Monday, February 11, 2013

Queenswood School, Hatfield - PCs provide useful dating clues

Post Cards
I recently purchased a post card by Percy Buchanan of Beechwood school, Hatfield, and decided to put up a page about it. The research ended up, after some additional searching online, by providing some very useful information for dating Buchanan school cards.

Old News
Queenswood School started in Clapham and moved into Sheepwell House, on the border between Potters Bar and Hatfield, which had previously been occupied by (and possibly built by) Lieut-Colonel Lord Alfred Eden Browne, D.S.O., R.F.A. who died in action in 1918. I have located newspaper advertisements for the time the house was put on the market in 1923 and the expensive furniture sold off in an auction in 1924, and after some building work, became Queenswood School, Hatfield, in 1925.

What I found was that when it was in Clapham Park, Queenswood School has post cards produced by Photographic Tourists Association - which is the organisation that Percy Buchanan is believed to have worked with up to 1907.  Within a few years Percy had published post cards of the school (1911 or sooner) followed by a second batch in/by 1912.
Garden Front, Queenswood - published by P. A. Buchanan
This picture, of the school in Hertfordshire, cannot be earlier than 1925, when the school relocated, or later than 1930 (when a copy was posted). Because it is clear the school regularly had post cards it seems very likely that this picture was taken in 1925 or 1926. As soon as the school had moved to Hatfield a building programme was started - and another card, with a higher reference number, suggests that the photographer returned a few years later to take pictures of the new buildings.

Not only were all the cards I examined numbered, but they all had slightly different publisher address details, and four were posted. The result is a significant improvement in the publication timeline for numbered cards, and I have reworded the wording. 

This shows the importance of looking at the address side of cards for possible dating information.

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