Haslemere in old picture postcards

Haslemere in old picture postcards

:   Annette Booth
:   Surrey
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6140-4
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Haslemere in old picture postcards'

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19 Same twenty years later and the motor car is here to stay! In this Frith postcard of the High Street, published in 192 1 , the streets are still almost empty, but a petrol pump stands outside Green's Motor Works. The previous year had seen the introduction of the first really massedproduced cars cheap enough for the ordinary man in the street to afford. No driving test was required - anyone could simply buy a driving licence over the post office counter. The postcard was sent by B. Moore in 1 92 5 , who says she lives above the Capital & Counties Bank to the left of the Town Hall. You can just make out where she has marked the card.

20 With the outbreak ofthe First World War, Haslemere became alive with the cornings and goings of troops on their way to the front. Many were billeted in the town and the photographs on this page and the next are from the collection belanging to the Haslemere Educational Museum. This first one is entitled 'Billeting the Bedfords' and the event is reported in the Haslemere Parish Magazine of February 1915. "The coming of the Bedfords has brought a new and stirring interest in the life of the town. The 7th Battalion made Haslemere their HQ. The Halls had baths and billiards available to the men and over 500 men came to the first Church Parade at

the end of January.'

The local policeman on duty had assumed many new duties under emergency rneasures, which lasted until 1918. He was required to arrest enemy aliens, guard vulnerable

points, enforce lighting restrictions and deal with the consequences of air-raids.

21 The Museum dates this photo of The Devons' as 1916. The 9th Devons had taken over the billets vaeated by the Bedfords on 27th February 1 9 1 5. Onee more peopie in Haslemere were willing to take troops into their homes, but there was a general feeling of indignation in the surrounding area about the rates of pay being made to householders. Previously they had received ;(1.3s. 7V2d a week per man for board and lodging - the new rate would be 9d per night per man for sleeping and 7V2d per day for food, making a total of 9s.

7 V2d -less than half the previous amount. Note the harses in the foreground. We tend to forget what an important

part they played in the First World War. The two nearest the camera are unsaddled perhaps they have just been eommandeered from local tradesmen or farmers in the surrounding area.

22 "Thanks be to God who hath given us the Victory' reads the banner draped across the front of the Town Hall in this postcard of the Victory Celebrations of 19th Iuly 1919, reproduced courtesy ofthe Haslemere Educational Museum. The report in the Surrey Advertiser of July 26th ofthat year is headlined 'Happy Haslemere, High Street as Tea Garden' and describes how, at 4.30 p.m., the children of the town sat down in the High Street to a Victory tea, despite the fact that rain had begun to fall. In the morning a procession, led by demobilised soldiers and sailors, had marched to the Town Hall for an open air service, as this picture shows. The service

was taken by the Rector, the Reverend W Wragge, along with the Congregational Minister, Rev. Reece Evans, and the Wesleyan Minister, Rev. L. [ohnson. In the evening the dancing planned for the High

Street had to take place in the drill hall, due to the rain, but that couldn't dampen the euphoria felt by all!

23 The Victory ceremonies over, it was time to think about a fitting memorial to those sixty-two Haslemere men who had given their lives in the service of their country. A committee was set up under the chairmanship of Sir Algernon Methuen and it was agreed to erect a war memorial in the shape of a stone cross by Inigo Triggs. This postcard, published by Frith in 1921, shows the newlyerected War Memorial in

front of the Town Hall, where it still stands today. To the left of the War Memorial is the Swan Hotel, established in 1662 ifwe are to believe the signwriting above the garage doors, while to the right we

have a good view ofThe Broadway with its twin turrets.

24 This photo of the Post Office sorting room is another from the Haslemere Educational Museum's colleetion. It is by Frith, but unnumbered, which is a sharne, as the cernpany's system of numbering their postcards enables historians to pinpoint them to the exact year. However, this postcard was surely published as part of a series to mark the opening of the new Post Office in West Street in 1906. A range of headgear adorns the upper shelves - several straw baaters and postmen's caps. Haslemere Post Office had been in severallocations bef are finally settling in West Street and it's interesting to note that, in the

Kelly's Directory of 1895, when the Post Office was part ofWilliam Charman's Stationers and Tobacconist's shop in The Broadway, High Street, that there were three deliveries a day and one on Sunday!

Mr. Charman was postmaster of the new Post Office when it opened.

25 The Haslemere Players Amateur Operatie (and Dramatic) Society, to give it its full title, was started in 1 905. The Mikado was the fust of its very popular Gilbert and Sullivan operas and, in 1914, it was performed again - this time in the newly-opened Haslemere Hall. As with that first production, the conductor was Mr. William Muir, a man who, somehow, managed to find the very best musieians and performers. It is said that he provided magnificent teas for the principal rehearsals and he always started the actual performances spot on time. In this photograph, once more from the Haslemere Educational Museum's colleerion. Mr. Muir and his

orchestra pose for the camera with the entire cast of'The Mikado'. The Parish magazine of May 1 914 reported takings of n 50 and pointed out that 'many would-be shilling seat holders were turned away on

Thursday and Friday evenings', suggesting a fourth performance in future!

26 Today the road over Blackdown looks very different from the way that it did in this postcard, published by E. Gane Inge around 1905.Then the great 500 acre common was devoid of trees and was almost all gorse and heather moorland. lts stark beauty has been the inspiration for artists and writers alike, none more so than the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who made his home here. He wrote of the view from Blackdown: 'You came, and look'd and loved the view long-known and loved by me, Green Sussex fading into blue with one gray glimpse of sea,' Since 1944 Blackdown has belonged to the National Trust. It was a gift to them from Mr.

WE. Hunter of Frensham, as a memorial to his wife. At 919 feet, the second highest summit in south-east England, the area is still unspoilt, crossed as it is by country lanes, footpaths and bridleways.

27 Aldworth, the home of the poet laureate Alfred, Lord Tennyson, photographed by the Francis Frith Postcard Company in 1899, some seven years after the poet's death. Tennyson had visited the area in the early 1860's and decided that here was a perfect place for a summer retreat. He laid the foundation stone for the house in 1868, moving in with his family the following year. While at Aldworth, Lady Tennyson wrote in her journal: 'Alfred says he does not think he ever saw anything more sublime than the great plain of Sussex beneath us covered with moving mist in the dim twilight and bellowing from end to end with thunder.'

28 Chase Farm in 1907. Not a particularly exciting postcard, you might think, but perhaps the photographer was aware ofthe farm's main claim to farne - its connection with the Reverend Iames Fielding, Haslemere's colourful and, possibly, criminal vicar! He is said to have owned the property in the late

1700's and according to legend, some time after his death the metal tags from several mail bags were found there. One wonders what else was kept there -local stories tell how the gate to the farm would always be kept padlocked, so that whenever the Reverend Fielding visited his tenants there he would leap rus horse over the gate. He

lived in Town House in Haslemere High Street and here, about a hundred years later, mail bags were actually discovered under the floor boards!

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