Frank Scarratt, Photographer of Derby

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Frank Scarratt (F.W. Scarratt & Co.) of Derby
Scarratt's bike

Francis William Scarratt was born in 1876, the second son of Thomas Scarratt (1848-) and his wife Annie née Atkins (1857-1932). At the time they were living in his mother's home village of Hadley End, near Yoxall in Staffordshire, although the Scarratts were originally from nearby Barton-under-Needwood. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Derby, where Thomas found work as a furniture packer, and where Annie had another two daughters and a son. They moved around Derby somewhat, probably following where Thomas could find work. In 1891 he was working as a domestic coachman, but between 1895 and 1899 Thomas became the proprietor of a hansom cab, in which occupation he remained until at least 1912.

According to Jewell (1995), Frank worked briefly as a coachman for the vicar of Allestree during his teens, which must have been in the early to mid-1890s. In 1897 he married Mary "Polly" Johnson at Burton and they settled in Derby. Kelly's trade directory for 1899 records Frank as a newsagent at premises in 28 Campion Street, Derby, but by the time of the census at the end of March 1901, he was living at 15 Upper Boundary Road, Derby, and working as a "designer for wall paper." Jewell states that he was employed by Wilkins, Ellis & Co., a firm of wall paper merchants, in their warehouse at 12 St Peter's Street. In about 1903 Scarratt opened a small stationer's shop in Boundary Road, and a year later moved to premises at 117 Abbey Street, on the corner of Wilson Street and adjacent to the Vine Inn. In 1905 he moved again, this time just across the road to number 114 Abbey Street.

Scarratt published his first picture postcards, using photographs of Derbyshire scenes that he had taken himself, and printing them in Germany, in early 1906. Over the next three decades Scarratt would go on to produce almost two thousand different designs, mostly of city, town and village views within the county, but also further afield in Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.

Although in the early years his postcards either had a plain white or coloured borders or no border at all, many of the later views between 1908 and 1914 were surrounded by ornate frames, designed by Frank himself using a number of highly decorative styles.

The census of 2 April 1911 shows Frank and Mary, now with three children, still at Abbey Street. Between then and early 1912, when that year's edition of Kelly's trade directory was published, they had moved again to 115 Normanton Road, where their home would remain until the 1920s. It was about the time of this move that Scarratt opened a shop in the Derby Market Hall. Postcard No. 847, published in 1914, is a view inside the Market Hall, with the stall of "F.W. Scarratt & Co. Post Card Publishers" prominent on the balcony to the right of the clock and stairs. From 1917 until 1938, when production ceased, all of his postcards were published from the Market Hall premises.

Frank Scarrat died on 29th March 1964, aged 88, in Mickleover, where he had lived with his wife since the mid-1920s.

These pages are designed as a handy reference for those local and family historians researching or looking for Scarratt's postcard views, and are not intended as a duplication of Rod Jewell's excellent book "Yesterday's Derby and its Districts," published by Breedon Books. I have used his index to Scarratt's postcards as a basis for the catalogue, but have not reproduced any images from the book. Please note that this is a work in progress. The classification of post card types and the structure of the index are very likely to evolve as new information and images come to hand.

The images included here are generally low quality "thumbnail" JPEGs which I have sourced on the net. If you are looking for good quality images, I suggest you search for originals on eBay or elsewhere. Please don't ask me for higher quality versions - those which you see by clicking on the thumbnails are the best I have. For those interested in learning more, I strongly recommend the purchase of a copy of Jewell's book for yourself. Although I don't believe it is still in print, there are usually several copies available on Amazon and Abebooks.

There are, of course, many gaps in this online collection. In fact, that's an understatement, at this stage the images are few and far between. If you have examples of any Scarratt postcards which are not yet included, and would be prepared to share low to medium quality scans of them, I would be most grateful. Full acknowledgement will of course be thankfully given. Email me.

Type I Multicolour
Text above
Type II Colour Wash
Text above
Type III Brown Border
Type IV Oval Scroll
Type V Narrow White Border
B/W or Sepia
Type VI No Border
Text below
Type VII Wide White Border Type VIII Wide Grey Border Type IX Decorated Frame (Rect) Type X Decorated Frame (Rect/Oval)
Type XI Decorated Frame (RoundRect) Type XII Palette Type XIII Multiview (4+Palette) Type XIV Ornate Frame (Oval) Type XV Complex Frame
Type XVI Multiview (2+1)
Type XVII Mutliview (3x) Type VI No Border Type IX Decorated Frame (Rect) Vertical Type X Decorated Frame (Rect/Oval) Vertical

1-100 101-200 201-300 301-400 401-500 501-600 601-700 701-800 801-900 901-1000
1001-1100 1101-1200 1201-1300 1301-1400 1401-1500 1501-1600 1601-1700 1701-1800 1801-1846 Miscell.


Anon (1891) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, and Nottinghamshire.
Anon (1895) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London, Digital Library of Historical Directories, University of Leicester.
Anon (1895) History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire, T. Bulmer & Co.
Anon (1899) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London, Digital Library of Historical Directories, University of Leicester.
Anon (1912) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.
Craven, Maxwell (1993) Keene's Derby, Derby: Breedon Books, 215p, ISBN 1-873626-60-6.
Jewell, Rod (1995) Yesterday's Derby and its Districts, Derby: Breedon Books, 205p, ISBN 1-85983-030-7.
Indexed 1841- 1901 Census images from
Transcript of the GRO Index from FreeBMD


Many thanks to NAME for kind contributions of images and information.

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