We can't show you the pictures themselves on this page, but we can link
you directly to the pictures in this collection, in the order in which
we think they are numbered (they are not always legible!). Enjoy these
beautiful copies of postcards from a bygone age.
Cattle drinking in the River Loddon
8 - The Swan Inn and
Swallowfield Road looking towards the Cross, with old Parish Cottages in the
13 - The
Post Office and the 'Swan' P.H.
Molebridge Farm (then known as 'The Poplars') - looking towards Sindlesham
Swallowfield Road: Applemore Cottage and Chamberlains Farm Outbuildings
Arborfield Cross, towards School Road and Eversley Road, with War Memorial on
20 – The
(old) Rectory, Church Lane
Eversley Road, now Rickman Close, just north of the old T-Junction with Langley Common Road
Eversley Road, now Bramshill Close, with the ‘Bramshill Hunt’ P.H. off to the
David Cliffe, Reading Local Studies Librarian, has kindly put
together some biographical details about H. A. Giles:
Mary Southerton, in her book "A Century of Photography in Reading",
records Harold Augustine Giles as working from 2 Baker Street, Reading,
between 1912-1914, and from 83 Audley Street, Reading, from 1915 to 1955.
[Audley Street is a street of terraced houses between Oxford Road and
A gentleman who had lived in Audley Street next door to Mr. Giles rescued a
box of postcards when he died, and over 2,000 were donated to the Local
Studies Library, along with two pieces of correspondence. One is on headed
notepaper: "83 Audley Street, Reading. H. A. Giles, commercial photographer
and photographic view publisher", and is dated 16 March 1922. Mr. Giles
was in correspondence with the sub-postmaster at Kintbury, with a view to
selling him some postcards. The other is a postcard from the sub-postmistress
at Medmenham, dated 14 May 1940, about buying postcards from him.
It seems likely that a lot of Mr. Giles's postcard business was done in this
way. Many of his pictures aren't the traditional "postcard" views, but are of
everyday buildings - shops, cottages and country lanes in rural areas. In
Reading many of the pictures are streets of ordinary houses which other people
didn't photograph. The sales were presumably mainly to local people through
shops in the neighbourhood. Reading and its suburbs, and many villages around,
were covered, including villages in South Oxfordshire and North Hampshire.
The donor told David Cliffe that in the end, Mr. Giles had lived on his own,
and that there was no-one who might have a family or commercial interest in
the cards. He said that Mr. Giles had never owned a motor vehicle, but
strapped his camera tripod to his bicycle. He also said that there was no
electricity supply to the house, and that Mr. Giles had developed his
photographs by gas-light!
If you have any more information on Mr. Giles, or if you can identify the
double-fronted house in picture 15, please contact us.