Summary[edit | edit source]
George Woods was the son of a draper, born in St. Albans, Hertfordshire in May, 1852. In his early life, he ran a drapery business in Wokingham, Berkshire with his elder brother, William, during the 1870s.
His father, William, died in 1880, leaving his sons some investments. By 1883 the drapery business was been sold and George began to develop a private income from trading on the stock market – this later allowed him to devote his time to photography.
Move to Hastings[edit | edit source]
Moving to Hastings with his wife, Mary, and daughter, Margaret, in the late 1880’s,during the early 1890’s he spent many hours taking photographs along Hastings' coastline and surrounding countryside. In many of his images, a teenaged girl/young woman is seen; it is likely Margaret may be the girl.
Second Wife[edit | edit source]
When his wife died from cancer in 1896, Woods married his second wife, Ethel Rant in 1902, and they set up home with Margaret at 75 Priory Avenue, Hastings. His daughter developed a serious illness and died aged 35, in 1914.
Bequests and Legacy[edit | edit source]
Woods died at his Priory Avenue home in 1934, aged 81, leaving his photographic collection to his second wife, who donated most of the prints to Hastings Museum shortly before her death 1962. Some of the glass plate negatives were acquired by local solicitor and historian, John E. Ray, and after his death the larger negatives were bought by Hastings Library, thus forming the bulk of the ESCC George Woods collection. A number were also published in the book "George Woods - photographs from the 1890s" by Steve Peak and Irene Rhoden.
There is also a display of his photography outside the Surgical Admissions Unit at the Conquest Hospital