Hove in old picture postcards

Hove in old picture postcards

:   Judy Middleton
:   Sussex, East
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2253-5
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Hove in old picture postcards'

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In 1821, the year in which George IV was crowned and Napoleon died, Hove was still a small village numbering 312 people. The cottages were built near the sea and on either side of Hove Street while all around them stretched farmland. In the area where St. John's Church now stands flocks of sheep grazed and the only sound was the tinkling of sheep bells. Crops of barley and wheat grew and apple trees flourished on land since covered by streets of houses. To the west of the village were the flat fields of Aldrington where not one person lived until you came to Portslade, the most populous of the five villages which eventual1y were to make up Hove. Northof Hove the downland hamlets of Hangleton and West Blatchington mustered just over fifty peop1e each.

It was in the 1820's that the pattem which had not changed for centuries began to alter dramatically. By the time of the next census in 1831 Hove's population had grown to 1,360 which was double the size of Ports1ade's and the figures never looked back going from increase to increase.

The reason behind the change was the proximity of Brighton which since the advent of the Prince Regent and the construction of his exotic Royal Pavilion had become a fashionable resort. Building was going on at Kemp Town at the eastern end of Brighton so what

could be more logical than a similar developrnent at Brighton's western end. Thus Brunswick Town was constructed in the 1820's and 1830's with its formal square and terraces.

Although the Brunswick area was technically inside the Hove parish boundary, the residents called it Brighton. After all the village of Hove was far away and the new elegant houses had no conneetion with those few poor cottages. For the greater part of the 19th century the name Hove was not felt to hold any prestige. When the next large development took p1ace in the 1850's (and practically next door to Hove Street too) it was called Cliftonville and the West Brighton Estate followed in like manner in the 1870's.

It was only in the 1880's that a sense of Hove's identity began to emerge and with it a feeling of civic pride. This was no doubt helped along by the continuing battle with Brighton which was keen to absorb Hove into its own boundaries. It was during this period and up until ab out 1910 that Hove really came of age, It was the time when the sea-wall was constructed, Waterheuse's Town Hall was erected, the cathedral-like All Saints was built, public baths and public parks were opened and Hove became a borough in 1898.

One curious fact about Hove is th at although it has

such a distinctive character, the majority of our forefathers who created it can hardly have been native to the place. To return to the census figures for a moment; in the decade 1871-1881 the popu1ation grew by over 9,000. In short Hove was a new townVictorian style.

People were attracted to Hove in the last century for a num ber of reasons. It was by then fashionable to live there, the railway meant that it was within easy reach of London and above all it was a healthy place. Hove prided itself on its Iow death rate w hich in 1884 was said to be only 12.9 per 1,000 compared to 22.9 per 1,000 in large towns.

A good example of the Iocal pride characteristic of the 1880's can be seen in this extract from the Brighton Gazette (Sth January 1885). Hove ought to be a happy place. It knows not the contentions of town councillors but has its local self-government admirably controlled; U knows not the conflicting jealousies of struggling tradesmen, as in Brighton but is happily amalgamated in its aristocratie and commercial interests. In its attractions for visitors and amusements for townspeople, Hove is always to the [are.

Utopia? Not quite, th ere were streets of crarnped houses for the poorer classes as in any town; but these were feIt to be part of the social structure and

there were any number of locally run voluntary societies to dole out items ranging from soup to the Ioan of blankets for the winter. It need hardly be said that these streets did not feature in the picture postcards of that era.

The change in Hove from small village to bustling town can be traeed in this book. The postcards show Hove as it liked to think of itself, proud of the new buildings and wide roads, the parks and lawns and patronised by many society people. The farne of the Sunday Church Parade gave the town a somewhat stately air and the royal seal of approval was surely set when Edward VII ca me to Hove on private visits.

Picture Credits:

East Sussex County Library: 1, 2, 3,4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12,15,16,17,20,21,22,23,24,25,34,49,50, SI, 54, 56, 57, 63,65,68, 70, 72, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 82, 83, 86, 87, 92, 96, 97, 99, 100, 109, 111, 115, 117, 126,129,130

James S. Gray: 125

John Greenfield: 104,133, 134, 136, 139

Robert Jeeves: 6, 7, 8, 64, 66, 90, 101, 103, 128, 131,135,137,138

Ken Lane: 95, 122, 123, 124

1. A peaceful scene in Hove Street which was all that there was to Hove for hundreds of years. The village, if it can be dignified with the name as there were still only 101 inhabitants in 1801, was built on both sides of Hove Street with the oid church of St. Andrewon its own to the north-east. Houses and barns were built mostly of local flint with the Manor House being the most notabie exception, although curiously enough the east front was faced with flint. In this view looking south the Manor House can be seen on the Ieft and in the distance is the Ship Inn. Opposite to the Manor House is Hove Cottage with its porch jutting out prominently. To the left and north of where the photographer was standing when he took the picture, was a pond and opposite to it the site of an old well,

2. The house on the left is Hove Cottage. It was called a cottage to distinguish it from Hove House (Hove Manor's old name), but it was a fairly large house containing three spacious rooms downstairs besides the kitchen, scullery and walk-in larder and upstairs there were five large bedrooms. The property included a garden of about a quarter of an acre. An important consideration in days gone by was that the house was only a short distance from the well, It is unusual that the south walls of the house were tiled whereas flint was predominant elsewhere in the village and flint was certainly used in the garden walls. The house was owned by the Vallance family as indeed was much of this part of Hove and in the 1900's Hove Cottage was rented to the Godley family for 15/- a week.

3. The Ship Inn at the south-east end of Hove Street. An inn has stood on this site since at least 1702 and there is still a pub there today although completely rebuilt in the 1920's and renamed the Ship Hotel. Tradition has it that the inn was a favourite rendezvous for the 'gentlemen' - a popular euphemism for smugglers. In 1794 some soldiers were billeted at the Ship Inn and perhaps it was hoped their presence might act as a deterrent. Unfortunately their stay coincided with the landlord's young son finding some gunpowder and in the resulting explosion two soldiers were injured. As can be seen from the photograph the inn was owned by the West Street Brewery which at one time was run by the firm of Vallance and Catt. The Vallance of the brewery was related to the Hove Manor Vallances, but the family ceased to have any conneetion with brewing in about 1870.

4. The Manor House as seen from Hove Street with the curved bay of the entrance and the bell-cote on the roof complete with bell. The house was built between 1785-1796 for John Vallance whose memorial tablet recording that he died in 1833 ean still be seen inside St. Andrew's Church. The house has two connections with royalty. The Prince Regent (later George N) stayed with John Val1ance while work was going on at the Royal Pavillon and he was so gratified with his visit that he presented the family with a handsome punch bowl. This was not the only time the Prince visited Hove as in 1793 he attended army manoeuvres in the area and his tent was set up near the church. From 1916 until 1921 Hove Manor was occupied by the Hon. Sir Sidney Greville, Comptroller and Treasurer to the Prince of Wales, and the latter made several private visits to Hove. He was seen walking down Hove Street clad in beach robe and sandals and all ready for a swim.

5. This posteard shows the east side of the ivy clad Manor House with the garden fronted by a large field where the loeal ehildren liked to go. Twelve ehildren are pictured here although some are rather hard to spot as they are lying on the grass. Note the baby in the rather splendid pram in the foreground. The Manor House did not aetually reeeive that designation untill867 when John O1liver Vallanee bought the manorial rights. Before that it had been known simply as Hove House. All the same the house was an excellent example of its kind and the interior was graeed with some fine panelling. It was a great loss to Hove's history when the Corporation deelined to buy it from the last owner (a Mrs. Home) fearing that the acquisition might put a shilling on the rates. The house was demolished in 1937.


174- 'IIV_

6. A view of the south-west corner of Hove Street with Hove College occupying CJiff House. Hove College was founded in 1796 in other prernises, but soon moved to CJiff House where it remained until the building was demolished in the 1930's. The College was one of those schools which catered largely for boys whose parents were living in various parts of the Empire. Like Rudyard Kipling, these boys were despatched home to be educated at a very early age. An advertisement of 1906 proclaims that Hove College was willing to take 'entire charge of Colonial Pupils', The more modern block on the west side of CJiff House contained newly built schoolrooms and dormitories. The College owned its own rowing boats and senior boys sometirnes rowed along to West Street, Brighton stepped ashore to do some shopping and then rowed back horne again.

7. This is what the bottom of Hove Street looked like in the 1920's. At first glance it is difficult to recognise the place as the area has changed so much. On the left of the junction is Hove College and it is evidently a later photograph than the previous one. Notice how the grounds have been tidied up, there is a proper boundary on the south, a large flag-pole in the garden and 'Hove College' replaces the wording 'Cliff House' on the gable. However the ivy has been allowed to flourish. On the south-east corner of Hove Street are the Coastguard Cottages and directly opposite stand the R.N.V.R. buildings. On the extreme left is some open ground where in the old days the bull-ring used to beo The last bull-bait at Hove took place in 1810 when the bull managed to escape scattering the spectators as he charged through them. The bull was recaptured and dragged back to the ring.

8. There have been Coastguard Cottages on this site since at least 1831 and the reason they were built was quite simply srnuggling. When Hove was a small village it was easy to run goods ashore at night with the sea conveniently at the end of Hove Street and nobody to interfere. Smuggled goods were often stored in St. Andrew's Church and removed before services were held; as these only occurred on alternate Sundays the contraband could safely stay put for days, Another popular hiding place was the old chalk pit near the junction of what is now the Old Shoreham Road and Sackville Road. A concealed entrance led to a cave beyond which there was a passage led to an inner cave. The events of 1818 must have made it imperative for an official eye to be kept on Hove. In that year there was practically a pitched battle on Hove beach between smugglers and the revenue men and it was the smugglers who won.

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