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
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".