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The Rother Valley
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Leslie Arthur Whitcomb

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Pound Street in Petworth, part of a photograph by Leslie...It was here that his aunts and uncles lived and where he had happy memories..

Leslie Arthur Whitcomb - 1915 - 2010
Born September 1915 in Edmonton. His father was William Whitcomb, born in Petworth.
Marrying Kathleen in 1942 at Boscombe he served in India during the Second World War.
Temporarily residing with in-laws after the war, in Ilford, he then moved to Dudley Road, Brighton in 1945, where he lived in the same house for 65 years until his death on 23 October 2010.
His interest in amateur photography started before the War, and there were albums of scenic and army personnel from Kashmir with his first camera, continued in earnest when he returned to the UK. He developed and printed his own photos at home in the blacked out bathroom. He was a keen member of the Brighton and Hove Camera Club during the 1950ís and was successful in their annual exhibitions.
He also supplemented his income by offering photos to the producers of Town and Holiday Guides. A fair number were published in the short-lived Beauty of Sussex magazine 1950-1951.
Leslie worked as a clerk for S.M. Tidy a local Brighton haulage and construction company and knowing his expertise in photography the company used him to record the various projects they were working on, ending up at the end of each year with twelve subjects in a calendar.
He was meticulous with storage and labelling his photographs. His early black and white negatives and prints were incomplete and not in a suitable state to reproduce to a good standard on modern day pcs, but later on many of his more artistic photos were professionally scanned to pc. He went over to colour in Feb 1960. His early colour work was on glass slides and over time they had lost some of the definition, but the standards improved with Kodak. There were in excess of 10,000 colour slides and because of the storage area they were sold as an entire collection, but not before Peter had scanned a few hundred that were of local or general interest.
Leslie chose not to invest in digital cameras, but latterly in his life his interest in photography waned somewhat, so the use of digital and computers never really arose.
After his death, his son Peter has made considerable efforts to share some of his vast accumulation of photographs, namely with Geograph and a local Brighton archive collection, and more recently with the Gravelroots website.
Peter now also contributes many modern photographs to the Gravelroots site.

Leslie Whitcomb with his first camera - click to enlarge
Leslie Whitcomb with his first camera.
Peter Whitcomb has donated some 200 plus of his fathers photos to our archives, below is a short list of just some of those shown online.
A photographic tour of Dorset, June 1955 [ 17 images ]
Bognor regis, boat trips from the beach
Brighton, Kings Road - illuminations
Easebourne, Cowdray Park Gates & Cottages, April 1938
Harting, Betty & the Smithy, April 1938
Petworth, High Street, 1951
Petworth, Middle Street, 1951
Petworth, Lombard Street, 1951 - 2 x photographs
Petworth, Lombard Street, October 1963
Petworth, Streeter & Daughter, March 1979
Petworth, North St. & Church from Bartons Lane, Sept. 1965
Petworth, Pound Street, November 1951
Petworth, Pound Street, Sept. 1965 - 2 photographs
Petworth, past Catholic church towards Sheepdowns, Apr. 1938
Petworth Park, Oct. 1970 - 2 photographs
Selsey Old Mill, 5 June 1938
Sutton, Sussex, The Forge & Ernie Budd, 1952, 2 x photographs
St Peters church, Preston Village, Brighton - 1 May 1951
SM Tidy Ltd
article in September 2012 issue of the Ovingdean News - click for full image
September 2012 issue, Ovingdean News

This section is ongoing and changes or additions are being made. If you wish to add to, or comment on, the above please contact us. Anyone wishing to contact Peter regarding any additional information on specific photographs or other queries may do so by emailing us and your message and email address will be passed on.
Gravelroots publish historical information, as presented to us, in good faith. The authors of researched family history have invariably attempted to create an accurate account or no purpose would have been served in researching it. Although we do seek to ensure that information contained throughout the website is accurate it is impractical to check the accuracy of all the information contained therein. As with all historical research, you should check other sources for corresponding data, rather than rely on any one source.


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Rother Valley Modern Communities
Chithurst | Cocking | Didling | Duncton | Easebourne | East Lavington | Fernhurst | Fittleworth | Graffham
Harting | Heyshott | Iping | Lickfold | Linch | Lodsworth | Lurgashall | Midhurst | Milland | Northchapel | Nyewood
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