
Kellys directory 1903. The West End Photo Co
Chalkley Gould were still in business in 1903, at the former studios of Hubert henry and Adams and Stilliard/ Adams and Scanlan at 32 High Street. In the same year the West End Photo Co advertised at 12 Commercial Road. Cecil Gould advertised at 12 Commercial Road in 1907, so Nellie Smith may have been renting studio space from the Gould family, or working with Cecil Gould. Chalkley Gould and Co relocated to 60 Commercial Road, until 1912, and around this time the studio was taken over by the West End Photo Co.
Post card portrait 1910s.
Many portraits of WW1 soldiers by Nellie G Smith survive, perhaps because of the close proximity of the studio to the station. Her photographic career spanned two centuries, and two World Wars.
Nellie Smith's father was a timber merchant, and she was one of at least 9 children. The family moved between the North of England and Romsey, Hampshire in the 1870s. Nellie and 2 of her siblings were born in Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire. By 1887 the family had moved to Southampton. At the time of the 1891 census the whole family, apart from Nellie and her brother Percy, were living in Northam Road, Southampton. Nellie was staying with an Aunt and Uncle in Worthy, and her brother had married and moved to Battersea. Percy's wife was a Photographer's Manager.
Post card portrait 1920s
Nellie gave her occupation as photographer for the 1901 census. She lived in Portswood with her widowed father and 8 siblings, and presumably worked at the studio at 12 Commercial Road. By 1911 Nellie, her father, 2 sisters and a number of lodgers lived in Denzil Avenue. Around this time Nellie began working from 60 Commercial Road and continued to do so until the early 1930s when the studio moved to Havelock Road. Havelock Road was bombed in 1940, and the studio moved to Winchester Road, Shirley. Nellie G Smith worked as a portrait and commercial photographer well into her 70s, and died in Shirley in 1951.
Wedding photograph taken by Nellie G Smith at the Parish Church of Beaulieu, in October 1948. (Image courtesy of Sarah Hudson)