Fonds MC 3431 - Research notes of Ms Kate Chenneour regarding Sydney Denny of Harleston, ironmonger and photographer

Reference code

MC 3431


Research notes of Ms Kate Chenneour regarding Sydney Denny of Harleston, ironmonger and photographer


  • 2009 (Creation)

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401 KB

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Biographical history

Sydney William Denny (1886-1960) was born in Harleston, the son of George Denny (1860-1903), ironmonger, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Denny, née Everson (1861-1943). The couple had three other children: Hedley (b 1885), Violet (b 1888) and Grace (b 1896). After the death of George Denny in 1903, his widow carried on the family ironmongers, G. Denny and Sons, at 1, The Thoroughfare, Harleston, until Hedley and George were old enough to take over the business.
Sydney Denny was a keen photographer, and some 752 of his glass plate photographs of local people, buildings and views survive, most relating to Harleston, but some to nearby villages in Norfolk and Suffolk. Denny is not listed as a professional photographer in local directories.
In 1909 Sydney married May Cutting (1881-1931). The couple had two sons, George b 1910 and Moreton b 1913. The family lived in a house called Haroldstone on Needham Road, Harleston, and then moved to The Old House in the Old Market Place, Harleston, which they ran as a guest house. It is believed that they also started a tea room in the former Grice's grocery store opposite their own shop, which began as a Sunday afternoon enterprise, but had become a restaurant by 1917, and expanded to include also the premises of Eastman the butcher's. After May's death from tuberculosis in 1931, Sydney married Nellie Wilkinson (1893-1987).
Hedley and Sydney Denny ran the ironmongers business together, and were later joined by Sydney's son Moreton. Sydney died in 1960. There is a series of stained glass windows in St John's church, Harleston in his memory. Moreton Denny continued to run the ironmongers until he sold the business in 1979.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 20 April 2009 (ACC 2009/30). List completed 20 February 2018 (JW).

Scope and content

Comprises notes on the Denny family of Harleston and Suffolk, 1780-1943; and descriptive list of Syney Denny's glass plate photographs (catalogued as MC 3274).

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For Sydney Denny's photographs, see MC 3274 and MC 3574.

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