Eastbourne in old picture postcards

Eastbourne in old picture postcards

:   Tony Wales
:   Sussex, East
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2641-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Eastbourne in old picture postcards'

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9 A print of Eastbourne pier soon after it was opened in Iune 1870.

It was designed by the most famous pier architect Eugenius Birch (18181884), who looked upon it as one of the finest of his creations. In the first seasan Mr. Wolfe's German Band played to appreciative audiences, with his company oftwelve musicians, receiving f,3 for their efforts, four times a dal. seven days a week. When Mr. Wolfe moved on, the sixteen-piece Hanoverian Band performed twice daily, being paid GSO for the complete season from Iune to October.

For many years, Christmas

morning early bathing from the pier was considered an essential part of the festive attractions.

1 0 An undated picture of the pier, in its heyday of around the I920s. By this time there were many additional features, including a ballroom (built in 192 5) and a theatre, which seated over a thousand people. Here Horatio Bottomley, of Iohn Bull farne, made one ofhis farnaus speeches. Other farnaus folk also appeared, including Robertsan Hare, Edith Evans, Clarkson Rose, Sandy Powell, Ivor Novella, Frankie Vaughan and Norman Wisdom.

In the I940s a military demolition squad placed explosive devices during a performance at the pier theatre. Staff were given

three days to prepare for complete demolition, although this was never actually carried out. However, the pier was subsequently damaged by enemy action.


The Pier P ???.? ilion.

11 One of the many boats, which made use of the pier during the Summer seasons. (This was in 195 1.) Sometimes there were as many as four a day, with no-passport-trips to Boulogne, starting after the Second World War; although these ceased in 1963.

At the height ofthe popularity for steamer trips, one could go from the pier to Brighton, Worthing, Hastings, Falkestone, the Isle of Wight, as well as France. The famous paddle steamer The Waverley also made use of the pier.

12 Charabancs on Eastbourne seafront about

1 905. The charabancs had canvas hoods, which folded back in fine weather.

If it rained, as of course it aften did, the passengers were expected ra help with re-erecting the hoods.

By the 1nOs, Chapman and Sans owned a large number of 'well appointed motor charabancs' and were running daily trips to various beauty spots in

Sus sex. The firm also ran an express service between Eastbourne and London, the single fare being eleven shillings. Their rivals the Southdown Company advertised with 'luxurious torpedo charabanc cars' .




Parade '"",,:10 ChiH a-ĂȘane PrOCU!lIo'l


13 One of'Eastboume's many bowling-greens; this was on Royal Parade about 19 13. For many years bowls has been one of the most popular pas times in the summer season, and by 1929 a bowling tourna ment was being held annually in Whit Week. In 192 9 the cast of playing bowls on an Eastbourne Green was only twopence an hom, with a shilling for a whole day. By 1931 this had risen to eightpence an hom.

The ladies' hats in the foreground were typical of the periad, wh en hats were considered one of the most important articles of female clothing.

14 Eastbourne's Carpet Gardens abaut 1 906. Ihis is still ane afthe tewn's unique attractians, having been started over a century aga. The feature can claim to be 'world farnous', with thausands of plants being used each year. Originally they were knawn simply as 'the flawer beds', but an unknawn genius quickly bestowed their present name upan them.

This is ane of the many pastcards shawing the Carpet Gardens, which have been baught and posted by halidaymakers over the years. It was sent to Landon, but the message is rather an unkind ane, as it says: "There is nothing to

do here this evening, sa that is why I am writing to yau.'

E.! t hourne > l'arl'et hard 'u'.

15 Ihe Redoubt Bandstand circa 1924. This cast nearly no,ooo to build, and staod to the west of the Redoubt Fort. The latter building was a fortress against Napoleori's men, and was completed about 18 1 2. It was designed to hold 350 soldiers, although it is doubtful if it ever held that number. The Eastbourne Council taak it over wh en the fort had become derelict and forlorn, and the building and the surrounding area were much improved

The crowd in this photo look rather less genteel than those seen on many Eastbourne pictures, but na doubt they thoroughly enjoyed the musie.


1 6 The Wish Tower shown on a late nineteenth-century print. This is one of the Martello Towers built as a defence against the French in 1804. ('Wish' is an old word meaning 'a marshy place'.) Ir was based on a fort in Mortelia Bay in Corsica, the word later corrupted to Martello. Napoleon had said: 'Let us be masters of the Channel for six hours, and we are masters of the world.' But he was deterred by twelve similar towers, along the south coast, manned by British soldiers armed with muskets - their efforts giving rise to such common expressions as 'Flash-inthe-pan' and 'Loek-stockand-barrel' .

The fort was restored and opened to the public in May 1 970, having been in turn Coast Guard quarters, and a private residence, following its original use by the military.

17 Ihe Grand Hotel around 1 906. Ihis fivestar-hotel, prior to the Second World War, was made famous by the wireless programme 'Grand Hotel' which featured the violinist Albert Sandler and his orchestra, which played regularly in 'The Palm Court'. Many celebrities have stayed here: Claude Debussy was a visitor in 1905 with his mistress, and it was here that he completed the orchestration of his famous composition 'La Mer' . Lady Antonia Fraser and her husband Harold Pinter were two other celebrities who often stayed at the hotel.

The Grand advertised itself

as 'The most celebrated hotel on the South Coast'.

Grond Hate/' Eastbourne.

18 ou Town circa 1910. As with many South Coast towns, the oldest part was perhaps once a slight embarrassment, with its outof-date buildings, but has now become an interesting tourist attraction.

The census of 1841 showed that the old town was a veritable hive oflocal industry, with labourers, blacksmiths, tailors, drapers, butchers, cordwainers and hairdressers, as well as a vast number of other less common trades such as a strawbonnet maker, a sweep (and a sweep's boy) and perhaps surprisingly an accountant. Dare we mention it, but that old Sussex occupation of smuggling must also

have been represented in the Old Town. This was particularly rife in the period around 1790, with fishermen supplementing their income by smuggling goods such as brandy, to-

bacco, tea, wine and silk. These men had unusual nicknames such as Killcraft, Alligators and Catseyes; names which persisted long after smuggling ceased.

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