Clacton-on-Sea in old picture postcards volume 1

Clacton-on-Sea in old picture postcards volume 1

:   T.A. Baker
:   Essex
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2776-9
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Clacton-on-Sea in old picture postcards volume 1'

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9. Above: THE 'BLOCKHOUSES'. In 1874 these three pairs of houses were built along Marine Parade West at a total cost of t3,OOO which was a considerable sum in those days, They were named 'Anglesea Villas', but got nicknamed 'The Blockhouses' by irreverent Clactonians of those days. It can be seen that the roads are still unmade but a gas-lamp has been installed at the top of Pier Gap. There must have been other holiday visitors around apart from the two ladies and young child going down Pier Gap for there are three or four donkeys available to give pleasure rides (left). The sea wall west of the Pier up to Tower Road was piled in March/May 1889 and officially completed in October 1889, so if the piles to be seen along the left of Pier Gap were being used for that purpose, the date of this photograph would be 1889. The 'College' is on the extreme left.

Below: THE COLLEGE. A seaside school had many attractions during late Victorian times and so it was that as the town grew, a number of small private schools were opened. The first was established very early on, in 1871, by F.J. Nunn at Verandah Lodge in Rosemary Lane. He then moved to Brunswick House in Pier Avenue (later the Brunswick Hotel and now Marshalls Amusement Arcade). This boys school, opened by Messrs, Nunn and Crouch, was known as 'The College' and was built circa 1881. The road verges were being marked out at this time by planting carefully protected saplings. There is also a standard for a gas-lamp which bas not yet been fitted. The building is now the Waverley Hotel.

10. Above: TRINITY WESLEYAN CHURCH. Trinity Wesleyan Church, seen here, was built in 1877 and the Water Tower, to the left, in 1881. The road is Pier Avenue with Rosemary Road branching off to the left and joining Old Road where the Water Tower is situated. The roads are unmade and there are no kerb stones, but trees all carefully protected by wooden palings, have been planted on the verges of the footpaths, Pier Avenue continues up into the distance where it joins Old Road, but there are no buildings yet on either side of it. The Church School Hall, which was built in 1887, is not shown in this picture, so it can be dated as being taken not long after the Water Tower was built in 1881.

Below: ST. PAUL'S CHURCH. In August, 1874, a tender of i883 was accepted for the building of a new Church on a plot of land given by H.J. Page, of Thorrowgood Farm. He was selling off plots of land eastwards of Carnarvon Road up to Victoria Gap, below Victoria Road. Later in that year the Foundation Stone for the new Church was laid by James Round, M.P. Seven years later, in 1881, the Church was enlarged. The extension ean be seen on the right of this photograph. (The roof slates show up lighter where the new extension joins the original building.) The new St. Paul's Church was built on the same site in 1965.


11. THE LIFEBOAT HOUSE. The Lifeboat House and Had1eigh Villa at the corner of Church and Carnarvon Roads near Eagle Gap. The Lifeboat was drawn on its carriage by two horses down Eagle Gap and launched from the shore: a hazardous task in an on-shore gale with a heavy sea running. The Boathouse, designed by C.H. Cooke and built in 1877-78 was enclosed by a fence to proteet it from damage by cattle. The round dormer window admitted light to the roof space which housed two large hooks for raising and lowering the boat onto its carriage. A winding staircase led up the tower to the left where a warning bell was hung to summon the crew when needed. The late Mr. George Hole, who occupied premises opposite the boathouse, related from memory how, in the days of the horse-drawn lifeboat carriage and fire engine, a bell was used to sound the waming from each establishment. Both bells were of different character and tone, and the same horses (used principally for farm work) were employed for both establishments. On hearing the bell they would make their own way to the correct spot and there await their respective crews ... (The R.N.L.l. and the Masonic Lifeboats - l.F. Trinder.) There was an inscription above the doorway: 'This Boathouse Establishment was Presented to the R.N.L.l. and Endowed in Perpetuity by the United Grand Lodge of Free-Masons of England, in Commemoration of the Safe Return from India of the Most Worshipful the Grand Master, H.R.H. Albert Edward Prince of Wales. 1877. Charles H. Cooke, Hon Architect.'

..j 12. Above: THE DRUITT COLLECnON. In 1894 a gentleman named Theodore Druitt took his family to C1acton for their summer holidays. They stayed at 'Erin Villa', Edith Road owned by Mr. & Mrs. Kingsford. Mr. Druitt was a keen amateur photographer and took his big box camera to record the holiday. Eighty years later one of the family, Miss Madge Druitt, who just remembers the holiday - she was two or three at the time - sent the collection to Clacton Library. This family group shows Mr. Druitt, sitting on the sands,

Madge Druitt, being held on top of her push-ehair, and her four brothers, Russell and Norman by the water's edge, wearing school caps, Reginald (on stool) and Clifford, on Grandma's lap. Harold Hinton, wearing a round hat and standing between the two Druitt boys by the water's edge, was a friend. Notice the formal dress, even for a frolic on the beach. Long shorts cover stockings up above the knees.

Below: A RIDE IN A GOAT-eART. This is another photograph taken by Mr. Theodore Druitt of a typical Victorian sea-side childrens' amusement, a ride in a Goat-Cart. This is similar to the one shown in photo No. 8, but has two Goats harnessed to a central pole. These are Mr. Druitt's two youngest children, Madge at the back, with Master Clifford holding the reins, Madge was about three at the time, and her brother was a year younger. Over eighty years later, she told me this was one of the incidents in the holiday that she did remember, because she had to keep still, and the Goats wouldn't! And the ride cost 2d. The picture was taken on the concrete path at the top of Pier Gap, with the Royal Hotel on the opposite side of the road. It gives a splendid idea of young childrens' dress in the 1890's.

13. WASHING THE BATHING COSTUMES. Another Druitt photograph with a splendid amount ofperiod detail. In those days, if you wanted to bathe in the sea, you hired not on1y a bathing machine but also a bathing costume. After your bathe you handed the costume back; it was then washed, put through the mangle and hung up to dry and air. The photograph shows it all clearly: wash-tub, mangle, and basket full of bathing costumes. The horse was used to pull the bathing machines down the beach to the low water line, and as the tide came in they were winched up by ropes attached to post winches, two ofwhich can be seen, one either side of the horse. The chap by the wash tub is Mr. A. Cattermole, who owned and operated most of the bathing machines.

14. PARADE OF THE BATHING MACHINES. West Beach, Clacton, in all its Edwardian glory, at high tide, on a glorious Summers' day, with a calm sea. Each bathing machine has a gang-plank with a hand-rail, so that the bathers can enter, change and then step out of the seaward end into the briny for their bathe. At the Pierhead on the extreme right of the picture can be seen the Pavilion, which was built in 1893, but this photograph, judging by the Iadies dresses, is Edwardian.

15. CLACfON'S FIRST COX'N - THE LEGENDARY LEGERTON. Robert Legerton was made Cox'n of the Tewn's first lifeboat, the 'Albert Edward', in 1878. The slipways on either side of the Pier were provided in 1886 from a legacy left by Miss Bedford. The boat was then kept on the Pier during the winter being launched down either slipway instead of from the beach. In the course of sixty-four service calls in his thirteen years as Cox'n, Robert had some hair-raising experiences, the worst of which occurred at mid-night on January 23rd, 1884 when, in mountainous seas, after she had set out to answer distress signals the lifeboat was hit by two tremendous waves, and capsized. Two men were lost but the rest managed to cling on: 'the Cox'n was swept right under the lifeboat as it went over and the experience he never forgot, nor did he care to remember it .. .' For 'Outstanding meritorious Service' he received the RNLI silver medal to which were subsequently added three clasps. Among other awards, the French gave him a Gold medal for saving the crew of sixteen from the lugger 'Madeleine' , on 23rd October 1881. Robert's last service call ten years later was both hard and eerie. He took the lifeboat out in a blizzard to the schooner 'J.W. Bebell' aground on the Gunfleet Sands. When he got to her only one mast was visible, In the rigging clung two men, all that were left of the crew. One, Hugh Owens, was alive when cut from the rigging, the other, Rice Parry, had died of exposure, being frozen to the rigging. His body was cut free and brought back. After retiring from the Lifeboat service, Robert served as Pier Master for thirty years, on Clacton Pier, and was eighty years old when he died on Sunday, September 20th,1930.

16. THE CLACTON LIFEBOATS - 1878 to 1914: 'Albert Edward' - (1878-1884), 'Albert Edward Ir - (1885-1901) and 'Albert Edward Hl' - (1902-1929). The first of these lifeboats was 34' in length, had ten oars (five each side) and two lug-sails, After her capsize in 1884, her Cox'n, Robert Legerton, advised that a larger boat be sent to the Clacton station and this was done. The second 'Albert Edward' was 39' in length, had a beam of 9' and had twelve oars (six each side). She was the first lifeboat to be fitted with a drop keel which gave a uniform increase of draught of 14 inches. She was a great improvement both in stability and sailing performance, and Robert Legerton spoke very highly of her. 'Albert Edward' - the third of that name - was sent to the Clacton station on 1st February, 1902. She was of the 'Watson' C1ass being 45' long and 12' in the beam, so being a lot larger than her two predecessors. Although a sailing craft in the first instance, she was later fitted with an auxiliary motor. The lifeboat being launched here with both sails set, is the second 'Albert Edward'. Note the rudder in the raised position. It will be lowered into position when clear of the slip-way, as would the drop keeL Her sailing rig shows a lug-sail on the fore-mast, with a gaff-rig on the Mizzen. Her crew reported that 'She sailed like a bird.'

17. SAVED BY A WHISKER! John Greer was a Commissioned Boatman in the Coastguard Service and became a member of the lifeboat crew when the first lifeboat came here in 1878. On 23rd October, 1881, he was with the crew when the 'Albert Edward' went to the aid of the French lugger 'Madeleine' aground on the Gunfleet Sands, and breaking up fast. A heavy sea caught the lifeboat and smashed her down across the lugger's deck, which enabled the lifeboatmen to haul aboard most of the crew. A ship's boy was pulled in by a boathook as he was being washed away. Another French sailor was being swept past; threw up a despairing hand, and found something to hang on to like grim death. What he had grasped was John Greer's beard as he leaned over the lifeboat's side. 'The sensation of having a man clinging to my beard was not all that pleasant ... I reached over to seize hirn, and instead he caught hold of my beard. He pulled my head down until it was under water. The man never let go until he was rescued. Yes! I had a bad face for some time afterwards, but it got alright again .. .' he told a reporter, stoically. John Greer was with Robert Legerton in the lifeboat when she capsized in 1884. 'That was about midnight and nearly nine miles from the land. The second Cox'n Cross, and Cattermole were drowned, but the rest of us managed to get back into the boat after she had righted herself.' The photo shows John Greer wearing his award from the French Government and bis Silver and Long Service medals (RNLl).

18. FIRE! FIRE! In 1892 the Clacton Local Board purchased a 'First Class Steam Fire Engine'. The steam presumably operating the water pump. In March, 1894, following several disastrous fires the town, the Board built and opened a Fire in Skelmersdale Road near the Railway Station. Six years later, the Council established a Town Yard, or Highways Department adjoining their Waterworks in Old Raad, and here a new Station was provided, housing this the original horse-drawn Fire Engine , which served the town for twenty-seven years. The proficiency of this Volunteer Brigade was rewarded when, in June , 1905, they won the coveted Clinton Shield at the old Crystal Palace. The Chief of the Fire Brigade was Captain C.F. Hili. These are probably the famous harses who knew the difference between the Fire Brigade Bell and the Life-Boat Bell (see No. 11). As this is a special occasion, for they are all wearing their Medals, could it be in 1905, after they had just won that 'coveted Clinton Shield'? Their Superintendent was D. Wall, and the rest of the team at the Crystal Palace event were: F. Mathams. J. Puddy, A. Reed, H. Land and G. Jeffers, known to all as 'Darky' Jeffers, who later became the Chief.

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