Brighton in old picture postcards

Brighton in old picture postcards

:   John Montgomery
:   Brighton
:   Sussex, East
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2725-7
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Brighton in old picture postcards'

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9. This was the famous Royal Suspension Chain Pier in about 1889. It was opened in George IV's reign, in 1823, and stretched out to sea hung on chains fixed into the cliff. It was one of the first feats of suspension engineering, built to provide a maritime promenade, and also embarkation facilities for the ever-increasing passenger traffic between England and France. Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort landed at the end of the pier from France in 1843, and 1829 the Duke and Duchess of Clarence, afterwards King WilIiam IV and Queen Adelaide, arrived there from Dieppe. The pier was damaged by rough seas in 1824, 1833, and 1836, and after being declared unsafe and c1osed, it was destroyed in a night storm in 1896, when the Palace Pier to the west was a1ready being built to replace it. Today, a small brass plate on the railings of Madeira Drive indicates where the pier joined the cliff, and at low tide the concrete bases of two of the towers may still be seen in the sand.

10. The iron railings on the upper promenade look exactly the same near1y a hundred years after this postcard was published. But the view in about 1890 was unique because it showed all three piers. The nearest, the Royal Chain Pier, had only five more years of life; the Palace Pier was still being built; and the West Pier, seen in the distance, was then the most popular of the three. The two domed entrance kiosks at the shore end of the Chain Pier may still be seen today, on the Palace Pier. Almost everything in our photograph has changed, except for the railings and the Royal Albion Hotel, seen on the right,

11. Men are seen bathing in the nude from the Men's Beach, west of the skeleton Palace Pier, in about 1895. They were in fuil view of promenaders near the Aquarium. The Victorians were not really prudish. Men insisted on bathing naked, and for this reason wamen were given their own beaches. lt was not until 1863 that male bathers reluctantly started wearing long bathing drawers, called calecons, but nude bathing was not illegal, and many men continued to swim in the nude. The Brighton Gazette said that they stood brazenlyon the steps of the bathing machines with their persons wholly exposed. Mixed bathing was not introduced until July 1901. The seawater craze had been made fashionable by DL Russeil of Lewes, who advised patients with heart, liver, and kidney problems not only to dip their bodies into the ocean, but also to drink it.

12. Our postcard shows Pearce's bathing beach for ladies only, with mobile bathing machines, in about 1897. The photograph was taken from the deck of the Palace Pier, then being built. The beach is opposite the old Aquarium, whose tower is seen on the left, and according to corporation regulations no men were allowed to bathe there. The old Chain Pier may be seen on the right of the picture. A man in a top hat lies on the pebbles, apparently very interested in watching the Iadies. The houses on the skyline have not changed much over the years, and many are still recognisable today. In earlier years this had been a men's bathing beach, as will be seen in our previous postcard numbered 11.

13. Promenaders are seen sauntering on the Palace Pier in about 1900, with the Royal Albion Hotel in the background. The winter garden, theatre, and concert pavilion had not yet been built, but at night the pier was lit by thousands of coloured lights. The hard wooden seats on the promenade deck were all free, deck chairs not yet being in vogue. When new buildings were added, the pier later became a model for other seaside pleasure promenades, but few were so elegant. This card was sent to Master Victor Bayton of 43 Bolingbrook Grove, Wandsworth Common, London, by someone named Doris, who wrote: I hope you are feeling better. We have been spending the day here. lam writing this in the train. She posted it in London that night, and no doubt it was delivered next morning. In an age when telegrams and telephone calls were beyond the reach of most people, postcards were the cheapest and quiekest method of communication.


14. Although the Palace Pier was opened in 1890, the Moorish-style, large theatre at the southern end was not built until1901. Our card shows it a year later, an ornate oriental show place on the bare wooden deck which compares strangely with the built-up but now derelict and abandoned building of 1984. Note the lady on the left, peering into a peepshow machine. The theatre, like that on the West Pier, attracted touring stage companies, summer shows, musical comedies, dramas, and stock and repertory seasons. In the days before television, when the wireless was young, people went to theatres a great deal. Many players who later became celebrities performed on the wide stage of this playhouse, which was handsomely designed, with gilded cherubs and ornate decorations.

15. This is what the Palace Pier looked like in about 1913, when it was fourteen years old. Building had begun in 1891, but the deck was not completed until 1899, due to lack of money. The theatre at the southern end, seen on the extreme left of our card, was added in 1901, but closed in the 1970's. The pier replaced the old Royal Chain Pier of 1823, destroyed in a storm in 1896, but the riyal West Pier had been open since 1866. The present entrance to the Palace Pier is less attractive than the one shown in the picture. Note also the open char-a-banc in the foreground, waiting to take visitors on a mystery tour or a trip into the country for a shilling tea at Arundel, Beeding, or Steyning. The letters BMPP above the ornate entrance stand for Brighton Marine Palace Pier, which was still the cernpany's official title over seventy years later.

16. Inside the Winter Gardens on the Pa!ace Pier in about 1912. Striped awnings below the roof protected the public from the rays of the sun, which in those days were considered unhealthy, and even dangerous. The Edwardian fountain, with its marbie Brighton dolphins, added to the elegance of a g!ass and steel structure that was typical of seaside architecture at its best. Concerts were given here, and famous orchestras and military bands attracted large audiences. Today the building is called the Palace of Fun, and although it has altered Iittle outside, the interior contains only modern slot machines, games of chance, and bingo booths, The extraordinary magnificence of the oid Edwardian concert hall has vanished forever, but the old ironwork is still there.

17. Crowds on the seafront look skywards, on Saturday November 8, 1913. Above the Palace Pier flies the winning entry in England's first great air race from London aerodrome, Hendon. The pilots had to fly south, pass over the Palace Pier - indicated by a balloon - land at nearby Shareham flying ground, have lunch at the Royal York Hotel in the Old Steine, and return to London. The favourite was Gustav Hamel, who had won the Aerial Derby Gold Cup. There were eleven entrants, although on1y five finished the race. The first plane to reach the Palace Pier was piloted by the French aviator Pierre Verrier, in the biplane seen in our card. He completed the round trip in 2 hours, 39 minutes, but Hamel taak on1y 1 hour, 40 minutes.

18. This is Brighton's favourite pioneer aviator, Gustav Hamel, photographed in his monoplane after the great London-Brighton air race in 1913. Pierre Verrier, being first on handicap, won the price of i100, and Hamel taak the second prize of i25, but because he was the fastest in the race he also won the Barclay Walker trophy and iSO. After the race the Brighton Gazette said: It is impossible to estimate toa highly the service done to Brighton by the promoters of the race. But only a few months later Gustav Hamel was tragically killed while flying from Boulogne to Hendon. A naval cruiser, four destroyers, and a flotilla of gunboats with two seaplanes searched for the missing pilot and plane, but neither was found.

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