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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19. This is Rose Cottage, one of the oldest houses in the new 'watering place' of Clacton-on-Sea, for it was built in 1872, in Rosemary Lane, between the 'Osbome' and the 'Imperial'. In a 1901 Guide to Clacton it was claimed to be the oldest house. The two Osborne Hotel villas were being built in January 1872, so these were probably the fust dwellings to be built in the 'new' Town. Rose Cottage was taken over by William Wright in 1886 to sell Wines and Spirits, and the shop still survives in Rosemary Road. This is a carefully posed picture showing two of Mr. Wright's delivery vans, the driver of the right hand one in uniform, with whip at the correct angle. Possibly the gentleman with the sitting dog is Mr. Wright himself. If you look carefully at the centre window on the first floor you will see a female figure; is it the lady of the house watehing the proceedings from behind the curtains with great interest? Note also the two large ornamental dogs on top of the protruding shop front.

"GneOsborne" fam anà Commercial J(o~ Clactori-ori-Sea.

Geo, Bento Propristor Comfortabt accomodatio all the yea


20. OLDEST VILLAS AND OSBORNE HOTEL. In 1871 Mrs. Frances Greenhill, the wife of a Colchester tailor, purchased part of the garden of a cottage and by the end of that year she was erecting a pair of villas on the site which were ready for occupation early in 1872 se, although the 1901 'Guide to Clacton' claims Rose Cottage (see No. 19) as the first house to be built in the new town, that distinetion should more properly go to these two villas, seen here on the left. The 'Osborne' itself began life as a private residence known as Osborne House. It was taken over by William Middleton of Colchester in 1876 and becarne (The) Osborne Hotel. He added on the adjoining block with the turret in the following year in imitation of Queen Victoria's famous Osborne House on the Isle of Wight which has a similar turret. This postcard dates from mid-Edwardian times and George Benton's establishment was a very popular 'Family and Commercial' hotel in those days. When under different ownership, the then landlady's son, a daring youth, is said to have ridden his horse up the Hotel's steep stairs for a wager.

21. Above: EAGLE CRESCENT. This handsome crescent, built in 1880, curves round from Marine Parade East into Beach Road. The houses in it had just been occupied at the time of the 1881 Census, and this view cannot be long afterwards. The roads are unrnade and there is only a primitive attempt at kerbing.

Below: ORWELL ROAD - EARL Y TERRACE HOUSES AND DET ACHED VILLAS. This photograph shows typical early development building in Clacton for these terrace houses (middle right) and the semi-detached houses on the left hand side of Orwell Road are quite new at the time it was taken in the late 1880's. Looking up Orwell Road, you can see the 'Osborne Hotel' in Rosemary Lane. The gas streetlamp is on the corner where the road joins Marine Parade East. The roads and footpaths are unrnade although kerb-stones have been laid. The making up of the various roads in the centre of Clacton began in 1891. The building on the front right of the picture was a lecture hall before it became Harman's Estate Agent's Office.

22. BROMLEY'S MILL (GREAT CLACTON). In 1867 Mr. Charles Beekwith erected a steam mill in Old Road (now Denco's) and at that time this old Post Mil! was still working. It was a fine example of this type of mill where the whole of the upper part revolves on a central post so that the main sails are kept faeing the wind. This is done by vanes at right angles to the sails whieh automatieally shift the upper part of the mill when the wind veers. In 1886 Mr. H. Bromley took over the Steam-mill and the Post-mill from Mr. Beekwith. Prior to Mr. Bromley taking possession, in May, 1888, the Mill had been closed [or 2 years, and the old Windmill had ceased to work ... (Clacton Graphic, 1909). It still stood, gradually falling into disrepair, until it was demolished in March, 1918. Windmill Park and Mill Fields are reminders of its existence. A predecessor was located up Thorpe Rd and was blown down one stormy night. The genial miller is saiä to have been playing there on his fiddle at the time, but emerged safely from an uptumed window, fiddle in hand ... (K. Walker, History of Clacton).

23. Above: 'QUEEN'S HEAD'. GREAT CLACTON. Possibly named after Queen Elizabeth I, who twice stayed at St. Osyth's Priory, the home of John, Lord D'Arcy. On one of these she journeyed to Harwich and so could have traveIled along this road, tuming left up North Road. This postcard shows the smithy and the redoubtable MI. Pigg, 'robust of frame and strong oflimb', standing beside the rear horse. 'As weIl as carrying on a business as farrier, (he) became landlord of the 'Queen's Head'. During the time that Napoleon was banished to St. Helena, Mr. Pigg's grandmother 'became superintendent of his laundry, and was brought into touch with the fallen monarch.' To the right can be seen the horse-omnibus which operated between Great C!acton and St. Osyth until midEdwardian times. The fellow shoeing the horse is likely to be 'Bomber' Beaumont, who would shout very loudly 'Hold your leg UP.' The horses knew him and often lifted their legs up before he shouted. During the Napoleonic war there was a military presence at the school field in North Road and elsewhere and 'The fine, large room with bay windows at the 'Queen's Head' was built for a ballroom during the time the military were stationed here' (about 1809). Below: THE MANSION HOUSE, GREAT CLACTON. On the opposite side of North Road to the 'Queen's Head' The Mansion House was probably built about 1720. It was demolished in 1966. For many years it was the home of the Field family, i.e. William Field, of Great Clacton, who married ArabeIla, illegitimate daughter of Richard Savage, 4th Earl Rivers. a noted general in Marlborough's time. Their son, William Field the younger, became the leading local attomey, and lived from 1709 to 1783. At the time this photograph was taken, not long before it was demolished, part of it was being used as an Antiques shop.

24. Above: THE VILLAGE, GREAT CLACfON. Great CIacton village abounded in such cottages as these in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. At the time this picture was taken in mid-Edwardian times, there were still severaI, but the last were pulled down in the 1960's. A peaceful scene in those days, where children need not worry about standing in the middie of the road, oblivious to traffic, because there was very littie and you could always hear a horse and cart coming. To-day, just where they are standing, a pedestrian crossing has had to be installed to enable people to get across an extremely busy road. Note the crenellated top to the belfry of St. John's Church (left, background). This was damaged circa 1913 and replaced by the present top (see picture below).

Below: ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, GREAT CLACTON. Parts of this Church date back to the time of Richard de Belmeis who became Bishop of London in 1108. K. Walker writes that Richard Beaumeis visited Chich, which at that time formed part of the domain of Ciachenton where he had a house. The tower dates from the fifteenth century (early) but it was never completed because the Abbey's finances were in a bad way. 11 is now capped by a weatherboard belfry. The previous picture shows the crenellated top which was damaged and replaced by this present structure about 1913. The remains of Roman bricks and tiles have been incorporated into the main fabric of the walls. One of the peal of five bells is inscribed 'Miles Gray made me, 1649', the year King Charles I was beheaded. Eleazar Knox, son of the famous Scottish reformer John Knox, was Vicar of St. John's from 1587 until his early death in 1591. The font is six hundred years oid.

25. THE SHIP INN. The 'Ship Inn' was built about 1520. It is near 'Eaglehurst' in Valley Road, which was built in the nineteenth century by Dr. Thomas Harding Newman around the notorious srnugglers haunt of a certain Captain Webb. Great C1acton was a centre of smuggling in the eighteenth century, and many a cargo of spirits, silk, tea or tobacco was landed on its desolate shores. Being so handy nearby, it is possible that the 'Ship Inn' was Captain Webb's 'loeal' and may have had a touch of the forbidden merchandise. Rumour has it that there are subterranean passages beneath the old village; from the Church towards St. John's Square; at the Hall; the Ship Inn, Eaglehurst and the Queen's Head. If they existed it cannot be ruled out that such convenient hidey holes-might have been used by smugglers. One Summers day in 1797, a French privateer was forced onto the shore by a Revenue Cutter. lts crew of 24 Frenchrnen were rounded up after a chase and to celebrate their success the victors gathered that evening in the 'Ship' where they consumed 400 pints of ale whilst the tale was told. In front of the 'Ship' and along the Street, a Fair was held each year on 29th June - St. Peter and St. Paul's day - it was abolished in 1872 after a life of over seven hundred years. (K. Walker - 'History of Clacton'.) But the 'Ship' and its nautical connections still survive.

26. HOW THE TRAMES BARGES UNLOADED AT CLACTON. These photographs show how the barges unloaded their cargoes, which were mostly building materials such as bricks, sand, cement, timber, etc., and flints for making up roads. The first photograph is of the barge 'Ash'. You can see that they need three horses to pull quite a small cart up over the sand and shingle onto the Wash Lane, Such a method of unloading was airight in mild conditions but was a hazardous business if the weather turned nasty. Waves could break right over the hull and the barge could be lifted up and thumped down on the shingle, rather as would happen if she were aground on the Gunfleet Sands, a fate which in those days 'shivered the timbers' of many an unfortunate ship. In such an emergency, those barges with a cargo of bricks used to resort to the desperate expedient of 'taking out the plug'. The barge filled up and was no longer bounced up and down on the beach. Alright with some cargoes but not with something like cement! The cargo had to be unloaded between one high tide and the next, when the barge would be ready to sail off in ballast. This moment is about due in the second picture. We can tell that the tide is coming in because the fust half dozen in the line of bathing machines have been winched slightly up the beach, the rest of the line will follow. When the tide has risen sufficiently for her to float off, the Thames barge will hoist jib and tops'l, then unbrail and sheet home the 100se footed mains'l and set the mizzen. The barge's sp reet can be seen going up at an angle on the star board side (right) of both main and mizzen masts. The jetty, built in 1898 to handle commercial cargo, can be seen at the top right of the picture. lt was not much used by the Thames barges which preferred their usual method of unloading cargo onto the beaches.

27. CLACfON'S FIRST RAILWAY STATION. After the Pier was built in 1871, it was the Paddle Steamers that provided the first direct run to the new resort, but it was not long before the railways took up the challenge. In 1877 the 'Clacton-on-Sea Railway' was incorporated to build a line from the town to link up with the G.E.R. and Tendring Hundred line which terminated at Thorpe-le-Soken. This connecting link, a single line unti11941, was opened on 4th July, 1882. A great many absent, wrote the Headmaster in the Gt. Clacton School Log Book on that day, they went to see the first train to Clacton-on-Sea - and doubtless suffered for it the next! Next year, 1883, both the Tendring Hundred line and the Clacton-on-Sea Railway were absorbed by the Great Eastern Railway. Competition between the Steamer Coys. and the Railway was fierce, with the former charging 4{6d return against G.E.R.'s 5tOd. Both offered excellent catering facilities. FIOm 1910 the G.E.R. ran Pullman cars on some of its trains as well as Restaurant car expresses. There was also the famous 'Supper Car Express' which left Liverpool Street Station at 12.03 a.m. on Saturday nights and arrived in C1acton at 1.50 a.m. These fust weatherboard buildings remained in use until the present Station came into use in 1929. The old G.E.R. became part of the L.N.E.R. in 1923.

28. 'CURTAIN UP'. This photograph has something of the quality of a play just about to begin. A sort of 'Curtain-Up' feeling. It was taken looking up Pier Gap in 1912 and is historie in that it was possibly the last to be taken showing this sort of scene with the shops open for business on either side of the Gap. The 'Clacton Graphie' on 23rd November, 1912 reported that The Clacton Council, having purchased from the Coast Development Corp. the shops on either side of the road, which was converted into a Public Highway some two years ago, contemplate the sweeping away of the business premises and generally beautifying the sea entrance to the Town. Eventually, they were all replaced by a landscaped rock wall, rocks and shrubs, whilst a bridge, first known as the 'Rialto Bridge' but later changed to the 'Venetian Bridge', was built about half way up to link the East and West Promenades. The 'Boater', which came into vogue as Gentiemen's headgear a few years earlier, is very much in evidence.

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