Brislington Community Museum

Hollister - E C and C D (including E T)

This family of postcard publishers operated out of the Post Office, Sandy Park Road, Brislington. Despite publishing under three sets of initials, there were only two people - initially husband and wife (E T is believed to be a misprint for E C).

Edward Colston Hollister, son of Hannah and Herbert Hollister, was born in April 1871 and baptised at the church of St Philip & Jacob, Bristol. His father's occupation was described as tailor, and the family lived in Edward Street.

The census of 1881 shows the family had moved to William Street, Bedminster where he was the fourth eldest of eight siblings. His mother (35 years old) was born in London, and his father (40) was still working as a tailor, and was born in Bristol. A decade later the census shows the family had moved to Windsor Terrace in the area we know as Totterdown. Edward was now the eldest of the couple's children, with six younger siblings, and worked as a boot riveter. His father now had two occupations - tailor and musician.

In July 1898 Edward (aged 27) married Caroline Dell Gunnell (19) in Bedminster at the church of St Luke. Both resided at Philip Street, and his profession was press representative.

Caroline, daughter of Georgina and Thomas Gunnell, was baptised at Holy Nativity church, Knowle, Bristol, in April 1879. Her father worked as an engine fitter, and the family lived in St Luke's Road.

The census of 1881 shows the family in St Luke's Road, where Caroline was the youngest of four children. Her mother (33) was born in Swindon, and her father (36) was still working as an engine fitter, and had been born in Reading. A decade later the census shows the family at the same place, with their income from the same occupation. Caroline was now the eldest of the couple's two children remaining in the household.

The 1901 census was taken in March and shows Caroline and Edward had moved a short distance to Almorah Road, and now had a baby daughter Olive, who had been born in Bristol. Edward was employed as the manager of a news office. Later that year, on 13 Oct, Olive Irene Hollister was baptised at the church of St Luke, Brislington. The family were then living in Sandy Park Road, and the father's occupation was news agent. The vicar, incidentally, who performed the ceremony was the Rev. Alfred Richardson, a notable local historian.

On 21 Sept 1905, at the General Hospital, Bristol, Edward died. The probate records show him as having been living at 14 Sandy Park Road, and working as a postmaster. His estate amounted to nearly £700.

On 7 April 1907, aged 28 Caroline remarried. The groom was bachelor Charles Coles, aged 30. He worked as a motor driver and lived at Montrose Avenue, Brislington. She was working as postmistress, and still living at Sandy Park Road. Their wedding was celebrated after Banns at St Luke's, Brislington.

Charles was born to Eliza and James Coles, and was baptised in April 1876 at the parish church of Stanton Drew. His father worked as a labourer. The 1991 Census shows 'Charley' as the eldest of the couple's nine children living at home in Woodbine Cottage, Keynsham. His mother (39) was born in Farrington Gurney, and his father (37) was born in Stanton Drew, and worked as an agricultural labourer, as did Charles himself (aged 15).

The 1911 census shows Caroline and Charles Coles with her daughter Irene Hollister, living at 18 Belmont Road, Brislington. He was working as a tramway traffic inspector.

In the 2nd quarter of 1930, the registration district of Bristol recorded the death of Caroline, Brislington's earliest known female postcard publisher (in St Anne's around this time there was Edith Coe).

Postcards by Edward Hollister

The Black Castle (now a public house) - Black Castle, Brislington. Earliest known picture: 20 Sept 1905.

Church of St Luke - Brislington Parish Church. Earliest known picture: 7 Mar 1906.

Kensington Hill (Bath Road) - Kensington Hill, Brislington. Earliest known picture: 6 Sept 1905.

Sandy Park Road - Sandy Park Road. Earliest known picture: 5 Sept 1905.

Postcards by E T Hollister (believed to be Edward, as above)

Grove Park - Congregational Church, Brislington.

Postcards by Caroline Hollister

Church of St Luke - BRISLINGTON VILLAGE CHURCH. A variant of this image was published by N J West. Earliest known picture: 27 Feb 1908.

Village Square (Bath Road) - Tram Terminus, Brislington. Published online at Bristol Archives. Earliest known picture: 8 Dec 1906.

West Town Lane - Water Lane, Brislington. Variant published online at Bristol Archives. A variant of this image was published by N J West. Earliest known picture: 6 Sept 1904.

Some notes

These postcards were printed using the collotype process and most are coloured, with the ink applied by hand. The publisher's address is always given as "The Library, P.O. Sandy Park" (the punctuation can vary).

From the small number of postcards so far catalogued, we may risk an observation that Edward's pictures are all local to the Sandy Park area (except the parish church), whereas Caroline's are spread across the whole village. The fact that the earliest known postmarks for three out of Edward's four postcards are in September 1905, points to the photographs being taken in the summer of 1905, and then published as a set. The odd one out may indeed be a later publication as uniquely it has a blank border on the front (where the sender could write a message).

Ken Taylor

Regrettably we can't exhibit any of these postcards until either the identity of the photographer/s is known (and perhaps also the copyright status of their pictures), or we secure funds to apply for a batch of orphan works licences.