Not much is known about William James Reed but, from local directories, he seems to have arrived in Bexhill about 1904 and, it is thought, from Eastbourne.
He took up residence at “Laxfield”, 20, Linton Road, running from the Marina to Parkhurst Road, where he continued to live until 1909 – where, and why, he went to live from there is unknown.
He took over the studios at No. 2, Marine Arcade & Bazaar, from 1903 – see, below, a transcription of his advert in the “Bexhill-on-Sea Observer” newspaper, dated 1st August 1903. He worked there, according to the local directories, until 1906 – though he doesn’t appear there in the 1905 directory.
He appears to have “retired” around 1906, because, according to the local newspaper, the “Bexhill Chronicle”, Bridgman & Robbins took over the studios around 1907 but William continued to live in Linton Road until 1909.
No record of his death has been found.
From the “Bexhill-on-Sea Observer” newspaper, dated 1st August 1903
“William J. Reed, LATE of Eastbourne, Artist and Photographer, 2, MARINE STUDIOS, BEXHILL
W. J. Reed wishes to announce that he has purchased the business, lately occupied by Mr. G. E. Swain, and trusts that by Artistic Work and Prompt Delivery to merit a share of your king patronage.”
“ENLARGEMENTS FROM EVERY CLASS OF PICTURE”
From the “Bexhill on Sea Observer”, dated 19th December, 1903 – a Christmas advertisement.
“REED’S MARINE STUDIOS”
“At this time of the year, when parties and dances are so frequent and popular, a photograph in evening dress is a most acceptable Christmas or New Year’s greeting, and Mr Reid, who has had much experience in this branch, will surely do you justice. Miniatures on ivory and Porcelain are also features at these studios, together with carbon portraits of all shapes and sizes. An excellent photograph lately taken of his worship, the Mayor (Earl de la Warr) now stands in Mr Reed’s window.”