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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19. The cows come home, across the lonely Commons that are now crossed by motor roads, only a few years after the opening of the 20th century.

20. A winter orvery early spring view on Hayes Common, posted in May 1909. A black-and-white view, hand eoloured for posteard reproduetion. Usually both original and painted versions were on sale; the once-universal choice of 'penny plain, tuppence coloured'.

21. Streets and houses eternally change and are rearranged by men. Thankfully, the Commons do not, being in general arranged by Mother Nature. The overall character of this very early 20th century landscape is easily recognisable throughout the area today, off the roads.

22. The characteristic building method known to the Thirties as ribbon-development linked Bromley and Hayes, along Hayes Lane, whose appearance has not greatly changed since then. But bebind those houses, where are now Hayesford Park and other modem roads, a whole stretch of country vanished after the Second World War. A child's surviving geography lesson survey from 1948 recalls now how most of Hayesford was then under crops. Not only the well-remembered cabbages, but wheat, turnips and market gardening, together with allotments. However, by th en there were already large stretches of what the pupil called 'waste land, scrub etc'. In other words: fields no longer cropped and 'ripe for development'; earmarked for sale for housing. Changed in the Thirties, and about to change again in the Fifties, Hayes had by then already altered drastically since it consisted mainly of Ionely cottages for making into romantic postcards.

23. Away from the roads, the local paths and commons today continue to abound in small wildlife. Even more sa befare housing rook away so many fields. One ean imagine the driver of this leisurely cart through Barnet Wood Raad, soon after Edward VII eame to the throne, hearing at first hand from his parents how Pokey Alley gat its name. From the handsome if vicious poleeats living in Poleeat Valley, hence Polecat Alley, before Coney Hall beeame respectably suburbanised. Constrieted though it is between semi-tarned hedges, even now Pokey Alley keep an aura of gloom and mystery, hemmed between almost oppressive walls of verdure.

24. Historie prints were cornmonly re-issued in postcard farm, early in the twentieth century. Being aperiod of such swift developments in house building and in transport, villages that had remained fairly constant for centuries were changing before their residents' eyes. Already, it was hard to picture them only a couple of generations back. A scene like this (of the George at Hayes) was thus almast unbelievable to a person of King Edward VII's time; just as the village he then considered was becoming modern and spoilt looks unirnaginably countrified to ourselves, again removed by two or three further generations.

25. 'The school and village, Hayes' is the caption of an undated early 20th century view card. A forerunner school for forty pupils was built in 1791, with just two teachers, husband and wife. In 1865 the boys' and girls' classes were combined into one co-educational scheme. One headrnaster , William Plant, taught here for just under fifty years, from J 874 to 1923; from the peak ofVictorian empire-building, to the dawn of20th century suburb-building.

26. One end of the lengthy Hayes Lane is firmly in Brornley (or, rather, Bromley Common), the other runs into Hayes itself, linking what were formerly a smal! country market town and an outlying village. The school now known as Ravensbourne, being in Hayes Lane, perhaps therefore qualifies for inclusion. Even now, its frontage overlooks open fields towards Hayes. An aerial view of about 1925 shows a complete lack of modern housing along the Lane, and a Jot more open Jand behind the buildings. The great hall had not yet been added, but obviously the accommodation in general was already proving inadequate; a line of makeshift additional rooms can be seen at the left.

27. Ravensbourne's main hall has long acted as Brornley's concert hall, one of the few able to seat a full symphony orchestra, especially befere the building of the Great Hall at Stockweil College (now the Civic Centre). Byvirtue ofthe Whyte sisters, forseveral decades the leading figures of Bromley Symphony Orchestra, virtually all the great musical names between the 1940s and 1970s appeared here, including Sir Adrian Boult, Sir George Dyson, Isobel Baillie, Hedd!e Nash, Paul Torte!ier and Dennis Brain.

28. Onthe surface. one would not associate such an innocent-looking village with hot polities. But in the same month th at this postcard was sold (November 1907) a very heated politie al meeting indeed took place at the Swan, West Wiekham. 'under the auspices of the Hayes District of the Conservative-Unionist Polling Association'. The issue was 'Tariff Reform ... as an absolute necessity'. There was an almost doekyard-gate hotheadedness about the tendency to demand rather than suggest: "The time would soon come when the working men would demand it and get it.'

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