18 St Marys Street was the premises of photographers Mary and Alfred Pibworth from about 1870 to 1880. The studio was also used by photographers WH White and Samuel White. The Tysons referred to the previous use of the shop by advertising it as 'The Old St Mary's Portrait Shop'.
The 1885 Kellys Hampshire Directory listed 'Tyson, Misses, picture dealers' at 18 St Marys Street. No trace of the Misses Tyson in Southampton has been found after 1885. S, M and A Tyson were possibly Sarah, Mary and Alice Tyson, all born in Cheshire. The sisters were recorded by the census in 1881 and 1891 living with their father John Tyson, a widowed boot manufacturer. Mary and Sarah gave their occupation as dressmaker, and Alice was an artist painter. In 1911 the three sisters were still living together in Chester. Alice was an artist ('on own account') and Mary and Sarah were dressmakers.