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 *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Brighton in old picture postcards'

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19. Here is King's Road in about 1902. On the right was Mutton's famous hotel and restaurant, which lasted untill929. On the left of the lamp post was the Alhambra Opera House and Theatre, before it became a silent and then a talkie cinema. Westwards are the Grand Hotel, and the Hotel Metropole, little changed externa1ly in over eighty years, But all the buildings on the extreme right have now been replaced by the large concrete Conference Centre. By today's standards the promenade surface in our photograph was very rough and uneven, because the main road was not yet tarred.

20. On October 12, 1912, the Duke of Norfolk unveiled a monument to the late King Edward VII, at the seafront boundary of Brighton and Hove. Called the Peace Statue, it was a tribute to the monarch who had often visited both towns, and was the result of a competition for the most suitable memorial. The winning entry came from a sculptor named Newbury Trent, who designed a female figure of peace at a cost of !1,000. The card shows the Duke, in a plumed hat, pulling the cord unveiling the statue. To help him there were the Brighton municipal chorus, troops of the Territorials, Royal Artillery, and Sussex Yeomanry, with the Bishop of Chichester to add a prayer. Only two years after this picture of the statue was published, the peace of Europe was shattered when the First Wor1d War broke out. The monument is now a meeting place for meetings and demonstrations.

21. This is what the elegant West Pier looked like in 1894, photographed by the Victorian Francis Frith. Although the theatre at the south end had then been built, there was not yet a central concert hall, on1y a small bandstand. The promenade, railings, shelter and seats are still there today, but the horse cabs waiting on the rank have been replaced by cars. The pier was designed by Eugenius Birch, who also built the North Pier, Blackpool, and the Brighton Aquarium. When it opened in 1866, it immediate1y became popular with fashionable residents and visitors. In 1875 more than 600,000 people paid to saunter along its wooden decks. When Mr. Frith took our photograph, new landing stages at the theatre end had just been built for steamboats. In 1983 the pier was closed and a centre of controversy. The victim of neg1ect, lack of finance, and the impact of television and other attractions, its future was uncertain.

22. This was Brighton seafront in 1903, viewed from the top of the West Pier theatre. On the right is the Hotel Metropole, long before it lost its attractive spire, now replaced by a rooftop restaurant. Opposite the entrance to the pier is Regency Square, whose householders had originally objected to the building of the two large entrance kiosks, which residents complained would spoil the sea view. A feature of both of the town's piers was the free seating along the outer railings, which was retained until after the Second World War. Sitting out on a pier deck meant having your back to the sea, because in 1903 there were no canvas deck chairs.

proff: ~yrîl's Rerial ~y,le DIva. lJe ... t pier, Bri bton,

23. In the summer of 1911-12 Professor Cyril, whose real name was Albert Higgins Heppell, gave death-defying diving exhibitions from the end of the West Pier. Three times daily, he rode on a bicycle out along the diving board and dropped far below into the sea. But on Whit-Monday bank holiday, 1912, in full view of hundreds of visitors, he was suddenly pitched from his cycle onto the iron deck, and died twenty minutes later. After this, similar acts were banned. Earlier aerial cyclists from the pier had included Professor Powsey and Professor Reddish. There were always plenty of eccentric performers to entertain the crowds. Old Black Charlie, a cheerful giant negro, who died in 1922, used to throw sticks to an enormous height, and boasted that fr om the entrance to the pier he could hurl a stick over the top of the Hotel Metropole.

.t:anoing a Shoa! of )Ylaclcera! at jJrigMon

24. Fishermen are seen landing a shoal of maekerel on the erowded beach, in 1905. The West Pier, with its theatre at the end, ean be seen in the background, and on the right, in King's Road, is the white façade of the Grand Hotel and the spire of the Metropole, sinee removed. Brighton fishermen were a superstitious lot, and it was customary to bend in, or fold and bend, the fishing nets on the beaeh - the word bend being short for benediction or blessing. The Brighton fishing trawlers were ealled Heek Boats, Hog Boats, or Hoggies. They were rigged with two spritsails, a foresail and jib, and were flat-bottomed with large bilge pieces, so that it was easy to launeh them and haul them up the pebbles, where they stayed upright when beaehed.

13righton iisn )Yiarket

25. This was the old fish market on the beach in about 1910, when local fishermen prospered, and there was a large fleet of trawlers. Most of the fishing families lived in The Lanes, or near Edward Street, and conditions had changed greatly since 1860, when alocal surgeon described the colony's families as being 'of the lowest type, all crowded together, and I have seen on Sunday momings girls of ten or twelve, or even a year or two older, walking in front of the houses absolutely stark naked'. The same observer reported: 'In the gardens and paths in front of the houses, skins and intestines of fish were lying about in every state of decomposition.' Eventually, it was the smell of fish on the beaches that led the town council, against considerable opposition, to move the fish market inland. Brighton then became a pleasure resort, not a fishing town, and no doubt the lady promenaders found the sea air more pure. Nowadays it is not easy to buy locally caught fresh fish on the beach, but a few fishermen may still be seen mending their nets and lobster pots in the arches on the lower promenade.

26. Another view of the fish hard on the beach in about 1902. Apart from the holiday trade, fishing was the main industry in the small town until about 1880, when some 150 trawlers were working from the area between Kemp Town and the Hove boundary. But after the 1914-1918 war the fish market became less profitable, fish being brought in refrigerated trains from other towns. Despite protests from the fishing families, the beach market was finally moved into the town. Our card shows the old open market, still there today, buh without fisherrnen's barrows, and with very few local marckerel, plaice, dabs, whiting and lobsters on sale. The large building in King's Road is the Old Ship Hotel. At the time our photo was taken fresh herrings were sold at twenty for a shilling; but in those days a large loaf cost only 3d., potatoes were 7 Ibs. for 6d., sugar was 2d. a lb., shoes could be soled and heeled for Is. 6d., and local ncwspapers cost a halfpenny.

27. A rooftop prospect of King's Road in about 1904, Iooking west towards the West Pier and Hove. The road had not yet been surfaced with tarmac, which was not put down until about 1907, after the Madeira Drive highway had proved a success. In those days there was a hard-standing for horse cabs on the south side of the road. The higher stretches of the pebbly beach were used by fishermen as areas for drying their nets. The road had been opened in 1822 by George IV, to celebrate the anniversary of his accession to the throne, and it was, and still is, the most popular seaside carriage way and esplanade in England. But today it looks very different; the iron railings separating the roadway from the promenade have gone; and the nets and clumsy but functional bathing machines have disappeared. Nowadays, most bathers change on the beach, the old restrictions having gene, together with the leisurely pace of the few vehicles seen in our picture.

28. The fishing fleet, including the famous Skylark pleasure yacht, is seen east of the Palace Pier in about 1890. The ownerskipper was the noted Captain Frederick Collins, a fishennan who in about 1883 started running pleasure trips from the beach. He founded the fleet of Skylarks, which were beached near the foot of West Street. His cry of 'Any more for the Skylark?' became a national catch-phrase. He was bom in Russell Street in 1832, and died in 1912, aged 80, but there had been a Collins on Brighton beach since 1700. The family were all inshore sailors, like the Killicks, Leaches, Brapples, Gunns, Rolfs, Woods, Friends, and Gillams. Frederick Collins was coxswain of the town lifeboat, and in 1887 he started the Iocal watennans' annual regatta. Three boats from the family fleet were lost at Dunkirk in 1940. Today the Skylarks are almost forgotten, and Brighton's beaches are less coIourful.

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