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York & Son at 32 Friarn Street Bridgwater

The Bridgwater record of York & Son

This important firm hardly features in the Bridgwater records and has left the local memories.

In the meticulous records kept by the Borough of Bridgwater, we find in 1871 their property, No. 410 on the Town plan, in the occupation of Robert Gillo. The adjacent property, No. 409, is in occupation of Robert Bussell. No. 410 is now known as 32 Friarn Street, No. 409 as 30 Friarn Street.

About Gillo we know a little. He styled himself a "Portrait and Landscape Photographer", and was already living and working from 32 Friarn St in 1866. Much of his work survives, in private hands and in the Somerset Studies Library. A short biography has been published. Nothing is known of Robert Bussell. Gillo paid £20 per year for his property and Bussell £12 (it being the smaller of the two).

From a trade directory, we find Mr York at 32 Friarn Street in 1884, but not in 1883. On 30 April 1885, Mr Laffan reported on the property to the Finance and Property Committee, noting the "Outbuildings used as photographic workshops".
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Kelly's Directory of 1889 (p 135) describes "York & Son magic lantern slide manufacturers" of Friarn Street; this entry persists through to 1906 (which gives the building number as 32). The entry is there in 1910, but gone in 1914.

In the next surviving Council survey of 1898, 32 Friarn Street is "Now in the occupation of Messrs York & Son" and 30 Friarn Street "Now in the occupation of Messrs. York & Son, or Mr King".

More is needed to complete the story
9 April 2004. All Content © Bridgwater Heritage Group, unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, do not reproduce material without permission.

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