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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39. This is what the Old Steine gardens looked like in about 1895. The large enclosed public space in the centre of the town, greatly changed today, still surrounds the Victoria Fountain seen here, which was designed by Amon Henry Wilds in 1846. The fountain was bought by public subscription and is made of cast iron, supported by three dolphins, mounted on ancient Druid's temple stones. Among the trees in this postcard is the statue of George IV, which was removed in 1922 to its present position near the north gate of the Pavillon. Because of the swampy nature of the land, through which the Wellsbourne stream flowed, and now runs underground, the Steine has never been built on. Fisherrnen once laid out their nets to dry on what was originally a grass comman where goats and hens strayed, But when the town became fashionable, it was enclosed behind iron raillngs. The pleasant Victorian bandstand in the photo has now gone, but the central fountain is still there,


40. One of Brighton's best-known residential areas, Regency Square, opposite the entrance to the West Pier, in about 1910. In those days the square looked more sedate and formal than it does now. Horse-drawn cabs and a covered bath chair are seen waiting for hire. Bath chairs, pulled by elder1y men, were a feature of the promenades fr om ear1y Victorian days until the ear1y 1930's. They were often made of basket work, with highly polished panels. Old ladies and aged gentlemen, living in either Brighton or Hove, sat back on leather seats protected from sunshine and rain by collapsible hoods. The policeman in the photograph wears a white helmet, which all Brighton constables wore in the summer. The memorialon the left was erected to commemorate the men of the Royal Sussex Regiment killed in the Boer War. The houses around the square were, and still are, mostly private hotels and flats. The iron railings were removed for scrap metal, to be turned into munitions during the 1939-1945 war. Today there is a large car park under Regency Square, but the lawn has been preserved.

41. Here we see the Royal Sussex Regimental memorial in Regency Square being unveiled on October 29, 1904. It was erected as a tribute to 152 soldiers of the county regiment who died in the South African war against the Boers. Below the statue is the Marquis of Abergavenny, Lord Lieutenant of Sussex. The Duke of Norfolk is recognised by his white bearded face. Before pulling the cord revealing the bronze statue of a bugier, the marquis told the crowd that it was modelled on a sergeant who had sounded the charge which sent the battalion sweeping the enemy before them. The Duke of Richmond, the Bishop of Chichester, Colonel Campion, and other local notables are also seen beneath the statue. Since this event the monument has become the regirnent's memorial for both the 1914 and 1939 wars.

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42. The town's tramway system opened on November 25, 1901. Cars are seen here opposite the statue of Queen Victoria near the Royal Pavillon in about 1904. Most traffic was then horse-drawn, and motors were rare. The electric trams served the population well, but were exc1uded from the seafront because of their ugly poles and wires. Electricity was supplied from a power plant in North Road. The original network covered nearly ten miles of track, with eight routes. At first there were thirty cars, then forty, all built by corporation engineers at the Lewes Road depot. However, the increasing number of motorists came to dislike the cars, from which passengers had to alight at stops in the centre of the street. When the 1939 war started the system was demolished, sorne of the gold, brown, and cream cars being sold for only iS each.

43. Crowds from Brighton race-eourse are seen with tramcars at the top of Elm Grove, in 1902. On the right is the wall of the old workhouse, built in 1866 and now incorporated into the General Hospital. The Corporation began running e1ectric trams in November 1901, replacing the horse buses. The old horse-drawn vehicles had found it difficult to climb the town's seven hills, but trams moved powerfully. The lust tram routes included New England Hill, Ditchling Road, and Elm Grove; a penny fare carried a passenger for about one and a quarter miles. The trams brought outlying districts within easy reach of the town centre and seafront, offering cheap and frequent service. But from July 1918, when Thomas Tilling's buses were introduced, the tramway system was threatened. As motor traffic increased, boarding and alighting from these beautiful monsters became more hazardous. When cars, lorries, and vans were held up by the slow, noisy, swaying tramcars, wealthier people rebelled against the poor rnan's method of transport. By August 31, 1939, all trams were withdrawn in favour of trolley-buses.

44. Here is Meeting House Lane, in the centre of the old town, in about 1912. This ancient network of narrow streets, known as twittens, is called the Lanes, and lies in the area between the sea, North Street, East Street, and West Street. lt is the heart of the original small fishing town of Brighthelmston, where flint and pebble cottages were rebuilt after 1514, when French raiders burnt and looted the entire district, except for St. Nicolas's Church, which was locked. In Victorian and Edwardian days these narrow passages were not as attractive as now. Poorly lit, crumbling, neglected and unsanitary, they housed poor fishing folk, junk shops, small traders, beer houses, and artisans. Meeting House Lane looks quite different since our card was published. The Lanes now offer a wealth of neat gift shops, cafés, eating houses, and jewellry and bric-a-brac dealers. They have a continental atmosphere, and are always crowded with tourists. Sir Hugh Casson called the district Brighton's Kasbah. lt is certainly a mecca for bargain hunters.

45. The Old Times coach, with a team of four harses, is seen leaving the Hotel Metropole for London, via Henfield, on May 1, 1913. The coach ran regularly throughout the summer under the sponsorship of the millionaire MI. Vanderbilt. The driver on this run, holding a whip, was Lord Leconfield, the county's Lord Lieutenant. As owner of Petworth House and large portions of West Sussex, he was a countryman who loved harses and old traditions. Passengers on top of coaches have always been required to wear hats, The shop beneath the clock, in the centre of the card, is now the Cannon Inn, completely rebuilt, with an open air restaurant. The raad seen on the right is Cannon Place, still there, but greatly altered.

46. This was the motor omnibus Vanguard, which inaugurated the fust regular service between London and Brighton in August 1905. This two-decker, with solid tyres and outside staircase, left the Hotel Victoria in London at 9.30 on weekday mornings, arriving at Brighton at 2.00 p.m, It returned from Brighton at 4.00 p.m., reaching London five hours later. At that time most travellers went by train, which was faster and more comfortable, but the new omnibus was cheaper. A few years later, motor buses and char-a-bancs connected all the towns and villages of Southern England, and the Southdown company was running regular services throughout Sussex, as it still does.

47. Today the Manor Farm at Whitehawk, East Brighton, is covered by houses and roads, but in the summer of 1906, when this postcard was published, it was used as a military camp, hired by the army for volunteer battalions on training. Under canvas were troops of the 3rd County of London Imperial Yeomanry, known as the Sharpshooters, who had been formed to fight as volunteers in the Boer War. They are seen camped here, with their horse lines visible in the centre of the rows of bell tents. Kemp Town and the coast are seen in the background, with the two large gas holders visible, while the buildings of Roedean girls' school can be seen on the skyline to the left,


48. Regular soldiers of the 2nd Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment in camp near Rottingdean in July 1908. This posteard was mailed only a few days after it was published, the halfpenny green Edward VII stamp being franked August 3. It was sent from the YMCA tent in the camp by a soldier to his wife or mother at 7 Fairlawn Road, Wimbiedon. The only message he sent was 'Alright Love, Yours -' followed by three uncipherable initials. Only six years later all the young men in the photograph were involved in a war in which few could have survived. The East Surreys suffered very heavy casualties, and one ean only wonder what happened to the soldier who sent this postcard in 1908.

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