27 High Street Sandown IOW - the home of the renowned photographer James Dore

This is number 27 Sandown High Street which for about half a century was the premises of James Dore, a well-known photographer and watchmaker.

James was born in Sandown in 1854 and was the son of a baker and confectioner. According to iow.gov.uk, James junior was apprenticed to his brother-in-law FG Baker, a watchmaker and jeweller, and James took over the business in 1874.

By the early 1900s he also added optician and owner of an optical lantern to his census entry and went on to become a renowned photographer exhibiting at the Royal Photographic Society. The IOW Heritage and Museum Service now own his glass lantern negative plates.

James devoted much of his life to public work on the Island and had held various district county posts, was a County Justice of the Peach, a County Alderman, had been Chairman of the Committee controlling the Mental Hospital of the IOW County Council, was the Superintendent of the Sandown Wesleyan Sunday school and had been leader of the Liberal Party in Sandown district for many years. He was also an original member of the town’s Fire Brigade, joining in 1879, he rose to the position of Chief Officer.

He married Ellen Jones in 1876 and later lived at Fernside, 30 Station Avenue, where he died at the age of 71 in 1925. James and Ellen did not have any children.

After Dore, the jewellery business was taken over by Kirman, you can still see the name ‘Kirmans’ in the mosaic tile at the entrance. The shop in this illustration was a simple two story building, but the modern no 27 Sandown High Street, now Vanity Fayre gift shop has an additional 2nd story with ornate Victorian roof line, which was probably added around the early 1900s.

See http://connect.iow.nhs.uk/uploads/HealingArts/News_and_events/James_Dore_Photographer.pdf for a more indepth article on James Dore’s life.

Please read more about the history of Sandown shops with more shop illustrations on our page Sandown History.

Search By Tags