Beckenham in old picture postcards volume 1

Beckenham in old picture postcards volume 1

Author
:   Muriel V. Searle
Municipality
:   Beckenham
Province
:   Greater London
Country
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-4541-1
Pages
:   80
Price
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

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

   


Fragments from the book 'Beckenham in old picture postcards volume 1'

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19. A nice close view of the strange wooden 'Kentish Cap' used to temporarily top off the new parish church tower when work came to a halt. Local opinion put this situation down to finance, but asked somewhat sarcastically whether so rich a parish as Beckenham, with more wealthy residents than any other for rniles around, could really be hard up for this money. By the time ofthis picture, the tower seems to have been in this eondition for about a decade; for the above question was asked in 1892, when tower building had already been at a halt for six years.

YCH GATE:., PARISH C!;'VRCti ,e;..c1!:$.N.HAM.

20. A small insignificant plaque overhead on a beam, as one enters this specially historie lychgate, briefly tells the story of this remarkable survival from the past: it is 'probably the oldest remaining in England' , dating from about the 13th century. It was, of necessity, heavily repaired in 1924, but the magnificent main framework was not altered. As the inscription explains, 'the deeayed ground cills and the oottoms of the side-posts were renewed on new foundations, and the spurs to the brackets, whieh had long been absent, were restored'. Today, old and new work are blended in unity, by age, wind and weather.

21. A picture dating from before the postcard age, but issued anew in postcard form as part of a series publisbed by a well-known Beokenham printing and publishing company. It shows the ancient lychgate, but the notion of a towering town church here, or motor traffic where the cows wander with the perverse aimlessness of cattle, would have then seemed unimaginable as science fiction - had such a form of reading then existed. Even into the early 19th century cattle were still seen in Beokenham High Street, where the traditional pound was once used for rounding up stray cows until colleered by their farmer owners.

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Parish Church, Beckenham.

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22. Until the 1860s Beckenham was a single compact parish, centred on the one parish church of St. George, believed to date at least from Edward IH's reign, and probably earlier still. When it was rebuilt, into the above form, the work was done in stages, always leaving part of the old building still accessible for use; it is held that, throughout those years of upheaval, not one service ever failed to be said or sung. First the chancel was rebuilt. In 1887 a second stage completed the nave and aisles. Not untill902, as a fourth stage, was the uncompleted tower raised to MI height, as seen here, and finished in 1903; the old beils were then reeast and rehung.

J3et!ker.nam

23. By 1904, when this postcard was mailed, the corner of Chureh HiIllooked mueh as it does today, with the tower at last completed. Beekenham's village image was almost banished, already well-removed from the days when the stocks (for errant inhabitants) and the pound (for rounding up cattle straying in the High Street) had been regularly used. A proper poliee station (now found at the right, just below this point) had taken over duty from the old eage, used to imprison and sober up the few local drunks, Beckenham's historie stocks were reproduced for an Olde Englishe Fayre in Coronatien year (1953), when an old style village fair oecupied much of the High Street, like a country fair of pre-traffic days.

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FOXGROV.t ROA.D.

24. Street names and public house narnes usually reflect a tewn's past, particularly prominent people and old estates and landmarks. Foxgrove Road, for instance, perpetuates the ancient rnanor of Foxgrove. documented at least as far back as the fourteenth century. Four centuries later it came into the Burrell family, again a prominent name on the modern street map. Before suburbanisation the only side road between St. George's Church and the Beokenham Place estate was that to Foxgrove Farm, lying approximately where The Avenue and Foxgrove Road were built. This romanticised view of Foxgrove Road, postmarked 1914, captures the select quietness of Edwardian Beckenham, with only one elegant pedestrian and horse-drawn vehicle in sight,

COPERS COPE ROAD. BECKENHAM.

25. The origin of Coper's Cope as a placename has long puzzled local historians. Who was Coper, and why a cope, unless he was a priest? General opinion now faveurs a copse of trees and bushes. prominent when this was all farmland: Cope's, Coper's or Cooper's Copse. Coper's Cope Road perpetuates the elusive Mr. Coper or Cooper, and also the once extensive Coper's Cope Farm. This covered a huge 250 acres of countryside on the Kent and Surrey borders, right across the land now called New Beckenham, joining up by footpaths WÎth Kent House Farm. After the building booms that tumed a village into a Londen suburb, only Coper's Cope farmhouse remained, marooned uneasily amid new properties at the junction of Southend Road and Coper's Cope Road. This card shows the scene in 1910.

26. The one-time rolling countryside between Shortlands, West Wickham and Beckenham has been since the 1920s one continuous network of quiet high-class suburban roads, of whichMalmains Way is a good example. lts name recalls how the Malrnains family once owned the widespread Langley manor, from very soon after the Conquest. This family died out less than three centuries later, in 1350; but now, more than sa. centuries later still, their name is revived on the street map of modem Beckenharn. Another road named after owners of Langley was Raymond Road, for Hugh Raymond, again of the old Langley estate and also of EImer Lodge, which became the Manor House Club in Dunbar Avenue.

27. One of those well-heeled looking roads giving Victorian and Edwardian Beckenham the reputation for high class living. In the 1880s, when these properties were fairIy new, a typical estate agent's advertisement wouid describe them as having up to eight bedrooms, separate dressing and bath rooms (when poorer class terrace cottages rarely owned more than a tin tub), three or more reception rooms, and 'ampie offices, cellarage etc.' The setting wouid be described as grounds rather than a mere garden; one such house, 'Southview' in The Avenue, when auctioned in 1886 was said to also possess 'a tennis lawn, shrubbery, femery and a productive kitchen garden; also a greenhouse and forcing-house'. Another good selling point was The Avenue's proximity to Beckenham Junction, with trains to the City starting at 5.09 am and giving about twenty-five services daily in each direction.

28. The Avenue in the 1920s, still very much a 'good address', though by then the fashionable mock-Tudor element was creeping in among the stately older properties. as seen in the house at the right. A fine new property like this might sell for about 1800, or even ;El ,000; an astronomical figure compared with the small!400 villa in, say, Catford. By then it was becoming more common for ordinary clerk-class husbands to take a mortgage on the smaller and cheaper house, whereas before the Great War the majority of less moneyed families only paid rent, continually moving house as their leases ran out. Earlier still, even the better properties were commonly rented rather than bought; a larger house in The Avenue or Copers Cope Road was priced at about :1:125 a year in rent just befere the turn of the century.

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