Brislington Community Museum


This publisher printed two series of postcards that included pictures of Brislington. The 'Solar' series was printed as real photographs, and were credited Hardings, (Bristol,). The 'Progress' series was printed by the collotype process and in addition to the plain monochrome version, some were painted by hand (a process often referred to as tinting because a set palette of colours were used to cover particular areas of the picture, with no attempt to blend the colours). The Progress series was credited to Hardings' (Bristol & Cardiff).

The Hardings' postcards also pictured scenes elsewhere in Bristol, the Southwest, Wales, and perhaps further afield. A postcard of Bristol Cathedral features an advertising board with the slogan 'Ask for Harding's (Bristol) pictorial post cards of local views.' (published online at Bristol Archives). The back carries an advertisement by T Harding, Son, Co for their St Philip's Bridge Printing and Paper Bag Works.

In 1905 and 1907 (probably also the intervening year) the section 'Picture Post Card Publishers' of the annual Wright's Directory of Bristol, includes 'Harding T. Son & Co.; local views photographed and reproduced to order, St Philip's bridge' (pages 739 and 779 respectively).

The 1861 census for the parish of St James, Bristol, shows Thomas Harding was living with his wife Esther and son William (respectively aged 30, 32 and 4, and born in Cardiff, Bristol, and St Fagans just west of Cardiff), and working as a commercial traveller dealing in paper. A decade later the census shows they'd moved to Bedminster, Bristol, and Thomas worked as a wholesale stationer, employing two people.

In 1879 William married Catherine Hawtin. The 1881 census shows her age as 22, and she was born in Cardiff. William worked as a commercial traveller dealing with stationery. The couple lived in the same street in Bushy Park, Bedminster, as his father (whose occupation was now described as a paper merchant). The 1891 census shows William and Catherine with three children (all born in Bristol) at Penarth, just south of Cardiff. He was still working as a commercial traveller.

In 1882 Esther died, and in 1886 Thomas married Parthenia who was thirty years younger than he and from St Fagans (just west of Cardiff), where Esther was buried. The 1891 census shows the couple living in Bushy Park, and Thomas was an employer in wholesale stationery and printing. They were living in Brislington at St Fagans Lodge, Wick Road, at the time of the 1901 census. He was still working as an employer in wholesale stationery. In 1905, while living at St Fagans in Ashcombe Gardens in Weston-super-Mare, Thomas died. His memorial stone, shared with his former wife Esther, is in the churchyard of St Fagans, Cardiff. Parthenia died in 1907, aged 46.

William, Catherine and their four children were living in Horfield, Bristol, at the time of the 1901 census (he was an employer working as a wholesale stationer and commercial traveller). The census a decade later shows the family living in Bishopston, Bristol, while he was an employer working as a traveller, stationer, paper bag manufacturer, and general printer.

William died in 1921 while living in Sydenham Road, Knowle, Bristol. Catherine died in 1941 while living in Redland, Bristol.

Brislington postcards

Kensington Park Road - [ Untitled ]. Solar series. Earliest known picture: 5 Dec 1905.

Water Lane - [ Untitled ]. Solar series. Earliest known picture: printed before 3 June 1918.

Bath Road (A4) - Tram Depot - BRISLINGTON, BRISTOL.. Solar series. Earliest known picture: 29 Jan 1906.

Bath Road (A4) - Village Square - BRISLINGTON, BRISTOL. Published online at Bristol Archives. Solar series.

Langton Court Road - St. Anne's Church, New Brislington, Bristol. Published online at Bristol Archives. Also published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 37. Progress series number 1179. Earliest known picture: Sept 1905.

Beese's Riverside Bar - Conham, Nr. Bristol. Progress series number 534. Earliest known picture: 29 Dec 1905.

We can't exhibit these postcards until we have permission from the copyright owner, and regrettably we don't yet know who that is.