The Bunce Brothers didn't stop for Christmas!

The museum is already decorated for Christmas, and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors to our display in the Victorian room, featuring our 100-year-old clockwork musical rotating Christmas tree stand. We will also have our photography display on show: this features vintage cameras and photographic equipment, as well as photographs taken by several local professional and amateur photographers.

The Bunce Brothers of Caterham were probably the best-known professional photographers in the area. George Bunce was the eldest, and in 1902 he opened a photographic studio in his parents’ house on the Westway, Caterham on the Hill. George was joined the following year by his younger brother Herbert, and by 1906 the business had grown so much they were able to move the studio to number 26 Westway, where it remained until its eventual closure in the 1950s.

As well as portraiture of local residents and local landscapes, the brothers specialised in group photographs, and the museum has many examples of football teams, firemen, schools, etc. But particularly lucrative was the work they did for the Guards Depot, photographing the many squads of soldiers who had finished their training – platoon photos apparently cost four shillings a copy (the equivalent of around £12 today). The picture shows the brothers hard at work in their studio in the run-up to Christmas 1905.

I’d like to wish all of our readers season’s greetings, particularly if, like the Bunce Brothers, you will be working over Christmas. Please pop in to the museum this month if you can, or in early 2023, when we will have some exciting new displays for you to see.

Visit East Surrey Museum's website.

The Bunce Brothers in their studio

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