Alan Clarke is the Museum’s volunteer expert on its Salisbury Journal photographic archive.

People often say to me that family portraits would be of no interest.  Here is a portrait of a gentleman, and the only other information I have on the negative envelope is possibly the hand written word “Lemon”.  However this portrait is full of interest.


There is a book which says Solicitors’ Diary 1957.  The calendar on the wall has the March monthly picture of a high court judge.  March 1st is shown as a Monday thus I suspect that the year is 1965.  So I assume that the gentleman was a solicitor and the vast array of books are legal ones.  I can make out ‘Law’ on the bindings of same.  Some rows of books appear to be several volumes per year going back to 1911.  Some other volumes are the history of England and of Rome.  There is an official Wilts & Dorset bus timetable.  Noting the busts on shelves as well, would imply a classical education.  There is a coal bucket with a poker and a few logs, to start a fire, however a simple electric fire by his left side is far easier.  There is a hearth brush as coal fires are very messy, especially when removing the ashes.  There are two bell pushes on his left near the coal fire.  What were these for?  Note, not on his desk.  Similarly the black telephone does not appear to be on his desk.  Will this object be recognised as a telephone in 50 years time?  The smaller photograph on the bookshelf to his right appears to be a graduation ceremony; his graduation or maybe a son? He has a well worn leather chair to go with his desk.  I don’t recognise the portraits crammed on the remaining wall space.  No country scenes, only portraits; ancestors?  Papers pinned to the wall to his left with a drawing pin implies to me that he doesn’t have a wife tidying up after him.  His room has a very high ceiling, so an old building.

Some Google research has come up with:

Lemon Line & Felton were a firm of solicitors based in Salisbury. Tel:  01722 412369.  Address: Lemon Line, 86 Crane Street, Salisbury, SP1 2QE

The address for Lemon Line & Felton now appears to be Richard Griffiths & Co (Solicitors).

Richard Griffiths took over the building from Lemon Line and Feltham, who went out of business.  Their website was www.lem-online.co.uk

Many of my assumptions above might be wrong but I don’t think you would say the photograph is not of interest.  Maybe you can deduce more and correct some of mine.

Alan Clarke

This wonderful forensic analysis should inspire us all to go back over our family photos…What better activity for Boxing Day!?