Hertfordshire Postcard Artists, Photographers, Publishers, etc.

William Harold Cox of Luton & St Albans


Ricardo Studios

St Albans


Old Herts


St Albans


Tell Me of any datable examples of his work, and that of the Ricardo Studios

Early Hertfordshire Postcards from Castle Street, Luton


Rev Fillingham's Church


Back 1


Village of Hexton,


Back 1


Hexton Manor

Posted 1908

Back 2


William Harold Cox was born in 1874, the son of William Cox (a hairdresser) and Sarah Ann Burrows, the family living at 55/56 Archer Street, Kensington, in 1881. In 1901 he was lodging at 11 Victoria Street, Luton, and described as a photographer & picture frame maker. By about 1905 he was publishing post cards with the words "W H Cox, 90 Castle Street, Luton" and he is listed as a photographer at this address in the 1910 Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire.

Any cards published  by W. H. Cox with the 90 Castle Street address must date from about 1905 to 1910.

It should be noted that the BLARS index, also accessible through A2A, holds a number of photographs he has taken, the earliest from 1905, at least one from the Castle Street address circa 1910, several from the Wellington Street Address, and some from circa 1940 from the Gainsborough Studios, Luton. (This index does not include any post cards by him they may well hold.)




Lilley Church, near Luton

Posted 1906

Back 1


Lilley Rectory

Back 1


Address Side

Back 1   Back 2
These backs both say 90 Castle Street and their format suggest a printing date circa 1905  


Ricardo Studios, St Albans - 1907 to 1914

On 6th April 1907 (and possibly other dates) the following advert appeared in the Herts Advertiser


In 18th July 1908 W. H. Cox married Florence Lane, daughter of Samuel Lane, straw Hat Manufacturer of Luton, at the Dagnall Street Baptist Church, St Albans, The guest list includes "Staff at Luton Studio." [Luton Times, 24 july 1908.]

He is listed in Kelly's Directory for Hertfordshire as a photographer at Grenfell, London Road,  St Albans, in 1908. then again in 1912. He was also living at this address at the time of the 1911 census, with his wife and 1 month old son, Harold Lane Cox, when he was described as a photographer and frame maker.


Portrait of young girl by Ricardo Studios, St Albans, Herts


This portrait of a young girl is embossed with the words

Ricardo Studios

London Road

St Albans

and all Ricardo Studios post cards I have seen are marked in this way.



I have found no later Hertfordshire references to W. H. Cox by name after 1912 and in the 1914 Bedfordshire directory he is described as a photographer of 29 Wellington Street, Luton, and living at Beechcroft, Beech Hill, Dunstable Road, Luton.

Karen sent this photograph and wrote:

I have attached a photograph that has alternately intrigued and amused me ever since I found it amongst piles of junk left in the loft of the first house I bought back in the early 80's. I have just come across it again and with the power of the internet not available in the 80's have searched the details printed on the back of the photo which read : PHOTOGRAPH W. HAROLD COX 29 Wellington St., LUTON and found your website with information about the photographer. 

The Wellington Street address would indicate that the photo dates from circa 1914 when Mr Cox would have been 39-40 years old. It's such a strange photo - who is this chap, is it a self portrait? Why has he adopted such an odd pose? What's he telling us? Why wrinkly underpants and socks!?

We'll perhaps never know but maybe somebody in Hertfordshire will recognise him as relative, or was he known as a local wrestler?

An article in the Bedfordshire Times of 6th September 1935 records that Mr William Harold Cox, of Wellington Street, Luton, has fourteen pictures in a London Photographic Exhibition.

The death of William H Cox, aged 59 is recorded for Luton in December 1945.


  Photograph by W Harold Cox, Luton

Ricardo Studios, St Albans - First World War



Many photographs taken at Napsbury Military Hospital


While W. H. Cox appears to have returned to Luton, there are many First World War photographs taken in Napsbury Military Hospital and  embossed Ricardo Studios, London Road, St Albans, and the following entries appear in the Kelly's Directory for Hertfordshire:

1914 Robert Catcheside, Photographer. 113 London Road

1917 Robert Catcheside, Photographer. 115 London Road

While there is some uncertainty about the numbering later records show that 115 London road was on the corner with Alma Road and at the time of First World War was probably the last house on London Road. It would therefore seem that Robert Catcheside moved into the house on the corner of Alma Road and continued as a photographer using the name Ricardo Studios.

The 1911 census lists Robert Louis Sheldon Catcheside, his wife Nellie Eliza (Steel), four children - Helen Mary (2),  Ronald Charles & Bernard Robert (both 1 and born in St Albans) and Frances Charlotte (1 month) -  Laura Victoria Steel (sister in Law) and two servants, living at 18 Ramsbury Road, St Albans. He was 26, born in Norfolk, and manager of a factory producing Patent Music Rolls for Mechanical Pianos.  Two later children were born in St Albans - Gerald in 1912 and Philip in 1918.


115 London Road, St Albans - 1920s


The Kelly's Directory for Hertfordshire shows a photographer, Percy Graham, at 115 London Road in 1922, 1926 and 1929. It is not know whether he continued to use the name Ricardo Studios.

November 2011   Page created
April 2012   Extended biography and reformat
March 2013   Totally revised to include connection with Ricardo Studios
May 2014   Ricardo pictures of Napsbury to separate page
June 2015   Wrestler photograph
October 2015   1935 reference & death 1945 of W H Cox