Brighton in old picture postcards

Brighton in old picture postcards

Auteur
:   John Montgomery
Gemeente
:   Brighton
Provincie
:   Sussex, East
Land
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-2725-7
Pagina's
:   144
Prijs
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Brighton in old picture postcards'

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59. Another aerial view, which was apparently taken by the same cameraman on the same day, shows the noble proportions of Lewes Crescent and Sussex Square in Kemp Town. The vast scale of Thomas Read Kemp's suburb at the east end of the town is apparent. The layout closely follows John Nash's development of Regent's Park in London, but Kemp was more ambitious. He originally planned to build more than double the number of houses that are shown in our picture, but he ran out of money. The fa├žades of some of the buildings in the crescent and square were completed by 1826, but the interiors of the society mansions were all different, and by 1834 only thirty-six were occupied. The card clearly shows the underground tunnel, private to residents, which still links the gardens of the estate with the beach. But the gas holders on the right have gone, and most of the fields have been built over. The line of Volk's railway can be seen on the seashore, and the area at the top of the picture has now been absorbed by the modern council housing estates of Whitehawk and Manor Hill.

60. This postcard of Brighton seafront and West Street, taken from the air in about 1922, shows many buildings that have since been replaced. The large church in the centre is St. Paul's, West Street, a landmark for fisherrnen and sailors. The old Cannon Street brewery can be seen on the left, and the rounded roofs of the railway station are apparent at the top of Queen's Road. All the buildings in the centre of the seafront have been demolished to make way for the Kingswest entertainment centre and the large Conference hall, but the buildings in the foreground, on the right, remain largely unaltered. The dark patch at the top left corner of the card marks the trees around St. Nicolas's Church and along the Dyke Road. The flat roof of the large Regent Cinema, built in 1921, may been seen on the right of Queen's Road, near the Clock Tower.

61. On June 23,1906, Preston Old Church was seriously damaged by fire. After over five hundred years of history, the church on the northern boundary of Brighton was reduced by flames to a wreek. Built in the reign of Henry II, within an hour its roof was entirely destroyed, the organ was completed burnt out, stained glass windows were smashed, walls begrimed, and ancient frescoes damaged, But although the bells in the tower were damaged, they did not fall. They are still there, in the carefully restored building. One bell is dated 1631, one 1714, and the other was probably cast in about 1800. The frescoes, dating from Edward I, have since been renovated, but all that was left of the nativity screen were the feet of the figures and the base of the manger. The fire was caused by choirboys smoking in the tower. Today, the church, next to Preston Manor house, is visited by many tourists every day.

62. e.G. Reed's Regent iron foundry on the corner of North Road and Foundry Street, as it was in about 1890. It produced the central railway station bridges over Trafalgar Street and New England Road, and the railings around the Level, Queen's Park, and Victoria Gardens, as well as street drains, cellar tops, and sorne of the pier work. The foundry, ernploying about a hundred workers, had two large bearn steam engines, and for rnany years it prospered, its nearest rival being at Lewes. But the town's ironwork did not wear out, and seldom needed replacing. After the building of ornamental railings on the race course stand, orders dwindled and the cornpany eventually went bankrupt. The flint buildings have now been replaced by the Post Office sorting departrnent, built in the 1930's.

63. This was narrow West Street in about 1890, looking north towards the Clock Tower and railway station. Many of the houses on the right remain recognisable. The tall Grand Skating Rink had been a concert hall, and was later a cinema before becoming Sherry's Dance Hall. In those days of horse-drawn traffic the streets were rough, dusty in hot weather and muddy when it rained. To keep the dust dow.n,w:Wii carts with sprinklers were employed on the roads. The Victorian red-brick building on the right is now Wheeler's Sheridan Restaurant and Hotel. The spire of St. Paul's Church can be seen at the top left corner of the photograph. Because the church lies back from the road, it has never been affected by street widening or development.

64. This is the same southern end of West Street in about 1905, looking northwards. All the buildings on the left have since been replaced, except for St. Paul's Church. The George Inn and Sea View Coffee House on the left were demolished in 1935 to make way first for the Sports Stadium and later the Odeon Cinema, which is now derelict. The George was the third inn of that name, and was a favourite with tradesmen. lt is thought to have been built on the site of the King's Head, where Charles II stayed the night before escaping to France. In 1890 the street surface was rough, dusty in summer and muddy in winter.

65. This is an unusual court postcard, with rounded edges, published in about 1910 and posted in 1913. It shows the Victoria Hotel and Sweeting's popular restaurant, on the corner of King's Road and West Street. Today both of these seafront businesses have been taken over by Wheeler's, who have an hotel upstairs and the Sheridan restaurant below. Dur card shows an open landau waiting for hire on the rank, while on the right is a dust cart, a farnilar sight in late Victorian and Edwardian times, when water or fine gravel had to be constantly thrown over the stone road surfaces. Where are all the people? The Brighton streets seem to have been relatively quiet and deserted in those days.

66. On a summer afternoon, probably in 1900, these passers-by posed for a photographer in Pool Valley, off Grand Junction Road, which is now a crowded bus and coach terminus. The Olde Bunne Shop, the jewellers, and the shops in the background were still th ere over eighty years later, but the buildings on the right were removed before the 1914-1918 war. On the left are Brill's Baths, which in 1860 had replaced the earlier Creek's Baths. Since 1931, Brill's corner site has been occupied by the giant ABC (Savoy) Cinema, with a car park underneath.

67. The photograph was taken at the opening of Volk's electric railway, the fust in Britain, on Brighton seafront on August 4, 1883. Magnus Volk, in a peaked cap, stands on the car's open platform, on the left. The son of a German clockmaker, he made his own clocks, electric telegraph machines, and other inventions, and introduced electric light to his own house and the Royal Pavilion. He also installed the town's first telephone system, and astreet fire alarm which is still used all over the world. When he began experimenting with this electric railway, the town council gave him permission to lay a short length of narrow gauge track along the edge of the beach eastwards from the Aquarium to the Chain Pier. The enterprise was so successful that Mr. Volk was allowed to continue the track for a further mile. Since those early days, at least sixty million people have used the railway. With some of the old Victorian cars still in use, it continues to attract passengers every year.

68. This was what Volk's electric railway looked like in 1903, when the line ran on tall wooden piles above the sea. It was founded in 1883 as the first electric railway in the United Kingdom. Six years later the versatile inventor built another notabie first achievement, the world's first electric dogcart, which he sold to the Sultan of Turkey, He was present at the 50th anniversary celebrations of his railway in 1933, and made his last public appearance on May 7, 1937, when he drove one of his original cars from the Aquarium terminal to the redesigned Black Rock station at Kemp Town. After more than a hundred years of history , the little railway now runs along the beach, but not above the waves.

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