Early Photographers in Rugby

Some thirty photographers worked in Rugby in the Victorian and early Edwardian period.  The in the 1840s to 1860s were small scale and only worked for a short while, but from the 1870s some became well established.  They are discussed in the ‘Early Photographers in Rugby’ booklet (see Publications page – and cover image on the right)

This page will provide updates as new findings on early photographers in Rugby became available.

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Dorothy West

Dorothy West took over the Dunchurch Road studio from the Speight family, had a photograph featured on page 24 of the booklet (right).  This should have acknowledged the source, Christine Howling, one of the administrators of the Past and Present Memories of Rugby and District website.  

The photograph is of Christine’s aunt Beatty (Beatrice Shaw, her father’s sister) on the occasion of her wedding to Cecil Appleby in 1935.  Christine’s father, then aged 12 is standing on the left hand side and her grandparents, Henry and Annie Shaw, are on the right hand side.  Her father’s oldest brother and his wife, John and Hilda Shaw, are standing behind the bride.  Cecil worked in the Offices at BTH, and later joined the BTH Auxiliary Fire Service.  

A further photograph taken by Dorothy West of Cecil Appleby when he was an auxiliary fireman is also copied [left] from Christine Howling’s collection.

Whilst Dorothy West had not been identified specifically in the book, it has now be found that in 1939 she was living at 137 Burnside Road, Rugby, with her husband Arthur J West – so she was married, and her husband was a painter and decorator.   Proof that this was the correct Dorothy West was provided by a press notice in 1941 when she was before the magistrates for having ‘an unscreened light in a roofed building’.

‘Blackout Breaches … Dorothy West, 137, Burnside Road, Rugby, (22 Little Church Street, Rugby, 11.30 p.m. on February 25th) £3; …’ [1] 

The 1939 registration also gave her date of birth as 27 May 1914.

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, Tuesday, 18 March 1941.



George Henry Jasper

Whilst George H  Jasper was included in the booklet, at that date only a single example of his work was known from the Ron Cosins collection.  Recently [in May 2021] a further CDV has been made available [right] from the collection of the Daniels family which was passed to Christine Howling and is now in the author’s collection.  It features three female members of the Daniels family, probably taken in 1887, the only year in which Jasper operated.

This group of Daniels family photographs also included the following: 

A cabinet print by John Hensman of Lillie and Susie Daniels with their parents.


Three CDVs by E H Speight: one of Mrs Daniels and her son?  One of Gertrude Daniels in Salvation Army uniform, and playing a six stringed banjo, and dated 1887; and one, also dated 1887, of a gentleman, possibly in a clerical collar and wearing a ?knitted ‘sweater’ under his jacket with a badge and beneath it apparently, the word [S]alvatio[n].