Alton in old picture postcards

Alton in old picture postcards

Author
:   Annette Booth
Municipality
:   Alton
Province
:   Hampshire
Country
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-5787-2
Pages
:   80
Price
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

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

   


Fragments from the book 'Alton in old picture postcards'

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39. Alton Market in 1919 and a busy scene that for years was very much part ofthe town'slife. At this time the market was run by Alfred J. Martin, who had come to Alton in 1909. He was later to form a partnership with Mr. N .F. Stratford. The white cottages in the centre of the picture were demolished before the Second World War, when the council decided they were no longer habitable. Even at this time 1 wonder how pleasant it was having the cattle tethered quite so close to your front windows! Notice the horse and cart on the weighbridge. Although no longer in use, this can still be seen today. It's noticeable that all the men are either wearing raincoats or carrying them, even though we believe th is to be the Midsummer's day market. All, without exception, are wearing hats. Martin and Stratford's cattle markets ceased in the 1960's and the poultry market in 1976. The end of an era came in 1986, when the deadstock auction also ceased trading.

40. Lenten Street, sometime before the First World War. The ivy-clad house on the right is 'Brooklands', the birthplace ofthe botanist William Curtis (1746-1799). Today, a plaque on the house commemorates his birth. William's father John owned a large tannery, which was situated at the rear of the house. Tan House Lane derives its name from this tannery. He was the first ofthree Curtis's, all named William, who made a significant contribution to the town. The second, his son (1803-1881), formed the Mechanics Institute and the Museum, which would eventually be named after hirn, while his grandson's 'History of Alten', written in 1896, is still the definitive history.

41. On 7th July 1917 a fete was held in the grounds of Barton End and Brooklands, two houses in Lenten Street, to raise funds for disabled soldiers and sailors. Colleetions were also made in the streets and house to house. A ehildren's fancy dress eompetition was one ofthe highlights of the afternoon, so mueh so that a posteard was produeed of the entrants. It shows the ehildren in an imaginative array of fancy dress eostumes and this partieular one was sent by twelve year old Aliee Hawkins, sister of Alton's historian, Charles. She writes: 'It was a fancy dress parade in aid of Lord Robert's Memorial Workshop for disabled soldiers and sailors. lam dressed as a girl guide. They eolleeted nearly fIS7. Don't you think that was good for little Alton!'

42. In 1895 eight Brathers of the Order of Saint Paul arrived at Colewood Copse on the Alton to Medstead raad, having walked all the way from Wales. They had acquired several acres here and, after a night spent out in the open, in pouring rain, they set about building tiny wattle and daub huts and a wattle church - the primitive beginnings of what is, today, Alton Abbey. The Brothers, led by their founder , The Reverend Father Hopkins, devoted themselves to the caring of elderly sailors, establishing the Seaman's Friendly Society of St. Paul. By 1902 they had built the Gatehouse and its small chapel, using flints from the ground around them. The Abbey remained very much as we see it in this postcard, produced by the Brothers, unti11915, when it was taken over for the internment of German seamen. The Noviciate was revived in 1924 and in 1930 a home for twenty retired seamen was added, built by D.J. Kemp & Sans of Alton.

43. A postcard with a special message which was sent in December 1904 to an address in Lavender HiJl, London. It shows a group of elderly sailors, seated outside the wattle and daub buildings of the early Alton Abbey and the accompanying text reads: 'This is a group of Merchant Sailors who, but for the Home accorded to them by the Brothers of St. Paul- an organisation in which we are interestedwould be quite friendless and destitute. Perhaps you would like to send the Brothers a Christmas gift to help them in their work. The Brothers wiJl be giving shelter and relief to any homeless and destitute sailor or sailor lad who may apply to them this Christmas; and it would really be an act of kindness to send a little Christmas gift to them. They depend entirely upon subscriptions and donations for support.'

44. An idyllic view from the watercress beds at the bottom of Tanhouse Lane, taken in about 1910. Some forty-three years earlier a little girl who lived in Tanhouse Lane and who was playing here was abducted and brutally murdered in hop fields nearby. That little girl's name was Fanny Adams and her gruesome murder introduced a new saying into the English vocabulary. Her death coincided with the introduetion of tinned me at in the Royal Navy and the sailors, unimpressed with the food, said it contained the remains of 'Sweet Fanny Adams'. Fauny's murderer, a solicitor's clerk named Frederick Baker, was arrested soon after her mutilated body was found. Any question of his innocence went out of the window when, on searching his desk, Inspeetor Cheney of the Alton Constabulary found the following written in his diary under Saturday, August 24th: 'Killed a young girl. It was fine and hot.' Frederick Baker was executed at Winchester on Christmas Eve 1867.

45. Amery Street, or Cut Pound Lane , as itwas still known by some people at the time ofthis postcard in about 1904. The signover the door on the right-hand side reads 'R. Seaman, butcher", while further down can be seen the tall roof of the Fire Station. The building on the left of the picture is the Salvation Army Barracks, built in 1891. These Barracks served the Alton Corps weil until, in 1957, a new Citadel, the one we know today, was erected on the site of the old building, at a cost of fl6,OOO. Next to the Barraeks is a house which bears a plaque stating that it was onee the home of Edmund Spenser, the poet who wrote 'The Fairie Queene'. He is believed to have lived in Alton around 1590. At the bottom of the hili ean just be seen Cut Pound, where animals would be brought to be watered.

46. This fine study of the Alton Volunteer Fire Brigade was taken in about 1900. The men are seated outside their Fire Station at the bottom of Amery Street. The sign on the wal! gives us an insight into firefighting at the turn ofthe century. It reads: 'In case offire cal! at Mr. Caesar's, High Street, and at Swan Hotel 10 order horses.' Julius Caesar, the hairdresser, was the official bugier, who would summon the Brigade. Behind the men, on the left, you can just see Firefly Il, the Brigade's steam fire engine. Her crew would have consisted of an engineer, two firemen to manage the hose , and a stoker, who was responsible for ensuring a good head of steam to operate the pump. The fire wasn't always lit immediately after the alarm was sounded; if the fire was more than ten minutes away, the stoker would light the boiler on the way to the fire! It was not unusual for sparks Irorn the furnace to cause additional fires as the fire engine attempted to put out the first one!

tret, lton.

47. In 1922 the Alton Fire Brigade moved from Amery Street into the Town Hall, as we can see in this postcard of Market Street, viewed from its junction with Amery Street and Market Square. It is one of a series taken around 1925 and shows the large doors of the new engine house. Next to the Town Hall you can see the premises ofJohn Trickey, who ca me to Alton before the First World War 10 take charge of the Alton Skating Rink. After the war he took over Scarrott's china shop at No. 22 Market Street and turned it into 'Trickey's Domestic Bazaar', selling baskets, tinware. stewpans, kettles, larnp-glasses, mantles and fancy goods- or so his advert teIls us! What a shame stores of that kind are nothing but memories today! By the way, did you spot the postcard publisher's mistake?

48. We're back in August 1911 again and there are those two little boys who have been following the photographer around all day. They've reached Market Street now - this time looking up towards Market Square with Henry Adlam's at the top of the picture. On the far left is the Plough Inn with its front door opening straight onto the road. You would need to be careful coming out of there sober, let alone a little merry having imbibed your 'Guinness's, Stout and Bavarian Ales'. And ifyou should have a nasty accident, right opposite, at No. 7, was the office of the Hampshire HeraId &' Alton Gazette, with Robert Aitken just waiting to report the event. Next to the Hampshire HeraId was Frederick William Kerridge's cycle shop at Nos. 9 & 11. He had made good use of the paper on 24th June 1911, advertising the opening of his new store at No. 36 High Streel.

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