Bude and Stratton in old picture postcards

Bude and Stratton in old picture postcards

:   Rennie Bere and Roy Thorn
:   Cornwall
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3094-3
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Bude and Stratton in old picture postcards'

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69. Poughill has always been a well kept village but seems to have lacked many of the amenities which gave most villages their particular characteristies - there was no inn before the 1980s. 01d buildings, including these former almshouses, have ehanged little but several substantial Victorian and Edwardian houses were built well back from the road, while more recent housing estates have been kept out of sight, The church is of great interest and bears an unusual dedieation to St. Olaf; the lych-gate, just visible in this 1920s photograph, was built in 1897. There are beneh-ends like those at Launcells, the Royal Arms and a tablet commemorating the life of Sir Goldsworthy Gurney (see no. 51) which reminds us that he had brought about the adoption of a standard time throughout England - until the middle of the 19th century even Exeter used its own time.

70. We have included this picture of the Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker, who died just befare 1880, as being the most representative Victorian character in this part of Cornwall.' Bom at Stratton, married to a daughter of Ebbingford (see no, 54) and idiosyncratic vicar of Morwenstow for most of his working life, his name and memory are still with us. Author and poet, he has been the subject of bath legends and books, the best of which is Hawker of Morwenstow by Piers Brendon, scion of an old Bude family (see no. 57). Hawker wrote poems of pity for the many tragedies of the sea and of anger when he reckoned, aften wrongly, that the rescue services were failing in their duty: Ho! Gossip for Bude Haven ... the crew and skipper are wallowing in the sea.

71. Hawker's vicarage at Morwenstow, photographed in 1900, is undoubtedly the most remarkable Victorian building in the neighbourhood. There is nothing unusual about the house itself but the chimney-stacks must be unique; they were designed as replicas of towers ofthe churches with which Hawker had been associated: Stratton, Whitstone, North Tamerton and two Oxford towers. The kitchen chimney was copied from his mother's tomb. His ideal of the simple life is carved in stone above the door: A house, a glebe, a pound a day] A pleasant place to watch and pray;/ Be true to church, be kind to poor.] 0 Minister for ever more.

72. The Salt House at Widemouth Bay was virtually the only building in or near the bay when this photograph was taken, probably in 1912. The oid road, which has now been eroded into the sea, is clearly identifiabie as is Black Rock across the bay where the spirit of the evil Wrecker Featherstone is said to be irnprisoned - his legendary task is to weave a rope of sand. Families used to walk across the cliffs from Bude in those days, spend a few hours catching prawns, which were then plentiful in pools on the Widemouth beach, eat a sumptuous cream tea outside the Salt House and return in a landau or Victoria hired from Edwards of Morwenna Terrace. The more robust walked both ways.


73. This photograph of Widemouth Bay, taken in the 1920s, shows an ear1y stage in the unplanned, haphazard development which has not only changed but also disfigured this beautiful place, The photograph shows too the erosion of the low shale cliffs between the Salt House and the sea and, in the background, the pattern of fields enclosed by stonewall Cornish hedges. Fortunately the beaches and the sea, ideal for both children and surfers, cannot be changed. Individual houses occupy fine situations as do some of the smaI1 hotels - between them, these now cover much of the open ground in this picture - while many of the latter pro vide good fare and comfort.

74. This must be one of the first photographs of Bude from the air. Apparently taken in 1924, it shows Falcon Hotel in the bottom left-hand corner, the golf course in the middle distance - was the ladies' nine-hole course still functioning? - with Flexbury and some Poughill houses beyond, though not yet the building estates in those areas. Many features which are familiar today can be identified but the Recreation Ground is by no means complete. Coal is being delivered by rail to Petherick's yard on the lower wharf. There is hardly a car to be seen. The cottages of the Crescent, still well preserved, come out particularly well, They were built in the l830s when the Crescent was called South Terrace or, for some reason unknown, Frying Pan Row. The square building beside the river used to belong to the Thorn family who took most of the early photographs in this neighbourhood and many of the postcards in this coilection.


75. As we reach the end of this collection, it is weIl to remind ourselves that the prosperity and early development of Bude were based on the ketches which traded in and out of the haven. This photograph shows just such a vessel rounding Chapel Rock (see no. 4) as she leaves the harbour under full sail on an unusually ca1m day. We have not been able to identify this ketch with certainty but believe her to be Clara May, registered in Plymouth in the 1890s and brought to Bude by James Cornish in 1902. Bude remained her home port for twenty-one years; she then moved to Bideford. She had no engine while based on the haven but was so weIl maintained that she became known as Jimmy Cornish's yacht. She was finally laid up in 1953.

76. This charming photograph of Summerleaze Beach at sunset, with the breakwater and Compass Point in the background, was taken by a relative of one of the authors and bought as a postcard in 1913 by the mother of the other. It shows the camera aiready in use as a form of artistic expression, It also makes an interesting comment on the change in public taste during the past seventy years to compare this picture with some of the garish colour reproductions that dominate most postcard racks today. But the scene remains the same. As John Betjeman says in 'Greenaway':

Tide after tide by night and day The breakers battle with the land And rounded smooth along the bay The faithful rocks protecting stand.

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