Chelmsford in old picture postcards
Delivery time: 2-3 weeks (subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.
Delivery time: 2-3 weeks (subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.
29. Since the whole interior of Chelmsford Cathedral was totally altered in 1983, this photograph has an historical value. It shows the Chapel of the Holy Ghost, as it was then known, around 1925. The guide of 1908 says: This fair chapel on the soutb side of the chancel, now used for daily offices, and termed the Chapel of the Holy Ghost pertained in pre-Reformation times to the importance of the religious fraternities of the town - the Guild of Corpus Christi; indeed, that portion of the churcb bore the name of Corpus Christi for many years after the suppression of the guilds ... As it is seen here it was the subject of restoration, along with the chancel, at the expense of Markland Barnard of Galleywood, in 1904. It was later known as St. Peter's Chapel, being refumished in 1955 as a memorial to the Reverend C.K. Waller, Provost of the Cathedral from 1949 to 1951, and others.
30. That the county town cou1d be very crowded on occasions is proved by this postcard - a memento of the meet of the Essex Union Hounds in the very heart of the town on 28th January, 1911. Their annual ball had been held in the Shire Hall the night befere. With the legendary vitality of the hunting fraternity they were up early to bring harses and hounds into the town square, moving off to draw Mou1sham Thrift Wood at Galleywood. Looking down New Street beside the Shire Hall, one can see the cupola-erowned building on the corner of Waterloo Lane, specially erected in 1907 as the tewn's Police Station. The General Post Office, second building from the right, is No. 1, High Streel. It was opened in 1908.
31. Sir Evelyn Wood's popularity with the public can be judged from this panorama of the vast crowd whlch assernbled outside the Shire Hall on 14th October, 1879, to see him presented with a Sword of Honour by the County. The presentation was followed that evening by a splendid banquet at whlch Sir Evelyn was the Guest of Honour. He was a military hero of Victorian times, largely forgotten today, but remembered, unusually, on the sign of a public house in Widford which bears hls image. The public house is still called the Sir Evelyn Wood, celebrating its origin at the time of that exciting visit to Chelmsford. In 1903, Sir Evelyn Wood was back again in the county town, to be presented with the Freedom of the Borough, ' ... in recognition of hls distinguished services in the army and of hls promotion to the rank of Field Marshal'. He was an Essex man, bom at Cressing Vicarage in 1838 and ending his days at Harlow in 1919.
32. The sylvan setting for this statue is very deceiving, for it originally stood in the very centre of Chelmsford. It was designed to stand as a decorative embellishment over the tewn's 'conduit' or weIl, which supplied Chelmsford with its water supply through five hundred years, Wooden pipes, cleverly jointed, led the water from the Burgess Well across the fields to Tindal Square. The conduit was rebuilt in 1792, when the water was made to spout from dolphins' mouths at the feet of this elegant naiad, or water nymph, Banished from its pedestal in 1814, the naiad was lost sight of for years, It came to light in a private garden where it had been used as a garden ornament from 1876 until its discovery in about 1962, when it was restored to the town. After a long sojourn in the Museum's storeroom it was, through the generosity of the Rotary Club, re-erected in the foyer of the Shire Hall. It is made of Coade-stone, a type of eighteenth-century concrete of which the recipe is now lost.
33. FIOm the junction of Springfield Road with the High Street the photographer of the twenties looked back up the main shopping street. The strange edifice is identified on the postcard as, 'Conduit'. It originally stood outside the Shire Hall in Tindal Square. It was paid for by the Parish with the addition of !loo given by local merchant Robert Greenwood, and erected in 1814, replacing the naiad figure seen in the previous picture. By 1852 the town had arranged other sourees of water supply so the conduit was obsolete. In that year it was re-sited at the Springfield Road junction, as shown here. By 1940 it was causing such obstruction to the increasing flow of traffic that it was taken down and rebuilt in Tower Gardens, off the Roxwell Road,
34. By 1926, when this photograph was taken, the homely old buildings in Tindal Square had gone, replaced by the solid, dependable-looking architecture of three banks; Barclays, next to the Saracen's Head; the Midland Bank, built in 1921 on the site of Collins' china shop in the timber-framed, weather-boarded house, which is such a feature of earlier photographs; and, in somewhat uncornfortable architectural juxtaposition, the National Provincial Bank. The little black lion's head at the foot of the Tindal statue was aspout for the flow of water into the horse trough which took advantage of the supply from the old Burgess Weil when it was made redundant for human purposes.
HIGH STREET, CHELMSFORD
35. FIOm the steps of the Shire Hall the view down the High Street clearly shows the nature of Chelmsford as the county town around 1910. The date can be ascertained as after 1908 since the mouth of the cannon can be seen to be blocked up. This was because in that year some high-spirited apprentices primed the cannon with gunpowder and fired it late at night, much to the shock of local inhabitants and to the damage of windows in the firing line. The group of cattle reminds us that the market was held in the street for hundreds of years. The Saracen's Head inn shows how accommodation was available in many inns up and down the street to the people coming here on business with the market, the shops, the courts and local government. The awnings indicate the great variety of shops which made the place a mecca for people from a large area of the surrounding countryside.
36. The Sebastopol Cannon was an essential part of the Tindal Square scene, where it stood right outside the Shire Hall from 1858 until 1937. Then it was removed to Oaklands Park off Moulsham Street where it has given pleasure to generations of children who love to sit astride its barrel and be photographed by proud parents. It is a 56-pounder Russian gun, captured in the Crimean War and presented to the town by the Government of the day, at the instanee of a Major Skinner, R,A., who had local connections. Ed Durrant, in his 'Reminiscences' writes, The Crimean gun ... was presented in 1858, Major Skinner, an old inhabitant, giving the carriage. I distinctly remember the ceremony of placing it in position, at which men in the old Volunteer uniform of 1815 were present.
37. As we proceed across Tindal Square we see on the right, where the Midland Bank now stands, the two old houses made into one which, in about 1915 comprised Orams, the watchmakers and jewellers, and Collins, the china and glass shop which specialised in that odd, miniature manifestation of Victorian taste, - Goss ornamental china. The other face of the building is occupied by Forsters, advertising themselves as 'Contractors to the War Office', which helps us date the photograph. Jeremiah Orams was a watchmaker back in the 1890's.
38. This picture of Tindal Square can be dated to about 1878 because the Golden Lion, seen in the centre, was rebuilt in 1880. Standing on the pavement outside the Shire Hall one looks across to the junction of Duke Street with the Square. On the left ean be seen the Corn Exchange, built in 1858. lt stood on part of the site now occupied by the tewn's main shopping precinct. Beside it can just be seen the premises of J. Brittain Pash, the principal of a firm of agricultural agents. The demolition of the old inn allowed the formation of Market Road. The wooden fence seen in front of the new Golden Lion was pressed into service on market days as part of the pig pens.