Frederick DOWNEY

(South Shields, 1862-Londres, 1936)

downey frederick 1902 portrait 02

Jean-Claude SEGUIN

1

Daniel Downey (Monard, 1797-Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 02/12/1841) épouse (South Shields, 16/11/1817) Christiana Fowler (Kingston-upon-Hull, 1794-Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 02/01/1887). Descendance:

  • James Downey (South Shields, [1819]-[South Shields], 10/01/1900).
  • Ann Downey (South Shields, 1822-South Shields, 07/02/1884) épouse (South Shields, 30/10/1845) Edward Hunter (Rothbury, 1825-). Descendance:
    • Ann, Isabella Hunter (1849-1918)
    • Edward Hunter (1852-1928)
    • John "William" Hunter (1856-1943)
    • Daniel Downey Hunter (1859-1866)
    • Christiana Downey Hunter (1861-1866).
  • John Downey (South Shields, 13/11/1823-Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 07/1906)
    • épouse Jane Dixon Corbett (1825-1876). Descendance:
      • Cornelius Cecil Downey (1852-1902)
      • Dorothy Jane Downey (1857-1906)
    • épouse Elizabeth Rodgerson Graham (1847-)
  • Daniel Downey (South Shields, 06/05/1826--Londres/Bewthnal Green, 15/07/1881)
    • épouse Elizabeth Smith Linton Beloe (1833-1873). Descendance:
      • William Daniel Downey (1863-South Shields, 01/1864)
      • Robert Ingham Downey (1865-1942)
      • Elizabeth Jane Downey (1866-)
      • Victoria Christiana Downey (1869-1950) épouse Reginald Brown.
    • épouse Mary Stratford. Descendance:
      • Daniel Russell Downey I (1877-1948)
      • May Ethel Downey (1879-1965)
  • William Downey (South Shields, 14/07/1829-Londres/Kensington, 07/07/1915)
  • Christiana Downey ([1836], Bapt. South Shields, 21/08/1836-Kingston-upon-Hull, 06/08/1918)
    • épouse Robert Grieves (1833-1869).
    • épouse Hans Peter Wang (1834-1913). Descendance:
      • Ada Turner Wang (1871-)

2

James Downey, père de Frederick, est le frère aîné des photographes William et Daniel Downey  D'origine modeste, il passe quelques années de sa vie à Newcastle avant d'épouser (1847) Jane Johnson. Le couple est installé à South Shields (recensement 1851). James Downey devient propriétaire d'une dizaine d'embarcations comme l'évoque la note nécrologique publiée en 1900:

Mr Downey was a notable figure in South Shields, and enjoyed exceeding popularity not only among its public men but among the inhabitants generally. He was born in East Street, in that borough, but he spent his youth and early manhood in Newcastle, returning to his native town more than half a century ago. Here he spent the remainder of his life. He was one of the founders or the Working Man's Institute, and in his early days was almost Republican in his political views, being a friend of Garibaldi, Mazzini, and Felice Orsini, being amongst those who welcomed the latter on his visit to South Shields.
The deceased was a splendid type of the self-made man. Born in humble estate he was early in life thrown entirely upon his own resources, but his wonderful perseverance and self-reliance enabled him to make rapid advancement in life. He acquired important interests in shipping property. In the days of the old coasting collier brigs he was at one time the owner, either in part or absolutely, of ten of these craft, but his interests in floating property ceased with the gradual advancement steam over sail.
Mr. Downev was filling an official position under the Newcastle Guardians when he met his first wife, Miss Johnson, who was then schoolmistress at the Union School in that city.


The Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph, jeudi 11 janvier 1900, p. 3.

Après son retour à South Shields, James Downey s'installe comme épicier (recensement 1861) et importateur de levure :

After coming back to Shields, he introduced the importation of German yeast, which he afterwards developed into an important industry of Tyneside. Meanwhile, his younger brothers, William and Daniel, who established the now famous firm of photographers Messrs W. and D. Downey, were gradually coming to the front, and although the deceased gentleman was never a partner in the firm he was of invaluable assistance to them in their foreign correspondence. Throughout his life he was a close student of languages, and became one of the most accomplished linguists in the district. He could, indeed, converse fluently in eight different languages. He was also expert stenographer.


The Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph, jeudi 11 janvier 1900, p. 3.

Cet autodidactique va développer sa connaissance des langues et apprendre la sténographie dont il devient un expert.

downey james 1871 annonce

Shields Gazette and Daily Telegraph, jeudi 6 avril 1871, p. 2.

Son fils, Frederick Downey passe son enfance à South Shields où il est né. Il ne figure pas avec ses parents au recensement de 1871, mais chez sa tante (recensement 1871). Dans l'établissement de James Downey, on peut trouver aussi des photographies réalisées par ses deux frères.

downey james 1875 annonce
Shields Daily Gazette, lundi 3 mai 1875, p. 2.

Outre ses activités commerciales, James Downey s'intéresse à la vie politique, sociale et juridique et va s'y engager pendant plusieurs années :

The same vigour and activity which marked his commercial life he threw into public life. He was a staunch and advanced Liberal all through his career. Throughout all Mr J.C. Stevenson's election campaigns, he took a foremost share in the work, and was full of reminiscences of past victories, more particularly of the memorable one when the ex-member for the borough triumphed over Mr (now Sir) Chas. M. Palmer. Although he took a useful interest in municipal matters never sought a position in the Council. He, however, sat for a good many years as a member of the Board of Guardians and did much excellent work in that connection.


The Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph, jeudi 11 janvier 1900, p. 3.

Sans doute inspiré par le succès grandissant de William et Daniel, James Downey associé à ses deux fils, "J. Downey and Sons", va ouvrir, en mai 1878 un studio photographique.

downey james 1878 annonce
North & South Shields Daily Gazette, jeudi 2 mai 1878, p. 1.

Au recensement de 1881, les deux frères figurent déjà comme photographes (James John: recensement 1881 et Frederick: recensement 1881). La presse locale offre une description assez complète du studio photographique : 

FROM "TYNESIDE INDUSTRIES,"
J. DOWNEY & SONS, Photographers, 17 and 19 Eldon Street, South Shields.-The name of Downey is inseparably associated with the beautiful photographic art in the North of England, and the firme of Messrs James Downey and Sons is well and favourably known throughout the district. The business was established in 1870 by Mr. James Downey, who in 1880 took his two sons, Messrs James John, and Frederick Thomas Downey, into partnership. The premises in Eldon Street, situated very conveniently within three minutes walk of the High Shields Railway Station, consist of a well-appointed Shop, Show Rooms and Waiting Rooms, and a large and extremely well-arranged Studio, Photographic portraits in every style and size are taken, and Messrs Downey call special attention to the success attending their efforts with Children, singly or in groups, in the important work of copying Pictures, Engravings, Architects' Plans, Old Photographs, &c., they are enabled by their improved method to secure the best possible results. The firm possesses every appliance for all kinds of out-door Photography, and special attention is paid to taking Photographs for Law Cases, of Damages to Ships and other property by collision, &c. There is a very large and growing connection, mostly, of course, of a local character, but the reputation of the firm for its skill and superior character of its workmanship is extremely widespread. The whole business is under the strict care and supervision of the proprietors, who have been enabled for many years now to give the greatest satisfaction to a very large body of clients and patrons.


The Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph, mercredi 19 juin 1889, p. 2.

downey james 1880 photographie
James Downey & Sons (South Shields)

Figure locale respectée, James Downey va occuper une place de juge de paix et impulser la construction de l'Unity Church Westoe Lane :

On December 13th. 1892, his name was added to list Justices of the Peace for the borough by the late Mr W. E. Gladstone, a fact of which he was always exceedingly proud. He was devoted to his duties as a magistrate, and right up to the time of his illness none was more regular in attendance or more painstaking in the discharge of them. In religion he was a pronounced Unitarian, and one of the chief adherents of the Unity Church Westoe Lane, which was built largely through his energies and influence. For a good many years he was treasurer of the church. He was a life abstainer from intoxicants, and a warm advocate of his principles in that respect.


The Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph, mercredi 19 juin 1889, p. 2.

En 1891, James John est toujours recensé à South Shields, alors que Fredericks est signalé à Londres (Chelsea) chez son cousin William Edward Downey, lui aussi photographe (recensement 1891).

Les Vues animées (1896-1906)

Les frères James John et Fredericks s'unissent pour acquérir un cinématographe dont l'une des toutes premières présentations a lieu au People's Palace de Sunderland :

SUNDERLAND.-PEOPLE'S PALACE (Managing directors, Livermore Bros.; acting manager, Mr. J.R. Crosby). [...] Downey's living photographs which have created such a sensation in the town, remain from las week, is responsible for the full houses. Truly, this is one of the most wonderful instruments we have ever seen.


Music Hall and Theatre Review, Londres, vendredi 18 septembre 1896, p. 16.

Tout au long des années qui suivent le terme "cinématographe" sera très peu utilisé, et les Downey lui préfèrent les périphrases "Living Photographs" ou "Living Pictures". Dans les derniers mois de l'année 1896, d'autres présentations vont suivre à South Shields. Les frères Downey vont d'ailleurs annoncer la prochaine ouverture d'une salle.

south shields 1896 10 downey annonce
Shields Daily Gazette, mercredi 7 octobre 1896, p. 1.

L'événement le plus marquant de l'année est cependant la présentation de vues cinématographiques à Windsor devant la reine et la famille royale. Pour l'occasion James John et Frederick sont associés à leurs oncles William et Daniel, le premier  ayant tourné les films à Balmoral quelques semaines plus tôt :

COURT CIRCULAR
WINDSOR CASTLE, Tuesday.
[...]
Messrs W. and D. Downey, assisted by Messrs. J. and F. Downey, of South Shields, have had the honour of exhibiting before the Queen and Royal Family some animated photographs, including the Queen and the Emperor and Empress of Russia, and Royal Family, at Balmoral.


Sheffield Daily Telegraph, mercredi 25 novembre 1896, p. 5.

Le  journal local, quelques jours plus tard, offre un compte rendu plus précis de cette représentation exceptionnelle :

Two South Shields photographers, Messrs J. and F. Downey, had the distinguished honour last week giving exhibition of animated photographs before the Queen and members of the Royal Family at Windsor Castle, in conjunction with Messrs W. and D. Downey, of London, and the affair proved a brilliant success. The two drawing rooms were requisitioned for the occasion, Her Majesty and Court being seated in the Red, while the Green was devoted to the operators, and a special supply of electric light was laid on. The necessary screen and draping work was carried out by the Lord Chamberlain's staff. The great feature was the production for the absolutely first time of Messrs W. and D. Downey's living photographs, including " Arrival of her Majesty the Queen and the Emperor and Empress of Russia at Mar Lodge, Oct. 1896,'' and " Her Majesty the Queen, the Emperor and Empress of Russia, and Duke and Duchess of Connaught at Balmoral."


Shields Daily Gazette, mercredi 2 décembre 1896, p. 2.

Les deux frères James John et Frederick vont ouvrir, comme ils l'ont annoncé, un salon pour projections animées:

DOWNEY'S LIVING PHOTOGRAPHS.
Under the direction of Messrs J. and F. Downey.
A Selection of forty subjects, including those they had the honour of exhibiting before Her Majesty the Queen and Court at Windor Castle on Monday, November 23rd, 1896. Permanent address-
17 and 19, Eldon Street, South Shields.


The Music Hall, 4 décembre 1896, p. 2.

Ils ont pour collaborateur l'opérateur George Elsey. Ce qui caractérise, au cours des années, le modèle "Downey", c'est d'une part la brièveté des séances, d'autre part, le territoire restreint de leur déplacement. En effet, ils parcourent, presque de façon exclusive, le comté de Tyne and Wear : Newcastle (novembre), South Shields (janvier), Stockton (janvier)... Par la suite, les projections s'espacent. C'est au cours de la seconde moitié de l'année 1897 que les frères Downey tournent probablement leurs premières vues cinématographiques. Ils vont ainsi prendre des films à South Shields, North ShieldsSunderlandStockton. L'année suivante, ils continuent à nourrir leur répertoire avec des vues prises à Newcastle,  Hull... De nombreuses autres séances sont organisées dans la région au cours de l'année 1899. Une annonce publié en novembre laisse entendre que les projections pourraient être accompagnées de formation vocale et instrumentale:

Downey's Living Photographs.
Sunday Concerts, Nov. 19th and onwards.
WANTED, First-classe Vocal and Instrumental
Artistes.
Adress, stating terms and dates.
FRED DOWNEY, 19, Eldon-street, South Shields.


The Era, Londres, samedi 4 novembre 1899, p. 26.

Peu après, une autre annonce apporte de nouvelles informations :

Downey's Living Photographs
WANTED, Known, the above open for Two Pantomimes. Extensive Répertoire of very latest and Coloured Films.
Locals or Specials by arrangement.
Nov. 13th, Emprie Palace, South Shields.


The Era, Londes, samedi 11 novembre 1899, p. 29.

En janvier 1900, James Downey, le père de James John et Frederick, disparaît :

FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR JAS. DOWNEY, SOUTH SHIELDS.
Yesterday afternoon the remains of the late James Downey. J.P.. of South Shields, were interred the family burying place in Westoe Cemetery. The cortege left the residence shorty before three o'clock, the mourning carriages containing the following relatives and friends, namely:-Mr James John Downey and Fred Downey, sons; William Downey. London, brother; Mr John Downey; Messrs Stanley Duncan, E. Hunter. J. Grubb, Lightford, J. Dobson; G. Ainsley, C. W. Bell. R. Harbottle, J Dunn, George Bell, J. Robinson, W. Lovely, D. McNeill, Burmann. T. Downey, J. R. Mav, and Anderson; the Rev A. Haivey, representing the Northumberland and Durham Unitarian Association, of which the deceased gentleman was vice-president; the Rev M. Gray, and Dr. Ritchie. Amongst others present were the Mayor of South Shields (Ald Donald), Ald Wardle, Ald Bowman, Ald Readhead, Ald Imrie, and Mr R. Purvis, magistrates' clerk; Councillors W. O. Scott, J. Martin, and C. D. Miller; the Chief Constable (Mr W. G. Morant), Mr. C. W. Newlands, Mr G. R. Potts, Mr  T. Pike, and Mr T. Hornby. At the cemetery the funeral service was conducted by the Rev M. Gray. Many beautiful wreaths were sent.


Shields Daily News, mardi 16 janvier 1900, p. 3.

Son décès coïncide avec le soudain ralentissement des activités cinématographiques des frères Downey. Au cours de l'année, ce ne sont plus que quelques soirées qui sont organisées: South ShieldsNewcastleSunderland... Au début de l'année 1901, la presse annonce que les Downey dispose d'un nouveau cinématographe :

DOWNEY'S LIVING PICTURES.- Messrs Downey have made a step in advance on all previous efforts in perfecting the cinematograph. They have acquired an entirely new machine for the reproduction of the series of the Queen's funeral procession, and it is constructed so as to specially adapt itself to reproduce the solemn movement. The pictures themselves are the most successful living photographs they have ever shown-perfect as photographs, steady and clear. They occupy fully twenty minutes to run off.


Shields Daily Gazette, vendredi 15 février 1901, p. 3. 

Au recensement de 1901, Frederick Downey figure comme photographe. Pourtant s'il est un exploitant et un cinématographiste connu, il est également un joueur d'échecs réputé qui remporte de nombreux tournois. Son rayonnement est tel que la revue The British Chess Magazine va lui consacrer tout un article au début de l'année 1902:

MR. FRED DOWNEY.
THE two great mining counties of the North of England-Northumberland and Durham-have an honourable chess record. Nearly forty years ago there existed a flourishing Northumberland and Durham Chess Association, which held its second and most successful annual congress in 1867. Of the Northern chess worthies of the past, we may mention Mr. Silas Angus, of Durham, who 60 or 70 years ago was one of the leading amateurs of the day. The late Lord Ravensworth took a keen interest in chess in the fifties, and did much to stimulate the study of the game in the two counties. Mr. Wm. Mitcheson, of Newcastle, accomplished, witty, and learned, was editor of a chess column in the Newcastle Courant in 1874, and Mr. John Charleton, enthusiastic and clever, was editor of the first chess column in the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle, in 1875. Then there were Mr. Robert Punshon, of Newcastle; Mr. James Nicholson, of South Shields, Mr. Jas. White, of Beal; and Mr. T.Y. Stokoe, of Gateshead (the two latter being afterwards so intimately connected with Leeds chess). Of a later date are Rev. H. Archdall, Gateshead; Mr. Louis Zollner, Newcastle; and the late Mr. G. C. Heywood, of Newcastle.
Mr. Fred Downey, of South Shields and Newcastle, is a talented compeer with these chess worthies, and has done his best to bear aloft the banner of Northern chess. Mr. Downey learned the moves of the game some twenty-one years ago, absorbed Staunton's Handbook wholesale, and to use his own words "was conscious that a new chess star had arisen." A little experience, however, speedily showed him that he had not risen very high. But the excellent practice he got in the old Newcastle Chess Club carried him quickly from the Kt class to that of Pawn and move; and when he won his second year's handicap, at the latter odds, he was promoted to the first class. Playing in this class he was persistently amongst the prize winners year after year, and on two occasions took first prize without losing a game; Mr. G. C. Heywood, however, secured an ample revenge by beating Mr. Downey in a set match for the "Vaughan" medal.
For a long time the chess fever was strong upon Mr. Downey, and every from of the game-blindfold, simultaneous exhibitions, correspondence play, problem solving, collecting chess works of every sort -attracted his attention. His most pleasant memories are attached to the period when the Newcastle Chess Club developed its greatest activity, and every day found the strongest players in friendly competition, putting forth their best efforts. The chivalrous style of Mr. Louis Zollneer, the brightness of Mr. G. C. Heywood, and the accession of such players as Messrs C. G. Bennett, J. Birks, F. E. Hamond, R. P. Michael, and J. P. Mollard maintained a fine standard of play, and the absolute good fellowship which reigned made the club life the happiest possible.
Mr. Downey has taken part in three matches which may well rank as of National importance. In 1893 he played for the North in the first great North v. South match. He occupied the 21st board against Mr. J. T. Heppell, and beat that strong metropolitan player. In the return North v. South match, in 1894, he played roth board, but was beaten by Mr. H. W. Trenchard, of the British C.C., then in the height of his power. In 1900, Mr. Downey played in the Northern Counties v. Midland Counties match, beating Mr. A. J. Mackenzie, of Birmingham, at board No 1. For a time Mr. Downey conducted an excellent chess column in the Northern Review, in which end-game studies were the chief feature.
For the last five years Mr. Downey's business engagements have prevented him giving time to chess beyond occasionally taking a board in matches, but as he always found the pleasure of winning greater than the chagrin at losing, he is always ready to play when called upon. Although in candid moments he freely admits that friends and opponents have taken much too kindly a view of his powers, he remains sufficiently combative in disposition to fight hard to retain any reputation given to him. He seldom keeps any record of his games, and says that for a long time now his really best game has been the next one to be played.


The British Chess Magazine, janvier 1902, p. 28-29.

Peu après la publication de cet article, son frère et collaborateur James John décède :

DOWNEY.-At 19 Eldon Street, South Shields, on the 8th inst., aged 48 years, James John Downey. Interment to-day, Tuesday, at Westoe Cementery; leaving house at 2.30.


Shields Daily News, mardi 11 février 1902, p. 3.

La disparition de James John, après celle de James, laisse Frederick Downey seul responsable de l'atelier photographique et des activités cinématographiques. Des séances continuent à être organisées en 1902 et 1903. En décembre de cette dernière année, on trouve l'information suivante, toujours au sujet d'une présentation de vues animées:

TREATS TO SHIELDS POOR.
The teachers in the Brunswick Street Mission connected with the Laygate Prebyterian Church on Monday afternoon entertained about 150 poor children in the Memorial Hall to a substantial tes, and this was followed by a programme of humourous limelight views, songs etc. Fruit was distributed at the close.
[...]

Mr. J. Downey's living pictures were also highly appreciated Fruit was distributed to the guests at the close.


Shields Daily Gazette, mercredi 30 décembre 1903, p. 3.

L'information laisse penser qu'il y aurait un autre membre de la famille "J. Downey" qui travaille avec Frederick Downey. Au cours des années 1904-1905, son rayon d'action se limite de plus en plus à South Shields et à ses environs.

downey james 1905 photographieJ. Downey & Sons, Boys on the Training Ship Wellesley North Shields, [1905]
Sources: South Tyne side Libraries

En 1906, Frederick Downey, assisté peut-être d'un autre membre de sa famille, offre encore quelques projections animées et installe l'un de ses appareils à Gateshead pendant de long mois. La production cinématographique au cours de ces dix années est probablement importante, en tout cas supérieure à la trentaine de films indentifés dans la filmographie (3).

Et après (1907-1936)

Au cours des années 1907 et 1908, les projections se font rares alors que la concurrence est devenue significative:

Downey's Living Pictures in spite of the great rivalry which exists in their line at the present time, are having an amazing career of success at the Cosy Picture Hall, Ocean Road. The attendance have been large, and quite naturally over the holidays, larger than ever. With every facility for providing the best, Downey's should retain the popularity they have won.


Shields Daily Gazette, mardi 2 avril 1907, p. 2.

Au recensement de 1911, il réside à Sunderland et continue d'exercer la profession de photographe. Peu après, il quitte sa région d'origine pour s'installer à Londres où il intègre le laboratoire de la Gaumont British Film Corporation. So nom n'apparaît que rarement dans la presse comme dans Kinematograph Weekly en 1926 :

Production
[...]
Before that, topicals were made in Newcastle and North of England by Fred Downey, a free lance, who used of the original R. W. Paul kinematograph cameras. He was a son of one of the Downey Brothers, who were photographers to the King.


Kinematograph Weekly, jeudi 24 juin 1926, p. 92.

Tombé dans l'anonymat, il décède dans la capitale britannique dans l'omnibus nº 239 à KIng's Cross. Une longue nécrologie est publiée dans le Shields Daily Gazette

TRAGEDY OF SHIELDS CINEMA PIONEER
A TRAGIC story has come from London.
In a City evening paper a day or two ago it was recorded that “an unknown man was found dead in a No. 239 omnibus at King's Cross, early to-day. Documents in the man's possession bore the name Frederick Downey, and an address in Cantlowes Road. Camden Road. N. W."
That was all there was to announce to the world the passing of the pioneer of the cinema, and the nephew, famous as the appointed photographers to the Royal Household.
Death of Fred Downey
It is more than 30 years since Mr. Fred Downey left his native town for the great Metropolis, where he found a lucrative occupation in the laboratory of the Gaumont British Film Corporation.
He went alone. His brother, Mr. James Downey, who was associated with him years ago in the business of the Eldon Street studio had previously died.
But he left close friendships behind, and a life-long companion his was the late Mr R. Harbottle. whose son, fortunately, read the doleful paragraph I have quoted.
Mr R. Harbottle, to whom I refer, accordingly hastened to London and gathered some details of the last moments of our old revered townsman.
“Unknown"
The deceased man left the home of his landlady at the usual early hour on Friday morning to go to his work. He joined his bus at the end of the road, but on the way to King's Cross he collapsed and died before anything could be done for him.
Unknown, to anyone, he was taken to the nearest hospital, and it was there, afterwards, that his landlady identified him. He was in his 75th year.
It was at first considered not improbable that the body would be brought to South Shields for interment, as the family vault, where his parents and his brother are lying, is in Westoe Cemetery. But it is now definitely stated that the funeral will take place at East Finchley Cemetery, London, on Saturday (to-morrow).
For the benefit of local friends I am asked to say that flowers may be sent to the undertakers, Laverton and Sons. Aversholt Street. Euston, N W 1.
Paternal Pride
FRED DOWNEY was a son of Mr James Downey, J.P. who, born in lowly estate, and early life thrown entirely upon his own resources, showed uncommon grit and perseverance in making good.
He became a notable Shieldsmanheld at one time important interests in shipping and introduced the importation of German yeast which he afterwards developed into an Important industry on Tyneside.
He was a remarkable linguist too, and could converse fluently in eight different languages Above all things he was proud of his boys.
The First Cinema
FRED and James, his surviving sons, adopted the profession of their famous uncles. Fred applied himself enthusiastically to the development of the cinematograph, and he showed the first living pictures in South Shields.
This was in the early days “Thornton’s Varieties,” where several of their first films were screened as “prodigious attractions of the week.”
Confident that the movies had come to stay, he embarked on a big venture of his own; chartered the Cozy Picture Hall in Ocean Road, and gave the first full programme of “Messrs Downey’s Royal Animated Pictures.”
Shields to London
THAT was the first all-picture entertainment in town and out of town. It became so well established that in the years that followed, almost every available hall in the borough was converted into a picture "palace.''
Mr Fred then went to London where there was more scope for his genius, and in the long run he went over to the Gaumont people.
He was a genial, almost magnetic personality, in the society of his personal friends and they were legion. But he outlived most of them and in recent years was almost a forgotten man in his native town.
To-day is St. Valentine's Day
NERVOUSLY the youth stares round him as he enters the G.P.O. Timidly he approaches the desk and obtains a Valentine telegram form. He soon pens his few amorous nothings thereon and with obvious hesitancy prepares to hand over his message to the interested gaze of the assistant behind the counter.
All at once he stops as if struck by a bright idea. He leaves the building and makes rapidly for the telephone kiosk opposite the Police Station. Here with a bright and confident air he dictates his message over the phone to the "telegrams" department, afterwards leaving the kiosk, safe in the knowledge that although the contents of the message may be known, not so the sender.Shields Daily Gazette, vendredi 14 février 1936, p. 8.

downey frederick portrait
Frederick Downey (c. 1935) 

Sources

"DEATH OF MR DOWNEY, J.P.", The Shields Daily Gazette and Shipping Telegraph, jeudi 11 janvier 1900, p. 3.

"MR FRED DOWNEY", The British Chess Magazine, janvier 1902, p. 28-29.

"SHIELDS CINEMA PIONEER", The Shields Gazette, 19 octobre 1935, p. 4.

"TRAGEDY OF SHIELDS CINEMA PIONEER", The Shields Gazette, vendredi 14 février 1936, p. 8.

4

<18/09/1896 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland  People's Palace Living photographs 
<24/09->09/10/1896 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Thornton's Theatre of Varieties Cinematographe
<07>/11/1896 Grande-Bretagne Newcastle-on-Tyne Palace Theatre Living Photographs
11/01/1897 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
<15>/01/1897 Grande-Bretagne Stockton Theatre Royal. Yarm-Lane Cinemetograph
08/02/1897 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
02/06/1897 Grande-Bretagne South Shields St. Stephen's Church Living Pictures
06/06/1897 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland People's Palace Living Photographs
05-07/10/1897 Grande-Bretagne South Shields St Aidan's Church Living Photographs
25/10/1897 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Thornton's Theatre of Varieties Living Pictures
<26>/10/1897 Grande-Bretagne Hartlepool The Alhambra Cinematographe
9-13/11/1897 Grande-Bretagne Newcastle-on-Tyne Empire Theatre Living Photographs
28/11/1897 Grande-Bretagne Newcastle-on-Tyne Palace Theatre Living Photographs
12/12/1897 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
<21>/12/1897 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Metropole Theatre Living Photographs
<3->29/01/1898 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland Sunderland Exhibition Living Pictures
08-09/02/1898 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland Assembly Hall Living Photographs
20/02/1898 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
21-25/02/1898 Grande-Bretagne Hull Assembly Rooms/Jarrat-Street,  Living Photographs
08/03/1898 Grande-Bretagne York Festival Concert Room Living Photographs
<29>/03/1898 Grande-Bretagne Leeds Town Hall Living Photographs
10/04/1898 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
<23>/04/1898 Grande-Bretagne Jarrow Palace Theatre Living Pictures
30/05-01/06/1898 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Congregation Hall Living Photographs
04-07/10/1898 Grande-Bretagne  Hull Palace Theatre  Living Pictures
06/11/1898 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
20/11/1898 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
21-26/11/1898 Grande-Bretagne Newcastle-on-Tyne The Vaudeville Living Photographs
02-03/12/1898 Grande-Bretagne Newcastle-on-Tyne Grand Theatre Living Photographs
18/12/1898 Grande-Bretagne Heaton Grand Theatre Living Photographs
24/12/1898 Grande-Bretagne Hebburn Grand Theatre LIving Photos/cinematograph
01/01/1899 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
15/01/1899 Grande-Bretagne Blyth Theatre Royal Living Pictures
22/01/1899 Grande-Bretagne Blyth Theatre Royal Living Pictures
19-21/02/1899 Grande-Bretagne Blyth Theatre Royal Living Photographs
12/03/1899 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
19/03/1899 Grande-Bretagne Hebburn Grand Theatre  Living Pictures
19/03/1899 Grande-Bretagne Middlesbroug Royal Living Pictures
31/03/1899 Grande-Bretagne South Shields New Empire Palace Living Pictures
08/04/1899 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Howard Hall Living Photographs 
25/04/1899 Grande-Bretagne Chester-le-Street   Living Pictures
22/10/1899 Grande-Bretagne Hebburn Grand Theatre Living Pictures
22/10/1899 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Metropole Theatre Living Photographs
29/10/1899 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
29/10/1899 Grande-Bretagne South Shields New Empire Palace Living Photographs
05/11/1899 Grande-Bretagne Blyth Theatre Royal Living Photographs
13-18/11/1899 Grande-Bretagne South Shields  New Empire Palace Living Pictures
26/11/1899 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
29/11/1899 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Congregational Hall Living Pictures
26/12/1899 Grande-Bretagne South Shields New Empire Palace  
<24/01/1900 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
25/03/1900 Grande-Bretagne South Shields New Empire Palace Living Pictures
16-21/04/1900 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Royal Assembly Hall  Living Pictures
03/09/1900 Grande-Bretagne Tynemouth Tynemouth Palace Living Pictures 
12->12/11/1900 Grande-Bretagne Newcastle-on-Tyne Olympia Animated Pictures
19-24/11/1900 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland Victoria Hall Animatograph Pictures
26->26/11/1900 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Royal Assembly Hall  
16/12/1900 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
17/02/1901 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
04/05/1901 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Gospel Temperance Hall,  Living Pictures
<28 mai 1901 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Royal Assembly Hall Living Pictures
04/08/1901 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
10.17.24/11/1901 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
22/02/1902 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Howard Hall Living Pictures
12-17/05/1902 Grande-Bretagne North Shields New Central Palace Living Pictures
04/08/1902 Grande-Bretagne North Shields New Central Palace Living Photos.
16/08/1902 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Boro' Theatre Living Pictures
17/08/1902 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Photographs
11/10/1902 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Metropole Theatre Living Pictures
<18/11/1902 Grande-Bretagne North Shields Central Palace of Varieties Living Photographs
 06/12/1902 Grande-Bretagne Jarrow Albert Hall Living Pictures
28/12/1902 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Metropole Theatre Living Pictures
25/01/1903 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Metropole Theatre Living Pictures
25/01/1903 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
01/02/1903 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Metropole Theatre Living Pictures
04/03/1903 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Queens Varieties Living Pictures
10-27/06/1903 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland Avenue Theatre/Opera House Living Photographs
<14/07->01/08/1903 Grande-Bretagne Newcastle-on-Tyne The Grand Theatre Living Pictures
<06>/10/1903 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Theatre Royal Living Pictures
<07>/10/1903 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Empire Palace Living Pictures
09/11/1903 Grande-Bretagne Hebburn Theatre Living Pictures
16-23/11/1903 Grande-Bretagne South Shields New Empire Palace Living Pictures
28/12/1903 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Memorial Hall Living Pictures
04-11/01/1904 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland Avenue Theatre Living Pictures
17/02/1904 Grande-Bretagne Sunderland Avenue Theatre Living Pictures
19/02/1904 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead Queens Varieties Living Pictures
24/02/1904 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Assembly Hall Living Pictures
19/03/1904 Grande-Bretagne Marsden   Living Pictures
25/09/1904 Grande-Bretagne Hebburn Theatre Living Pictures
28/11/1904 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Laygate. HIgh Shields. The Tivoli Living Photographs
04/12/1904 Grande-Bretagne Hebburn Theatre  Living Pictures
24-29/04/1905 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Royal Assembly Hall Living Pictures
29/05-17/06/1905 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Laygate. HIgh Shields. The Tivoli Living Photographs
<09>/08/1905 Grande-Bretagne Falkirk Grand Theatre/Opera House Living Pictures 
17-19/10/1905 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Royal Assembly Hall Living Pictures
25-26/12/1905 Grande-Bretagne South Shields  Royal Assembly Hall Living Pictures
17/02/1906 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Gospel Temperance Hall Living Pictures
03/03/1906 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Gospel Temperance Hall Living Pictures
13.14.16.17/04/1906 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Royal Assembly Hall Living Pictures
21/04/1906 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Gospel Temperance Hall Living Pictures
 26/05/1906 Grande-Bretagne Middlesbroug  Grand Opera House Living Pictures 
08/06.19/10/1906 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead  Queen's Theatre Living Pictures
04/11.23/12/1906 Grande-Bretagne Gateshead  Metropole Theatre Living Pictures
24.26/12/1906.01/01/1907 Grande-Bretagne South Shields Royal Assembly Hall  Living Pictures 
         

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