yeovil trades & traders

Grace Cumming

Photographer of Middle Street

 

Grace Cumming was born in 1862 or '63 in Waltham Green, near Fulham, London. She was the daughter of architect and horticultural builder George William Cumming (b1839) and Mary Grace née Newman (b1848), both originally from the Isle of Wight. The family moved around frequently during the 1860s with at least three different addresses in Waltham Green and one in Ealing, but Grace seems absent from civil records at this time. Her known siblings were Henry Orsom (b1860, Waltham Green), George William (b1864, Waltham Green), Kate Crook (b1867, Ealing) and Gordon John (b1868, Waltham Green).

In the 1881 census 19-year old Grace was a boarder at 6 Fitzhugh Street, Southampton and gave her occupation as a Photographer.

In the 1891 census Grace, her sister Kate and brother George were lodging next door to the railway station at Holdenhurst, a village between Bournemouth and Christchurch. Both Grace and Kate gave their occupations as Photographer's Assistants - presumably working in Bournemouth. Their brother George was a medical dispenser.

In 1901 Grace was lodging at Perth Villa, George Street, Sandown, Isle of Wight. She listed her occupation in the census as a Photographer's Manageress.

Certainly by December 1906 (see first photograph below) Grace had moved to Yeovil and set up her own photographic studio at 55 Middle Street (the former photographic studio of William Sherrell). Grace was listed as a Photographer in Collins' Yeovil Directory of 1907. In the 1911 census she was listed as a Photographer at 55 Middle Street, employing two assistants. From her advertisement (see below) in Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser of 1912. Grace described herself as a Photographic Artist specialising in children's portraits.

 Grace died in Reading in 1913, age 50.

 

gallery

 


From my collection

Grace Cumming advertised herself particularly as a photographer of children and this cabinet card is typical of her style. It is inscribed on the back "Geoffrey Hicks Dec 1906".

 


Courtesy of Bill & Audrey Robertson

The front and back of another cabinet card by Grace Cumming, clearly the same child as above and therefore also dating to December 1906.

 


From my collection

This portrait by Grace Cumming was produced as a postcard, again probably around 1910.

 

.... another portrait produced as a postcard by Grace Cumming, from around the same date.

 

.... and something a little different from the normal studio portraiture, this appears to be a speaker at a local political rally produced by Grace Cumming as a real photographic postcard.

 

Grace Cumming's advertisement in the 1912 edition of Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser.

 


From my collection

The 8 August 1913 Yeovil rail crash at Pen Mill station in a very rare postcard. Photographed by Grace Cumming. Grace was only active as a professional photographer in Yeovil between c1907 and 1913, the year of her death.

 


From my collection

.... and another very rare postcard of the same accident, photographed by Grace Cumming.