Aldeburgh in old picture postcards

Aldeburgh in old picture postcards

:   Carol Somerset
:   Aldeburgh
:   Suffolk
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5624-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

Delivery time: 2-3 weeks (subject too). The illustrated cover may differ.


Fragments from the book 'Aldeburgh in old picture postcards'

<<  |  <  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  >  |  >>


Aldeburgh reaches far back in history . It was perhaps a Roman signal station, and when the Anglo-Saxons came they called it 'Aldeburc' - 'The Old Fort'.

In the Middle Ages it was only a small fishing village belonging to the Benedictine priory at Snape. But by Tudor times AIdeburgh was prospering and obtained its first charter from Edward VI in 1546. The newly self-governing borough showed its civic pride by erecting the Moot Hall (30) and rebuilding the parish church (49). This was Aldeburgh's richest and most successful period ; the fishing was good, trade with London and the continent flourished.

This happy time ended all too soon; by 1600 the sea was encroaching, the weather stormy, the fishing poor, Thorpe Haven too shallow for merchant ships and the mouth of the river too dangerous. The population fell and the town sank into poverty for nearly two hundred years. George Crabbe, the poet, who was bom in Aldeburgh in 1754, wrote:

Here joyless raam a wild amphibious race With sullen woe displayed in every face; Who [ar from civil arts and social fly,

And scowl at strangers with suspicious eye.

But towards the end of the eighteenth century some wealthy gentlemen were visiting the neighbourhood and thought what a charming place Aldeburgh would be for a holiday, so much more peaceful than the Prince Regent's new town of Brighton. And so the first of the large houses, Thellusson Lodgc, was built and others soon followed. By the middle of the nineteenth century Aldeburgh had successfully embarked on its new career as a watering place. The railway (41) came , smaller houses were built along the seafront (2-3), schools we re established

(28), the golfclub (10) founded. The town prospered once more. Besides the pleasant seafront, houses we re now built on the high ground of the Terrace (50) and beyond, the Water Tower (54) was erected, tennis and bowls became popular. While employment and social Iife progressed, local government stagnated. Indeed it became very corrupt and inefficientthe Town Clerk came over from Ipswich once a year! This was all changed by the Local Government Act of 1875. Newson Garrett was the first Mayor under the new charter. He was a colourful personality, a business man and property developer who was a great benefactor of the town. But he is best remembered today as the father of two remarkable women: Millicent Fawcett, who was an active campaigner for women's suffrage, and Elizabeth (31), who married the shipowner James Skelton Anderson, was the first woman doctor in England and first woman mayor (Aldeburgh 1908).

Local people we re employed in service, in the hotels and in shops. Many young men went to sea, returning later to become fishermen or pilots. Life was not easy for poor people and there was much smuggling. The centre of this was said to be the Three Mariners Inn (55) at Slaughden. This was a prosperous village Iying south of Aldeburgh between the river and the sea. Here ships and fishing vessels anchored, here boats were built. But small ports became uncompetitive. More and more the river was devoted to pleasure sailing (60).

Shipping (carrying mainly coal) maintained the traditional sea route which brought it close to Aldeburgh. Mail and provisions were put on board here and, when required, a pilot. Aldeburgh had at least 34 pilots by 1820.

About 1830 a coal company built the Sou th Lookout so th at signals from ships could be more easily seen. A special long rowing boat (6) was launched off the beach to take out pilots,

mail or provisions. There was a disagreement among pilots and some split away to build the North Lookout (64) in 1840. There was great rivalry between the two beach companies.

With the advent of steam and bigger ships the pilots moved to Ipswich. Lloyds signal station on the Terrace was closed in 1860. But still the lifeboat was kept busy. There has been a lifeboat at Aldeburgh since 1851 and the town is very proud of it and the volunteers who man it. The most decorated was James Cable (70) and his most famous exploit took place in 1893. At half past six on the morning of 20 November, during one of the worst storms experienced off the coast of East Anglia for many years, the huIl of a vessel was seen drifting off Aldeburgh. She had lost all her masts and appeared to be waterlogged, frequently disappearing from view as huge seas broke over her. The lifeboat 'Aldeburgh' was launched at 7.00 am after a desperate struggle by her crew and the launchers, the heavy surf making it an extremely difficult and dangerous task. With superb seamanship, coxswain Cable took the lifeboat under the lee of the vessel, the Russian barque 'Vanscapen' and 14 men were rescued. Just ten minutes later the barque struck one of the shoals and broke up.

There were many storms around the turn of the century (64), ships were wrecked (66), a lifeboat lost (69), the sea encroached. Aldeburgh has an ambivalent relationship with the sea: it brings the fish, it brings the visitors, but it attacks the land; over the years two streets have vanished under the waves between the Moot Hall and the shore, and the village of Slaughden has been totally destroyed in this century.

But all was not sadness and despair: carnivals were ceJebrated (33, 34), large houses continued to be built (53) and Aldeburgh remained what it is today, a very pleasant place for holiday or retirement. As an unknown admirer wrote in 1898:

A is for Aldeburgh, quaint, charming, quiet, B [or its Breezes bluff that 0' er it riot,

C [or its Coxswain, strong Cable the brave, D for his Daring Deed done on the wave, E for its Excellent Expanse of beach,

F [or its Fishing Fine, well within reach, G for its Golf links that rival the best,

H [or the Happy Hours there of sweet rest, I [or the lnvalid cured by its breezes,

I [or the laded its Peacefulness pleases, K for the Kindness its honest folks give,

L [or the fam' d Lifeboat, long may she live, M for those who Man her, a right gallant crew, N [or the Nettles, thank Heaven, how few!

o for the Onslaught that Old Neptune makes, P for the Photo-fiend Aldeburgh forsakes,

Q [or the Quaintness of Moot Hall and Dial, R rousing Racket heard many a mile,

S the Shipwasb Sands luring and yellow, T the round Tower, the old Martello,

U the Unmuzzled who canine joy show, V for Visitors, reluctant to go,

W for Well-wishers who 're for its career, X their Xception to Sphinx's cheap sneer; Y did he not, as these optimists said,

Honour some perfect place with his YZ, (wise head)?

Aldeburgh Museum Trust

1. The map was embroidered by the Aldeburgh Women's Institute and presented to the Borough Couneil. It shows the singular position of the town between the marshes and the sea with the river coming within SOm of the oeean before winding away within the 12km long shingle bank of Orfordness. In Roman times the mouth of the river was at Aldeburgh; by the Middle Ages the spit extended to Orford, where a eastle was built to proteet the important port. Now the river joins the sea further south still at Shingle Streel.

2.13. The Victorian print shows the houses along the seafront, a pleasant medley of architectural styles. There are numerous fishing boats and bathing machines along the busy shore. These were winched in and out of the water as required.

, .

4. Aldeburgh from the sea 1925. Many of the same houses are to be seen. In spite of development the high ground is heavily wooded.

5. In 1878 it was proposed to build a pier 180 yards long. After five spans were constructed, work ceased, probably because the project had proved too difficult and too expensive. Aldeburgh was left with an eyesore until Elizabeth Garrett Anderson had the rusting girders removed.

6. There are many fishing boats and on the left is one of the long rowing boats, used for carrying mails and pilots out to coastal shipping.

7. The beach in 1930. There are fewer fishing boats and bathing huts have replaced bathing machines. A diving raft has also been introduced.

8. Holiday attire 1902.

<<  |  <  |  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  >  |  >>

Sitemap | Links | Colophon | Privacy | Disclaimer | Terms and conditions | Delivery terms | © 2009 - 2022 Publisher European library,