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Opening Times:
Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For Public Holidays and the Christmas Period please consult our Facebook page or Phone the Museum 01903 740188.
Other times by appointment.

Access to our archive collection by appointment only.

Entrance: Free

Facilities & Accessibility: Fully Accessible, Toilets, Wheelchair Accessible, Unsupervised Cloakroom

Postcards

  Walter James Drewett, Postcard publisher first at Steyning then at Storrington, was born at Steyning on February 13, 1869. He died in 1898, aged 61.

  Walter Drewett specialised in photographing landscapes and outdoor events, such as garden parties and parades. Sometimes he took pictures of individuals outside their homes or in the street, but there is no record of his undertaking studio portraiture.

  Drewett seems to have begun postcard publishing in 1903. The earliest postmark found is March or May 1903 on a card with an undivided back showing The Square at Storrington. The captions on the very earliest cards are written in plain blocky capitals of fairly uniform size on transparent slips. However, Drewett soon abandoned using slips and changed to writing the captions in reverse lettering directly on his glass plate negatives. At about the same time he switched to a less regular style of lettering and started adding dots, dashes, squiggles or short curving lines (often with a characteristic forked end) for decorative emphasis. Often he arranged the words in wave-like curves. Some of his captions now appear tired and clich?d, for example "In an old fashioned street in an old fashioned town" (Steyning), "Homeward the ploughman plods his weary way" (a view of Jacobs Hill, Thakeham) and "Afar from the city's din" (a view of a cottage at Amberley).

  Although Drewett began his postcard publishing career in Steyning, he soon moved to Storrington in February 1904 and opened a newsagent's shop on the east side of Church Street, next to a little lane or twitten.

  As a photographer, Drewett operated mostly within a ten mile radius of Storrington. He was concerned to photograph not only village streets and buildings, but also sheep and shepherds on the Downs, country lanes, and even heathland, which many photographers of the period chose to ignore. He was out and about with his camera even in winter, and recorded some fine snow scenes.

  After about 1925 Drewett seems to have been less active attending local events (probably because of competition from Albert Hall) and his postcard business may have started to decline. However, a card of the main square in Storrington shows mid-thirties cars, which proves that he continued to issue new cards until he was at least 65. By 1938 he moved back to Steyning to live in Tanyard Lane, where he continued to work as a photographer. He gave up postcard publishing a few years later.

See http://www.sussexpostcards.info/publishers.php?PubID=94