Percy Alex Buchanan

School Postcard Publisher

and the Photo Tourists Association

 

Most school postcards (including school groups) were taken by local photographers and are recorded as such. Some national photographers specialised in school postcards (often interior pictures) and published a number for private schools in Hertfordshire.


Tell me if you know of any of Percy's cards (any area) which are numbered and dated (by postmark, etc.) This will make it easier to assess the likely date of other numbered cards.

Percy Alex Buchanan was born in Lewisham, Kent, in about 1878, the son of Alexander Buchanan, a schoolmaster (1881, 1891, 1901 census). He married Elizabeth Sarah Charlotte Agatha Stackemann, at Turnham Green on 25 October 1902, giving the address of 11 Whitehall Park Road Gunnersbury (Chiswick). At the time he was a commercial traveller but his father in law was Carl Wilhelm (sometimes written Wilhelm Carl) Stackemann, a leading school photographer, who was then running the Photographic Tourists Association from Syringa House, 4 Heathfield Terrace, Chiswick.

The Photographic Tourists Association was a photography business that involved photographers touring various districts of England and calling in on schools, workplaces, colleges and other institutions to ask if they could photograph interior and exterior views of the building and take group portraits of pupils, teaching staff, employees, etc. and it would seem likely that Percy worked for them. Cards exist for Queenswood School posted in 1907 produced by the Association - and the information below shows that within a few year Percy Buchanan was producing cards for the school. There is also a 1905 picture of St Edmund's College, Standon, by the Association and Percy later took pictures of this school.

 

St Marys Convent

Windhill, Bishops Stortford

Photo Tourists Association

[no address given]

21 950

Posted 1904

 

Possibly by Percy Buchanan who took photographs of the school circa 1913.

Queenwood School, Clapham Park, circa 1905, by Photo Tourists Association

 

Queenswood, Clapham Park, S. W.

Posted 190? - back circa 1904

 

Published by

Photo Tourists Association, Turnham  Green, W.

Possibly photographed by Percy Buchanan - who took later photos of the school at Clapham and Hatfield

However in 1907 Stackemann was declared bankrupt and the business changed hands, continuing at Wandsworth under the management of Tudor Travers Hora. By 1911 W. Stackemann & Co. were based at 13 Elmers Drive, Teddington. There is a detailed history of Stackemann and the Photographic Tourists Association on the Sussex Photohistory web site.

A 1907 street directory listed Percy A Buchanan as living at 3 Ellesmere Road, Chiswick, but he is not mentioned in the trade section. He is also listed at this address in the 1908 electoral register. By the time of the 1911 census Percy Buchanan is recorded as a photographer living at 9 Park Road Chiswick, Middlesex, with his wife. It seems likely that Percy set up in business photographing schools at the time of the bankruptcy, and that his cards are unlikely to be dated before 1907, which fits in with the negative numbers so far recorded below. However he may have been the photographer for some of the Stackman cards. In 1913 Percy Alec Buchanan was living at 344 London Road, Thornton Heath, Croydon.

A search on ebay and google shows that he specialised in school and college postcards - with many interiors - and these were taken all over England with at least some in Scotland.  There are some examples of school group photographs but I have not seen any from Hertfordshire. Moche Caine (moshe.caine @t gmail.com) writes that Buchanan took panoramic school photographs in the 1930's and would like to hear from anyone who knows more about these - and I would love to know of any panoramic cards from Hertfordshire.

Winchester House School, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex, 1924

Hertfordshire (and selected other schools) Schools where his postcards are known are:

St Edmund's College, Old Hall, [Standon], Ware


Photo Tourists Association, Turnham Green, W

 

The Library

PU 1905

 

 

Queenswood School, Clapham Park

P. A. Buchanan & Co, Chiswick, London W.

 

The Hall

No 3421 PU 1911

 

Dining Room

No 342? PU 1912

Anstey Physical Training College (Gym),  #3781 posted 1910 - address Chiswick, London

Lockers Park School, Hemel Hempstead

P. A. Buchanan & Co., Chiswick, London W

d postage - Printed in Berlin - so 1914 or earlier

 

The Library

No. 3999, circa 1909

   

St George's School, Harpenden

P. A. Buchanan & Co., Chiswick, London W

 

 


The School Room
No. 4470 PU 1948

 


The Girls Sitting Room
No. 4472 PU 1910

St Mary's Convent, Bishops Stortford

P. A. Buchanan & Co., Chiswick, London W

 

Front View

No. 5661 PU c1913

 

[note later post card]

Avery Hill College, Eltham, #7028 posted 1912 - address Chiswick, London

Grassendale, Southbourne-on-Sea, #7655 - address Chiswick, London W.

The College, Harrogate, # 8484 posted 1912

Caldicott School, Hitchin

Chiswick

 

The School Room

No 8944

   

St Katherines, Bushey Grove, Watford

 

P. A. Buchanan & Co, Thornton Heatth, Croydon, Surrey

Printed in Berlin - posted January 1913

 

St Katharines, Bushey Grove

No. 9241 PU 1913

 

 

Queenswood School, Clapham Park

P. A. Buchanan & Co, Croydon, Surrey

Printed in Berlin

 

The Library

No 9708 PU 1912

   

Caldecote Towers, Bushey Heath, Aldenham

P.A. Buchanan & Co. Croydon, Surrey

d postage - Printed in Berlin - so 1914 or earlier

 

Caldecote Towers

No. 10986

 

Caldecote Towers

No. 10988 

Coombe Hill School, Kings Langley

 

P.A. Buchanan & Co. Croydon, Surrey

Printed in Germany

 

Coombe Hill School

No. 11272

   

It would seem from the following numbers and dates that after the war the number appeared on the picture side and not with the published address. I have not yet found any examples from Hertfordshire

 

The Queen's Ward, Middlesex Hospital, #12171  (P. A. Buchanan & Co, Croydon) number on address side

The Abbey School, Westminster, #15(?)262 posted 1922 - number on picture side

The Training College, Norwich, #16701 posted 1920 - number on address side

Oxford Preparatory School, Oxford, #16575 - number on picture side

St Clares School, East Grinstead, #17950 - number on picture side

School said to closed in 1923, after only being open in 2 years  so photograph taken c 1921

Municipal High School for Girls, West Hartlepool, #19491 - number on picture side

Convent of the Sacred Heart, Weymouth. #20001 - number on picture side

St John's, Bexhill on Sea, #23169 - number of address side

 

Hockerill Training College, Bishop's Stortford

P. A. Buchanan & Co., Croydon
Printed in Belguim

 


View from South East
No 25337

 


Training Room
No 25349 PU 1920

Christ's Hospital, Hertford

P. A. Buchanan & Co., Croydon
Printed in Belguim

 

The Chapel

No 25579

   

 

Abbot's Hill School, Abbots Langley

P. A. Buchanan & Co., Croydon
Printed in Belguim

 

Rose Garden

No 29674

   
Queenswood School, Hatfield

P. A. Buchanan & Co Ltd., Croydon

[Cannot be before 1925 when school moved to Hertfordshire, and another card of the school 31430 PU 1926.]

 

Garden Front

No.  31434 PU 1930

   

Rose Hill School, Banstead

P. A. Buchanan & Co Ltd., Croydon

  Various numbers 31839-31853    
Queenswood School, Hatfield

P. A. Buchanan & Co. Ltd., Thornton Heath (Surrey)

 

Great Hall

No 35862

   

Ardingley College, West Sussex

P A Buchanan & Co. Ltd, Thornton Heath, Surrey.

 

No 39368 shows Classroom Block which was not completed until 1927.

   

Berkhamsted School

P.A. Buchanan & Co, Ltd., 604 London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey
Printed in Great Britain

 

Berkhamsted School

No 44074

 

Incents House

No 44246

   

The Library  No 44080

 

The Workshop No 44083

Lockers Park School, Hemel Hempstead

P.A. Buchanan & Co, Ltd., Queenswood Avenue, Thornton Heath, Surrey
Printed in Great Britain

Card of set known posted December 1942

 


The Library
No 46519

 


The Drawing Room
No 46521

Convent F C J, Ware

P.A. Buchanan & Co, Ltd., Queenswood Avenue, Thornton Heath, Surrey
Printed in Great Britain

 


The Concert Hall
No 47223 PU 1949

   

The following cards do not have numbers

St Margaret's School, Bushey

P. A. Buchanan & Co., Croydon
Printed in France

 


The Principal's Room

 


The Dining Hall

St Mary's Convent, Bishops Stortford

P.A. Buchanan & Co, Ltd., Croydon
Printed ?

 


Games Pavillion  PU 1935

 

[note earlier post card]

St Edmund's College, Old Hall, [Standon], Ware

604 London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey
Printed in Great Britain
[Relative date uncertain]

 


Talbot & Challoner Houses

 


Common Room, Allen House

St Ronan's, Hadley  Wood

P.A. Buchanan & Co, Ltd., 604 London Road, Thornton Heath, Surrey
[Relative date uncertain]

 

St Ronan's

   

The following Hertfordshire schools had post cards by Buchanan but I don't have full details

St Christopher School, Letchworth

Croydon

 

   

Crofton Grange ?

Crofton Grange was founded in Orpington in 1900 and moved to Hamels Park, near Buntingford in 1935. This card is probably the Orpington School.

 

   

Can you help?

Unfortunately many of the cards have no reference number, and most have not been posted. In addition several that were posted may have been produced years earlier, such as the St George's example, above, where a card almost certainly published by 1910 was posted in 1948. Many of the ebay adverts do not give full details. This makes dating, without much more research, a little difficult.

However the earliest dated card I discovered in a google search was of a school group of a school in Clapham, from 1908, by "P. A. Buchanan & Co, 344 London Road, Thorton Heath, Croydon" - this was his address in the 1913 Kelley's directory for Surrey. The St George's School, Harpenden, must have been not later than 1910 and give a Chiswick address.

Cards with the highest numbers give the Queenswood Avenue address, and probably published in the 1930s. The highest numbers I have located with this address are 47678 for a card of the Tennis Courts at Oakdene, Beaconsfield, Bucks (ebay advert) and a series 47870 - 47884 for Hiatt College, Wellington, Shropshire. The lowest is No 38742 of the Catherine Gladstone Home, Mitcham (ebay advert) which appears out of order but may be a later reprint.


[permanent link www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk.co.uk/links/BUCHANAN.htm]
February 2009   Page created
November 2009   Additional pictures
March 2010   Note on Panoramic photographs & St Edmunds College update
November 2011   Cards of Abbot's Hill and Coombe Hill Schools
April 2012   Caldecote Towers
July 2012   Links to Stackemann (Thanks Andy)
September 2012   PC of St Mary's Convent, Bishops Stortford
November 2012   PC of St Rohan
January 2013   2nd Pc of St Mary's, Bishops Stortford & additional information on Queenswood Avenue numbers
February 2013   Photo Tourists Association card of Queenwood, Clapham Park
April 2013   St Clares School gives narrow date range for number on picture side