Hayes, West Wickham and Keston in old picture postcards

Hayes, West Wickham and Keston in old picture postcards

:   Muriel V. Searle
:   Greater London
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4694-4
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Hayes, West Wickham and Keston in old picture postcards'

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9. All marmer of gifts were enclosed with popular magazines up to 1939, as a bait to attract further readers. Wornen's papers frequently gave away complete paper patterns for anything from a ballgown to a baby's christening robe; or short paperback novelettes. One series gave free picture postcards, distributed through a local newsagent and relating to his own area, again by way of publicity; they were the forerunners of the miniature perfumes or shampoo sachets sometimes now attached to front covers, to serve the same purpose. This card had a printed note on the back 'Given free ... with Smart Novels. Yes & No, Dainty Novels, Weekly Tale Teller', showing a very rural corner of Hayes; one cottage appears to have a Regency period porch.

10. Picturesque and not exaetly burdened with modern amenities like street lights, is Hayes as seen in about 1905; there is na signof electricity, or even the 'few gas larnps' planned Iorthe villagein the 1880s. But at least it had acquired pavements, a great improvement on dust tracks in sumrner or mud in winter, always scattered with horse manure.

11. Hayes village (population 621 at the 1871 census) had still not changed much when this postcard was mailed soon after the turn of the century, described in the 1870s as 'quiet and respectable, and chiefly dependent on the wealthy residents (with) ... a few ordinary houses and shops'. It was approached from Bromley by 'a pleasant lane overhung with elms, with hop gardens, and wheat fields on either side'. Not quite like the route of the 119 bus! Ha yes Place still existed, beloved of 'the great Lord Chatham' and birthplace of his even greater son, William Pitt. So bitterly did Pitt regret eventually selling it that he almost immediately began carnpaigning to buy it back. Today, the only outward sign of a pre-suburban past in that particular quarter is a very charming old lodge, incongruously fitting in between the inter-wars terraeed villas facing the farmer Guernsey Farm.

12. Another version of the old Post Office area, from about 1910. A rather smart governess cart is conveying a well-dressed lady through Hayes, in the care of a substantially built top-hatred driver.

13. In postcards of almost any town or village, certain standardised scenes were repeatedin manyversions and variants, while others - such as Coney HaJl- were scarcely touched. Hayes Post Office was a typical example of the first category, published from many viewpoints within the same short stretch of road. Here we have a slightly different one, in that the date may be a little later than most classic cards, judging by the tidied-up raad and smart new fences, plus a couple of public signs, Posing outside is a village postman in uniform; the bigger and taller man in 'civvies' was prcsumably the postmaster hirnself.

14. Hayes Gate would have been a boundary between Hayes and Bromley, similar to one between Beekenham and Penge which also marked the division of Kent from Surrey. The busy highway now used as a racetrack by buses, cars and lorries, is here little better than a lane, cut deep down between grassy banks and used by just two people, one cart and one horse. However, a few fragments ofthe old order did lingersurprisingly long. WeIl after the Second World War, one wooden shack bungalow survived among the new suburban villas, inhabited by an old sailor whose parrot spent all summer on a perch in the front garden. Another was the high lying land west of this road, known as the Cabbage Fields, crossed by footpaths from the top of Stone Road to Mead Way; the reek of rotting cabbages in autumn carried right across to the football ground in Hayes Lane. Both cabbages and countryside vanished under the present Hayesford Park estate, named from the almost forgotten Hayes Ford across an equally forgotten little stream. This card was on sale in 1905, but the picture itself is older, found previously in an I89410cal directory.

15. Dainty birches on Hayes Cornrnon, until the advent of universal private motoring one of the most popular places for local recreation. Brornley busmesses of the early 20th century took their apprentices there by open horse-brake for summer outings, with simple races and buckets of lemonade. Croydon offices did the same for the annual staff treats. In the 1800s, without even this degree of mass transport, Hayes was popular within a shorter radius for its fairs, frolics and 'rustic gambols'. The latter spilled over from the village centre for such events as 'cricket to be play'd on Hays (sic) Cornmon'. But even in late Victorian days the village was still so smal! as to have no direct mail deliveries, being brought from London via Bromley. But services improved in 1869 when it was announced that 'Beckenham has now been made he ad office for the district', supposedly ensuring the postrnan's appearance two hours earlier in the day.

16. The writer's father and aunt, as smal! children, playing in a deep sea of autumn leaves at Hayes Cornrnon in about 1910-1912. A private snapshot, but printed in postcard farm, with a proper postcard backing, acceptable to be sent through themail exactly like an ordinary commercial card.

17. VagueIy titied 'On the raad to Hayes Common from Bromley', this picture may be what is now called Hayes Lane, where deep embankments were originaIIy cut down to ease the passage of horse-drawn traffic. They still survive where the first fields open out, near the former Guernsey Farm. Hayes Guernsey Farm gave high quality milk , and the cows we re untiI fairly recently a feature of the meeting point of suburbia and country. Golden coated, they were usually in the fields where market-garden or piek-your-own erops are nowadays raised, or waiting in the yard (which is still little altered) to be milked.

ayes Common fro

18. On the back of this 1908 view a more modern hand has added 'now psychiatrie hospital in Prestons Road'. In 1908 it was just an idyll of greenery looking a million miles from London - or even from burgeoning Bromley.

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