Saturday, 16 February 2008

Using CDVs for professional promotion: Architectural

Cartes de visite were also used by other professionals to publicise of their work. This example, also sent to me by Nigel Aspdin, appears to have been used by an architect to promote his design for a new Post Office in Wakefield, Yorkshire. Nigel's great-grandfather Richard Wilkinson Aspdin "was appointed Postmaster of Wakefield in 1863 at which time he had been Postmaster of Derby for 10 years, Wakefield being his town of origin. The building in Market Street was indeed built, in 1876, and was still there in February 2005, in use as a nightclub."

Click on image for a more detailed version © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin
Kelly's 1881 edition of the Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire explains:
The General Post Office, in Market street, is a handsome building of red brick, with stone dressings, opened August 1st, 1876.
... and lists:
Post, Money Order & Telegraph Office, Savings Bank & Government Annuity & Insurance Office, Market street (next to the United Methodist Free Church).
Postmaster - Richard Wilkinson Aspdin (Residence: York street, Northgate)
There were several architects in Wakefield in the 1870s, including William Crutchley (King street), Hammerton Lees (Lord Rodney yard, Westgate), Frederick Robinson (131 Northgate) and William Watson (Barstow square).

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

The photographer Warner Gothard advertised studio premises at "King Street & Wood St." Since the architect William Crutchley also had premises on King Street, it would be tempting to assume that he was the one to commission this cdv. However, Westgate, Northgate and Barstow square were all nearby, so it is more realistic to consider all four as potential architects of the Wakefield Post Office until further information is found.

Post Script - 31 August 2008

Nigel's photo (see comment)

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin


  1. At last I had a chance to call by Wakefield on the way up north and take a look at this old Post Office. I photographed it but I am afraid they add little to the grandeur of the architect's drawing, and some adjoining buildings were depressing, and Market Street is an unappealing back-water now. Wakefield has a fine array of old buildings, but some are looking for new or kinder use, so good luck Wakefield for the future, the city of my Victorian roots. Nigel Aspdin. Derby. UK.

  2. 18 October 2011
    Last week I visited Wakefield as I am doing some research into post office buildings.I believe that the building was designed by James Williams (1824-92), Government architect. It is such a shame that the only use than can apparently be found for the older buildings in Wakefield (especially those with large interior spaces) is nightclub use! Market Street is indeed depressing and will probably remain so as the focus of interest is now the shopping centres and,further out, the new Hepworth Gallery.

  3. Hi Jim. I am not sure if you plan to visit Derby in your research, but if you want images of a couple of main POs in Derby centre, let me know. Regards Nigel Aspdin

  4. Thanks for your comment Jim. yes I agree, it is a shame, but an all too common situation which I think needs fresh approaches and constructive solutions. "Location, Location, Location" (is everything), as they say.


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