Beckenham in old picture postcards volume 1

Beckenham in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Muriel V. Searle
:   Beckenham
:   Greater London
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4541-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2-3 weken (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Beckenham in old picture postcards volume 1'

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59. A characteristic example of a medium sized older Beckenham property in its heyday. 'Fairlight' (Number 36 The Avenue, whose site is now taken for flats) housed the Link and Crosdale families, keen horticulturalists who could afford to employ two gardeners whose responsibilities included two or three greenhouses, growing such exotic plants as orchids; the master of the house expected a perfect orchid to be available each morning as a buttonhole. The mistress meanwhile indulged her passion for keeping canaries. Any house possessing spare rooms during the Great War was required to billet troops, such large ones as these in Albemarle Road might take in several; their pleasure was to shout across the intervening railway to children in the gardens of 'Fairlight' , whose owner even invited them to use his immaculate croquet lawn. What greater contrast could there be than croquet and the coming camage of Flanders?

60. 'During the past month a commencement has been made by instruction of Peter Hoare Esq., to erect a Cottage Hospital, to which it is intended to attach baths and wash-houses. This boon to the inhabitants of Beckenham cannot fail to be much appreciated. When will the like advantages be obtainable at Bromley?' asked the 'Bromley Record' in April 1869. In fact, Beokenham was among the first towns to adopt this idea, 'The institution has proved of great utility to the district: it could be said only twenty years later. Even now it keeps a bit of its old appearance as seen from the raad, though much enlarged bebind this attractive frontage. The main patient entrance is still by the portico seen at right in this card dated 1918. Ward names aften reflect local bistory; here they include a StilweIl Ward, a reminder that Doctor R. StilweIl was at one time Beckenham's only doctor. A descendant practiced in Manor Road until about 1980.

61. Balgowan School, a mixed primary school, was built in 1915: just in time to serve a totally contrasted purpose, as a military hospital, run by the Red Cross. This card appears to show a ward newly set up and awaiting the first wave of patients, with the beds made up but empty. Despite wartime restrietions and shortages, there are concessions to morale and comfort; each bed has an attraetive floral cover.

62. A marvellously nostalgie scene from the First World War, showing a Beokenham ambulance crew in about 1916. Dr. Randall is on the far side, and Dr. George Stilwell in the foreground. Beckenham had at least three military hospitals during the war, at Balgowan School, Christ Church halls, and Kelsey mansion. The Cottage Hospital was directly interlinked with the Naval Brigade depot at the Crystal Palace, whose gigantic aisles were given over to billeting thousands of troops and naval men throughout the conflict. lts temporary name was H.M.S. Crystal Palace; as it was thus technically a ship, men going on leave or into military hospitals were described as going ashore.

63. Dr. Tim Randall in uniform during the Great War, whilst working at the Balgowan military hospital. Some medical families served Beckenham for two or three generations, including the Randalls and the Stilwells. Dr. R.M.H. Randall was an early board member and Honorary Medical Officer of the Cottage Hospital, from 1895 through to 1925; a span of three decades. Dr. Robert Stilwell, Beckenharn's earliest GP, also worked for the Cottage Hospital, another early Medical Officer, from 1872 to 1887. His suceessors included Dr. George Stilwell, again involved in casualty medicine during the First World War.

64. Kingswood Road with very little housing, deserted but for a squad of troops apparently forming-fours in the middle of the road. During the Great War hundreds of men were officially billeted in Shortlands, Beckenharn and Bromley; housebolders with even one unneeded room were required to take them in, and were paid an allowance for their keep. The Soldiers' Club at Bromley was centred on the Central Hall and Congregational Church; it was legendary for its hospitality and entertainment, attended by the billeted men from all over these three districts. Local musicians and entertainers gave their services and all manner of 'comforts' were given out. Concerts for troops were given at many local halls, such as the Public Hall at Beckenharn or the various church halls there. The few mansion-like properties of old Kingswood Road are now complemented by the more expensive variety of 19308 housing.

Short!anas Road, Shortlands

65. The Old Cottage (formerly The Old Farmhouse), opposite Shortlands station, serenely stands aloof from the changes of the centuries: the development of tracks into highways, the coming of trains and buses, and two world wars. It still looks much the same, though all around it continually changes. Bebind the trees (eentre) was a great Edwardian house with elaborate conservatories, where one owner of the 1960s bred superb Afghan hounds. Legend associates the Cottage with the poet Shelley, believed to have changed horses there on visits to the prominent economist Ricardo, related to the owners of nearby Shortlands House (now Bishop Challoner School), to which a farm track ascended from this house. Along the rnain foreground road from Beokenham traffic now almost eternally runs, joined by more from the other road, controlled by lights placed where the single figure is pictured walking in about 1915.

66. Could ever Ravensbourne Avenue have looked Iike this? It did, in the early 19205, and in fact the rough gravelly surface remained unmade until well after the Second World War, all the way to Ravensbourne; a country station more rural than many in the real country, even today, despite a reeent fire, There begins the Beckenham Plaee estate, approaehed by a long drive frorn Ravensbourne, Ravensbourne Avenue has long been noted for its rnagnifieent mature ehestnut trees; less well-known now is the fact that a piggery existed in suburbia until some twenty years ago, directly under the high railway embankment approaehing Shortlands. until replaced by two or three new houses wedged between the road and railway. Much open country survives behind the houses, where Shortlands golf course runs from The Village almost to Ravensbourne, joining with other sports fields and then with Beokenham Place Park.

67. Modern Shortlands developed, on both sides of the railway, primarily out of a handful of houses erected in 1865 in then Ionely Kingswood Road, formerly part of the Shortlands Estare. It was fust mentioned by name on a map of 1723. Until comparatively modern times, Shortlands House (now Bishop Challoner School) and The Old Cottage, still standing opposite the station, were the only buildings there, Ravensbourne Avenue links Shortlands and Ravensbourne stations, ending within sight of Beckenham Place Park. The lodge-like building at the right is still there.


hortland Road. Shortland .

68. An old style street lamp - of which a few still exist in Shortlands - is a reminder that public lighting has only been common during the past century or less, Beckenharn Local Board, meeting in January 1886, spent much time discussing 'the lighting of Shortlands'; a subject which had several times been debated and then shelved without action. Now it was revived, with the Surveyor reeommending three extra lights in the village. And about time: Shortlands lagged behind eighteen other loeal parishes, paying a Lighting Rate but still without light. Only a couple of miles away 'Beckenham proper' was gaslit by about 1892, by two companies (from Bromley and Crystal Palace ); and rumour believed that 'the fair young goddess Electra' was about to benefit the town. Electrie light in fact reaehed Beckenham in 1900.

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