Miss Eliza Kemp’s “Elite” photographic studio on the High Street stood opposite her brother Mr Nicholas Kemp’s portrait painting studio. One Wednesday night in September 1898, Miss Eliza Kemp’s establishment was mysteriously razed by a singular conflagration.
Legend has it that the ground on which it stood was even sown with salt.
Mr Nicholas Kemp, also a local justice of the peace in the seaside town made comment to the local newspaper, The Argus & Echo. He said, “This is a terrible crime against property and commerce. PC Marling will take to the case immediately following his successful policing of our Beach in Bloom competition this weekend and our world famous Pier Princess Pageant the following weekend!”
Miss Kemp, in company with her longtime companion Miss Lucy Young, left the town and started a new business in London in October 1898.
No one has ever been convicted of setting the fire.