Crowthorne in old picture postcards volume 1

Crowthorne in old picture postcards volume 1

:   Martin Prescott
:   Berkshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2521-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Crowthorne in old picture postcards volume 1'

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Crowthorne. The village of Crowthorne in East Berkshire was essentially Vietorian in origin, dating from the establishment of Wellington College in 1859 and Broadmoor 'Criminal Lunatie Asylurn' (now Hospital) in 1863. Before that there were only two keeper's cottages in the immediate area, survivals of the Royal Forest of Windsor. The name 'Crowthorne' derives from a Forest location, where three deer walks met:

Bigshot, Easthampstead and Sandhurst.

Wellington. When the great Duke of Wellington died in 1852, he was given a grand state funeraL Then the question arose what form a national memorial to him should take. In the end Queen Victoria and Prince Albert approved the proposal of the Prime Minister, Lord Derby, to build a school for the orphan sons of British Army officers. So Wellington is unique among public schools as being both royal foundation and national memorial.

There were a number of factors which decided the choice of site: an abundance of building materials, in

the area, in particular bricks from many local brickworks; the proximity of the Reading/Reigate railway; but especially the cheapness of the land: Mr. Gibson of Sandhurst Lodge offered 12 acres free, and another 130 at tlO an acre.

Broadmoor. The Asylurn was built to house 'criminal lunaties' for whom neither Bethlem Hospital (Bedlam) was suitable, nor the ordinary prisons where hither-to all criminals, sane or not, suffered the full rigours of the law.

It seems obvious that the site was chosen because it was within easy reach of London; yet in one of the least populated areas of the Home Counties. Braadmoor was the responsibility of the Home Office until Ist April 1948, when it was transferred to the Ministry of Health: by 1957 the Asylurn had be co me a hospital, criminal lunaties patients and attendants nurses.

So in its early days Crowthorne was Iargely concerned with housing and servicing Wellington and Broadmoor

staff; but latterly, as the village has been incorporated into the 'commuter belt', its character - and size has changed. Now many residents travel to work in London, at Heathrow or the Meteorological Office etc. in Bracknell. Since the 1960's the population of the village has expanded greatly with the arrival of the Transport and Road Research Laboratory with a staff of over a thousand, all nee ding somewhere to live. So now Crowthorne is as it were based on three legs of a tripod, Wellington, Braadmoor and the Laboratory.

The lay-out of this book is quite straight-forward: the first eleven pictures are to do with Wellington; the next eight with Broadmoor; the rest illustrate a conducted tour round Crowthorne - when it was still a villagel

The compiler would like to thank all those kind people who have loaned postcards and other pictures for this publication: in particular DI. David

Newsome, Master of Wellington College, for permission to use archive material; Mr. Jim Clarke, Chief Nursing Officer at Broadmoor Hospital; and many another local or farmer resident, whose name is mentioned at the end of the appropriate caption. However, sa many pictures have come from the collection of the late Mrs. Mary Burnham (now in the possession of her daughter, Mrs. Paquette), that perhaps their names may he taken as read,

The compiler would like to express his particular thanks to MI. David Withers, the Bracknell photograp her, who Jives in Crowthorne. His unstinting help has proved invaluable.

As to the matter of the captions, most of the information has had to he gleaned by word of mouth, rather than from written records. Inevitably there have been occasional contradictions. Thanks to Mr. E.I. Noakes and MI. E. Hallett many errors in the script have been corrected. Those that remain are the cornpiler's entire responsibility,

7Hë C()LLE.(,ë t·~ TH!:: DA" OF TH!:: OPE~I~G. ).:-'C.U:' I .... S I.

1. Undoubted1y the oldest photograph to hand, this was taken on 20th January 1859, the very day Wellington College opened its doors to its first 76 pupils, They reported to their respective tutors, were fed on bread and cheese and small beer in the dining hall and dispatched to bed. An odd thing happened th at first night: it was bright moonlight and at three in the morning the boys decided it must be time for early school, sa dressed and went down to the quadrangles, whence, in the words of one of them: 'H was but a whooping step through the gate1ess exit into the wild world of heather beyond.' The Master was still sitting up writing in his study, when MI. Donne (see plate 3) dashed half dressed into the room. 'Good Something, Benson,' he cried, 'The boys are running away!' Those who remember the country then surrounding us, can appreciate the force of the question, 'Where are they running TG?' (Wellington Archive.)

2. The Reverend Edward White Benson, here in his Lodge garden, was only thirty when appointed the first Master of Wellington. He ruled the College from 1859 to 1873, and established Wellington as a great public school, rather than as a military academy, or a polytechnic as Prince Albert seems to have wanted. Thereafter he became Chancellor of Lincoln, first Bishop of Truro in 1877, and Archbishop of Canterbury from 1883 till his death in 1896. (Wellington Archive.)

3. The Reverend R.J. Donne, posing here with his Classics class, was one of three assistant masters who joined Benson at Wellington in 1859. He died prematurely in 1863; so this photograph was taken earlier. The boys are wearing the extraordinary uniform designed by Prince Albert, and described by Dr. Newsome as 'an odd dark-green affair, with brass buttons, plaid trousers, and a postman's cap with red lines and a gilt crown set in front'. (Wellington Archive.)

4. This view of Wellington College from the north-east must be extremely early, since there is no trace of the Chape1, which was dedicated by Bishop Wilberforce of Oxford in July 1863. Furthermore the foreground shows the excavation of the ornamental lake from sorne 18 acres of wet and stagnant marsh, bought from Mr. Gibson of Sandhurst Lodge in 1856. The purpose of the prominent chimney on the left is a mystery. (Mr. Chris Brady.)

5. It is doubtful if anyone now would recognise this view taken from the sou th-west in about 1869 because of the pancity of trees. In the left middle distance lies the White Bridge, which has since been rebuilt in concrete. Neither of the two buildings still exists: that on the left was Crowthorne Towers School (see plate 63); while that on the right was Heatherside, used throughout the First World War as a military hospital. Later Heatherside was renamed Greystoke, and was demolished in the 1970's. (Wellington Archive.)

6. It is now 1873, but this view of the north front of Wellington reveals even more of a 'blasted heath' than plate 4. Perhaps it was the resu1t of brush clearance by Mr. W. Menzies, Deputy Ranger of Windsor Park, who was commissioned to landscape the College grounds. The 36 Sequoiadendrens (Wellingtonias) presented by the Prince Consort and the interplanting of Araucarias (Monkey Puzzles) stand out clearly on either side of the short avenue. (Wellington Archive.)

7. The caption to this photograph from the Wellington College Archives reads: 'T.T.C. 1886. Ushers' Cycling Club.' 'Usher' was the Wellington name for an assistant master. The identities of the nine 'Ushers' and the two ladies are unknown, as is that of the building. It is strange that all the cycles were in fact tricycles: two with the small whee1 at the rear, the remaining seven with it in front (that on the extreme left a tandem). (Wellington Archive.)

f:he JJrive, lJellingfon eo/lege.

8. The (Long) Drive is now better known as the 'Kilometre' from its length. It was initially planted, as shown here, with deodars from Bagshot by Mr. Menzies in accordance with a plan approved by the Prince Consort befere his sudden death from typhoid. Only four of the deodars have survived, but oak trees were cunningly interplanted with the original conifers and have now replaced them; though the old basal mounds can still be seen.

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