Chelmsford in old picture postcards

Chelmsford in old picture postcards

:   Stan Jarvis
:   Essex
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2734-9
:   112
:   EUR 16.95 Including VAT *

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


Fragments from the book 'Chelmsford in old picture postcards'

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39. The passing of a speeding penny-farthing cyclist has caused a blur on the photograph in the foreground to the left of the lamp-post. Chancellor's Corn Exchange, built in 1858, is directly ahead. It can be seen that buildings to the right of it, including the oid Golden Lion, have been demolished to make way for the broad highway to the new market place, purpose-built at the rear of the Corn Exchange in 1875. J. Brittain Pash's has moved down the new road to the building with the steepled tower. This picture was taken about 1880. The stone bollards fronting the Shire Hall, placed there when it was built in 1791, have now all disappeared,

40. One of Fred Spa1ding's best known posteards, from a photograph taken in 1876. His gift-shop-cum-photographic-studio is the foeal point, but the wagons teIl a very interesting story. The horses which pulled them have been unharnessed so that they can be ridden round the town to colleet 'largesse' or tips from shops whieh the farmers favoured with their eustom. The farm labourers eould then buy the provislens and the beer whieh went to the making of a happy 'Harvest Home'. Note that, at this time, Tindal Square was still paved with cobble-stones. The posts in front of Spalding's and Pertwee's had eyes through whieh a rope was drawn on market days, to ward off animals from the pavement and to allow traveIlers to hitch their horses whilst they did their business.

41. The previous postcard should be compared with this, later view of Tindal Square, taken about 1930. Harrison's, the ironmongers, have taken over Spalding's shop, though the peculiar 'greenhouse' on the top of the building, which formed Spa1ding's studio, remains in situ. By 1937 the ironmongers had gone, replaced by the Employers' Liability Assurance Corporation. Bellamy's, the chemist, still in business in the town, has taken over Pertwee's, but today it is the offices of the Bristol and West Building Society.

42. Though Chelmsford was the county town, recognised as such from the earliest times, it had na charter of incorporation allowing it to conduct local government as aBorough until a popular movement called for action to obtain such a charter from Queen Victoria. It was granted and brought from London on 19th September, 1888, to be read to a huge and enthusiastic crowd by Mr. Frank Whitmore, standing on the balcony of the Corn Exchange. Mr. Whitmore then acted as Mayor of the new Borough until an election could be held in November of that year, lt is hardly likely that such an event occurring today would draw people enthusiastic enough to c1amber on to the roof of the inn next door, as can be seen here.


43. Chelmsford Market seen in its oid headquarters behind the former Com Exchange, in the area of the present Chancellor Hall. G.ß. Hilliard, whose name appears upon one of the stands, had been in business as a market auctioneer for many years, The original street market with pens specially set up on the day, was replaced in 1875 with this 'tailor-made' site. But the rapid development of the town rendered this market place inadequate and inconvenient to traffic, so after the last war a new site was chosen for the Livestock Market, off Victoria Road at its Springfield Road end. 1t was opened in 1963. The retail market was given a permanent site on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park.

44. On a winter's day in 1912 the Chelmsford Borough Fire Brigade made the bravest of turn-outs for the camera on the fore-eourt of their Fire Station. Obviously there was not enough room to include the horses though the traces and whips are in evidence. This station was made obsolete with the tremendous expansion of the town after 1945 and the building itself was finally demolished to make way for the new relief road approach. It stood near where Victoria Road South passes Market Road on its way to the roundabout. In 1894, when Walter Farrow was 'Superintendent of Fire Brigade', the population was 11,000; by 1928, when Ernest Miles was 'Chief Officer Fire Brigade', it was 22,000 and by 1951 it had risen to 38,000. Now the Fire Service is organised on a county-wide basis with a purpose-built station off Rainsford Lane.


45. Crossing Tindal Square, we look back at the way we have come. The date is about 1910. Godfrey's occupies Spulding's oid shop. The statue of Judge Tindal shows him seated in a great chair, gazing across at the Shire Hall, seat of that same justice which he dispensed so wisely in the position of Chief Baron of the Court of Common Pleas. On the left-hand side of the plinth can be seen a little wooden door. This gave access to the pipe and valves of the water supply to the conduit, the town's original water supply, which once stood on this spot. When it was made obsolete the water was led to the horse trough seen on the edge of the pavement.

46. This postcard is difficult to date. The costume and the horse traffic put it early in the century. The Saracen's Head has been an inn from time immemoria1. Barclays Bank, next to It, was built by 1906, the General Post Office, which fellows, was opened in 1908 and the town's main Police Station, seen just beyond it, across the mouth öf Waterloo Lane, was built in 1907. The three big industrial companies, Hoffrnann's, Marconi's and Crompton's, were attracting a large labour force and causing much development of housing and trade.

47. New Street is seen in all the fascinating variety of its original architecture. Mediaeval cottages have been patched and painted and renovated through five hundred years and more. By 1930 they are looking their age. The street's name derives from the fact that back in the thirteenth century, when the Bishop of London was Lord of the Manor of Chelmsford, he stayed at Bishop's Hall, where Hoffmann's stands today. He needed a reasonable passage from the hall to the parish church to pay his devotions, so the 'new' street was made and has eontinued to be so ealled ever since.


48. Though this postcard is dated 1912 by its former owner, the masts rising some 450 feet were not actually erected until1915. They are the original aerial masts erected for the Marconi Wireless Telegraphy Company at their big new factory and headquarters in New Street. The town of Chelmsford can be proud of the fact that the first broadcast programme of public entertainment was beamed from these aerials on 15th June, 1920, and it was picked up not only by the crystal set enthusiast to the this country, but also in many places in Europe. In the foreground the gate gives access to the railway sidings then so important in the transport of materials and products from Marconi's and from Hoffmann's just along the wad.

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