Marguerite Reed (1884-1969) for Women's History Month

To complement Women in Photography: A History of British Trailblazers in the Main Gallery, three photographs taken by Marguerite Reed, likely Woking's most prolific female photographer, have been displayed outside Woking’s Story as part of the Object in Focus display just outside the entrance of the free local history museum.

Margaret Emma Reed was the youngest of three daughters of postal worker Thomas Reed (1855-1924) and his wife Elizabeth, nee Wilson (c1856-1929) of Stone House, 2 Sandy Lane, Maybury, Woking. Marguerite had taken over the studio, formerly run by Alfred Wildman (1867-1916) at 88 Maybury Road, Woking in April 1917, advertising in the well-known Woking News & Mail that she specialised in photographing children. On Saturday 2 June 1917 she married Thomas Hendra (1889-1972) at the Guildford Registry Office. Their professions were given as Army Pensioner and Photographer respectively. Both gave their age as 28.

Thomas was born in Truro, Cornwall on 4 November 1889, the son of Henry Hendra (1863-1894) and his wife Elizabeth, nee Clemens, and was the youngest of their four children. After spending time in America, he returned to England and enlisted in the 7th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry (Prince Albert's) on 18 November 1914. This was a battalion of volunteers in the Second (Kitchener's) New Army and had been formed in Taunton on 13 September 1914. It may have been during his original time in Woking in 1914 or as a possible patient in a Woking Military Hospital, that he met the Woking photographer Marguerite Reed.

One of Marguerite's studio prints on show in our Women's History Month Object in Focus display

Marguerite had left the 88 Maybury Road studio by 1924, when Sidney Francis took it over, and it is rumoured that many of his credited photographs were actually taken by Marguerite. She carried on her photography business from her parents’ former home in Maybury until her retirement, and contributed photographs to the local newspapers for many years.

The (September) 1939 Register lists Thomas and Marguerite living at Stone House, Sandy Lane and both of them as photographers. Thomas was also an ARP Warden. Marguerite died in 1969 and Thomas was still at Stone House when he died on 9 March 1972.

See the photographs on display outside Woking's Story.