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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69. Keston Ponds- aJternatively known as Keston Lakes- at some uncertain date, looking towards the middle dam.

70. A brieffashion for turning even the most minor springs into miniature spas, cashing in on the heydayofthe great and genuine medicinal spas, made even Keston a minor retreat. A pleasant spot for gentle dalliance rather than a non-existent eure. Ta quote a souree of 1792 referring to Ceasar's Weil: 'An excellent bath was formed, surrounded by pales and trees'. In 1827 another writer described the weil as 'converted into a most useful public cold bath; a dressing house is built on the brink of it; ... and from its roman tic situation farms a most pleasing scene'.

71. Keston (anciently Cystaninga or Chestan) had a population of just 717 people not much more than a century ago, and precious few regular links even with the nearest towns of Bromley and Croydon except by horse and cart or the very oeeasional horse bus. The reeommended approach was to tramp all the way, over the lonely Commons: 'a very pleasant walk' if not attaeked by what we would now call muggers. A contemporary description reveals that there was no village as such, certainly no central point: 'There is no village proper; a few houses are colleeted togethcr by the Red Cross Inn, at Keston Mark ... a few more by the milion the Cornrnon, where is another country inn, The Fox, and two or three more by the chureh.' Our view of the Lakes was issued in a book ofBromley area views in about 1892, before the picture postcard era, but the whole series was publisbed in postcard form about ten years later.

72. The Oilette (Iiterally, a little oil painting, specially geared to reproduetion in miniature ) was much used in Edward VII's period for cards showing simple rural settings. This one is simply inscribed 'Pond on Keston Common, Kent'. When winters were in generallonger lasting and more severe than today, Keston Ponds were very popular with peopJe from Bromley and its satellite villages for public skating, directly the ice was thick enough. But nasty accidents of ten happened when the first signs of thaw set in, and the bravado-brigade ignored warnings th at skating was at an end.

73. A gloomy early 20th century view conveying Keston's emptiness off the roads, where only a few horse buses ran through to make it accessible to the public. However, they were gradually improving in frequency, a process begun in the 1860s. In 1869 the well-known Fownes's Keston Omnibus had changed hands, sold to Mr. Lownds of Bromley. The latter then announced 'a first class omnibus service 10 and from the Bromley station, over Bromley Common to Keston', with wh at he considered a frequent summer service from April. There was even the prospect of one or two daily buses through Hayes 'should there be a probability of such journeys paying expenses'. Two buses a day: and we now consider a twenty minute wait for a 119 a shameful deterioration in services!


74. An example of a shortlived fashion far spraying glitter onto cards to highlight and decorate them, In this case, shining lines were drawn over the principal tree branches in a winter scene, to simulate frost. The sender was a very precise lady; she dated her card 'Thursday 10.12 prn', meaning twelve minutes past ten in the evening. It obviously caught either a very late post, or a very early morning one , as it is postrnarked before nine the next morning.

75. Hayes and Keston Cornmons, one continuous sweep of unspoilt fir, furze and fern, are as lovely now as when a traveIler of about 1875 described: 'A braad expanse, high and breczy, bordered by good elms and beech, covered thick with gorse, several varieties of bright coloured heather, wild thyme, harebells and fems.' Of course, it now lacks 'the Crystal Palace , a conspicuous landmark' , as it was totally destroyed by fire in 1936, but 'a mil! and groups of red tiled cottages for the sketch book', are still to be found. This undated scene could have been filrned in 1908 (and it probably was), or in 1988, so timeless are the Comrnons.

76. Another family picture of the type which would be reproduced in bath the original snapshot, and as a postcard for mailing to relatives. It shows a tug-of-war in progress on one ofthe local Commons during a New Church (or Swedenborgian Church) summer outing during the 1920s. Days when pleasures were simple, unsophisticated, taken very near home, and enjoyed as much as the most elaborate overseas tour today.

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