Brislington Community Museum

Comer, A E & J B

Two generations of this family published postcards - Alfred and his son James - and between them they produced around 20% of all locally credited pictures. They were well positioned for this type of trade, as they ran the post office at the junction of Bath Road and Winchester Road.

Alfred Ernest Comer, born to John and Emma Comer, was baptised in Dec 1857 at the church in the parish where they lived - Temple, Bristol. His father worked as a mariner.

The 1861 census shows the family living in Alfred Place, St Mary Redcliff, Bristol. His father wasn't at home at the time, so his mother Emma (aged 33, and described as a mariner's wife) was head of the family. Alfred had two younger siblings, and everyone in the household was born in Bristol. The 1871 census shows the family in St Mary Redcliff still, but now in Jubilee Place. The census includes his father John (aged 49, and born in Bristol), whose occupation was captain mariner. Alfred now had an additional two younger siblings.

In August 1874 Alfred (a bachelor, aged 22, and working as a lithographer) married Sarah Anne Butler (a spinster, aged 23) by licence in St Mary Redcliff. Her father William Butler worked as a carpenter.

In the same church, in August 1883, their son James Butler Comer was baptised. The family were then living in Green Street, Totterdown, Bristol, and Alfred was still employed as a lithographer.

The 1891 census shows the family still in Green Street, and Alfred was now working as a lithographic foreman. His wife Sarah is aged 39, and she was born in St Mary Redcliff. James had an elder brother and two younger siblings, all the children were both in Bristol.

The 1901 census shows Alfred, his wife Sarah, and four of their children living at 16 Lower Kensington Park, Brislington. He was employed as a lithographer, and his eldest son (also Alfred) worked as a grocer's assistant.

The 1901 census shows James as a visitor in the home of Susannah Cahill (a widow, aged 66) who was living on her own means at 17 Kensington Hill, Brislington. James worked as an ironmonger's apprentice.

The 1911 census shows Alfred, his wife Sarah, and three of their children - now again including James - living at Stanhope House, Brislington. Alfred was working on his own account at home, as an ironmonger and sub-postmaster. James was employed as an ironmonger's assistant.

In the spring of 1922 the marriage of James and Mary Thorne was registered in the district of Long Ashton.

In May 1934, James, now a widower, married Dorothy Thorne (aged 39, spinster) at Christ Church, Downend, Bristol. He was working as an ironmonger and living at 639 Bath Road, Brislington, which is the address of the shop and post office in Brislington (the post office closed in 2004).

In September 1934 Alfred, who had been living at 9 Kings Road, Brislington, died leaving an estate of nearly £10,000.

The 1939 register shows James still with his wife Dorothy, still at 639 Bath Road, and his occupation was listed as ironmonger and sub-postmaster.

In July 1965, while living at Weston-super-Mare, James died, leaving an estate of nearly £7,000.


Postcards of Alfred Comer

Winchester Road - Winchester Road, Brislington. Variant published online at Bristol Archives, and another also at at Bristol Archives. Variants are also in print at Chard, Judith et al 1995, page 21, and Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 25, and Fisher, Janet et al 1983, page 40. Earliest known variant of this picture: Sept 1911.

Bath Road - Kensington Hill, Brislington. Earliest known picture: 1 Feb 1919.

Bath Road (Grove Park) - The Crescent, Brislington. Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 13. Kensington Hill Post Office is on the left of this photograph. Earliest known picture: 9 Jan 1918.

Bath Road - Bristol Hill, Brislington. Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 13.

Bath Road (old village square) - The Main Road, Brislington. Photograph by Fred Bailey. Variant published online at Bristol Archives and another version at Bristol Archives (the latter has also appeared in print - Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 15). Earliest known variant of this picture: 3 Jun 1911.

Bath Road - Top of Brislington Hill. Earliest known picture: 24 Aug 1915. A variant was published by James Comer, below.

Church of St Luke - Brislington Church. Earliest known variant of this picture: 28 May 1912.

View of the village - Brislington. Bristol Hill from Holly Meads.

View of the village - Old Brislington. Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 21. Variant published online at Bristol Archives. Earliest known variant of this picture: 13 Sept 1910.


Postcards of James Comer

Kensington Park Road - Kensington Park Rd, Brislington. Earliest known picture: 26 May 1926.

Kensington Park Road - Kensington Park Road, Brislington. Variant published in print by Williamson, B 1985, back cover . Earliest known picture: 1 Sept 1924.

Winchester Road - Winchester Rd, Brislington Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 26.

Winchester Road - Winchester Rd.. Brislington. Variant published online at Bristol Archives.

Wick Road - Wick Road Brislington. Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 27. And also by Fisher, Janet et al 1983, page 40. Variant published online at Bristol Archives. Earliest known picture: Aug 1926.

Bath Road (Grove Park) - The Crescent. Brislington. Published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 7. Earliest known picture: Apr 1923.

Grove Park Avenue - Grove Park Avenue. Brislington. Variant published in print by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 22. Variant published online at Bristol Archives.

Water Lane - Water Lane, Brislington. Photograph by James Thompson, and his image is online here as an exhibit.

Bath Road (village square) - The Tram Terminus. Brislington. Variant published in print by Small, A et al 1979, front cover. Earliest known picture: 4 Nov 1932.

Bath Road (village square) - The Tram Terminus, Brislington. Published in print by Chard, Judith et al 1995, page 10.

Bath Road (village square) - Brislington. Variant published in print by Small, A et al 1979, page 7.

Church of St Cuthbert (first building) St Cuthberts Church, Brislington. Variant published in print by Chard, Judith et al 1995, page 64. Earliest known variant of this picture: 31 Aug 1910.

Church Hill - The Square, Brislington. Published in print by Chard, Judith et al 1995, page 10. And also by Fisher, Janet & Derek undated, page 18. Variant published by Small, A et al 1979, page 15. Earliest known variant of this picture: 1910.

Church Parade - Church Hill, Brislington. Published in print by Chard, Judith et al 1995, page 16.

School Road - Nelson's Glory. Brislington

Bath Road - Top of Brislington Hill.


Ken Taylor


Regrettably we can't exhibit any of these postcards until either the identity of the photographer/s is known (and perhaps also the copyright status of their pictures), or we secure funds to apply for a batch of orphan works licences.