Lingfield in old picture postcards

Lingfield in old picture postcards

:   Roger Packham
:   Surrey
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4795-8
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Lingfield in old picture postcards'

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Lingfield vilIage, tucked away in the south-east corner of Surrey close to the county boundaries with Kent and Sussex, has much to reward the observant resident and visitor. lts architectural merits have been recognised with the formation in recent years of two separate conservation areas at Plaistow Street (Gun Pond) and around the parish church.

The parish is part of Tandridge District Council, which has its offices some miles distant at Caterham and shortly to be moving to Oxted. To many residents of the Tandridge area, Lingfield is quite distant and unknown: famous for its racecourse and touched on briefly by motorists at Blindley Heath on journeys along the Eastbourne Road, but unknown.

Lingfield is today happily aware of its heritage as the creation of the conservation areas testifies and it has a long and interesting history stretching backwards beyond Domesday and the Norman Conquest. It possessed a romantic castie at Starborough with a great farnily dynasty of the Cobhams. lts fine church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is indicative of a prosperous parish of

some pretension. Additionally there are many fine farm houses throughout the locality which are worth seeking out for their visual delights such as timber-framing, weather boarding and mature tiles.

The coming of the railway to Lingfield just over a century ago had a considerable effect on the village and there are several roads both close to the station and further afield which were constructed within a few years of the railway's arrival. It also made possibie the transportation of the racehorse for the celebrated course which dates from 1890. Other industries also benefitted and although the local railway sidings are now overgrown, evidence of the banana trade is still much in evidence in Station Road and remnants of the hop growing industry mayalso be seen.

Another significant product of the Vietorian age was the village photographer who, apart from formal portraits of weddings and beautiful babies, also recorded scenes of village life, which from ab out 1900 appeared in some profusion on the ubiquitous picture postcard. This vast output of postcards has left a rieh fund of pictorial evidence of how our

ancestors went about their daily business.

In the era before the deification of the motor-car, these photographers, both local and national, competed with each other to produce high quality views in great quantities. In Lingfield, the local publishers included the postmaster Daniel Farrance; Arthur Martin, whose photographic shed was once visible by Gun Pond; John Jupp a local drug store and fancy repository proprietor; E.l. Skinner and the East Grinstead Photographic Company. The national publishers in competition with these gentlemen were, amongst others, Francis Frith from Reigate; W.H.Smith & Son; Valentine's and B. & S. from Enfield. There are also some outstanding cards where it is now impossible to identify their publishers.

I have arranged the baak in a sequence which takes the reader from the western approach to the village, travelling along the Godstone Raad towards the junction with Newchapel Road, foliowed by the area around Gun Pond and the High Street, befere moving on the Church Town conservation area and the Victorian developments at Vicarage Road, Saxbys, Lingfield Station and the race-

course. The last few photographs show some of the more important of Lingfield's outlying buildings at Moat Farm, Starborough and Haxted Mill before closing with some village groups: cricketers, pierrots and Arthur Martin's fine study of the fire brigade. I have resisted the temptation to include Dormansland, Blindley Heath, Newchapel and Home as I hope one day to record them individually.

In compiling the brief historical notes to the photographs, I must acknowledge my debt to the Victoria County History; various issues of Kelly's Directory; Gordon Jenner's 'The Lingfield I Knew'; Peter Gray's 'Lingfield Heritage' and 'Lingfield: A Village Guide' edited by Peter Gray, Kay Percy and Chris Bale.

H is the energy of the early photographers and the golden age of the picture postcard th at have made this book possible and I trust that residents and visitors alike will enjoy this record of Lingfield life from 1900 to the 19305.

Caterham, April 1989

Roger Packham

1. This delightful approach to Lingfield from the west was a popular subject for postcard publishers. This card was posted in 1912 and shows the Old House and Thatched Cottage in the left foreground. They are both now listed buildings but the mature trees have disappeared. The Ieft-hand turn is now the entrance to Wallis's garden merchants. The distant houses are numbered 50-56 Godstone Road, opposite the turn for Mount Pleasant Road.

2. The two old houses from the previous page make a fine study on another postcard from 1912. The weather-boarding on the thatched cottage has now been removed to show the original fifteenth century timber framing. In 1913 Edgar Kenward was listed as a Lingfield thatcher and this view may show some of his handiwork. The Old House (left) is a fine hall house built in the late BOOs and has hardly been altered externally since 1600.

3. This is a pre-Great War view of Mount Pleasant Road, looking north towards Godstone Road, where the houses at the end are those shown in the first photograph. The road is a late Victorian development, following the arrival of the railway to Lingfield, but the houses are more substantial than those closer to the railway station.

4. This Edwardian postcard was first published by Francis Frith in 1906 and shows The Medlars, a convalescent home run by Miss Knox, situated on the corner of Mount Pleasant Road as it sweeps around towards NewchapeI Road. The card was sent to East Ham and the sender writes of having a nice change of air at th is Iovely place and feeling much better already.

5. Returning to the Godstone Road, this view looks eastwards towards the shops at the junction of Newchapel Road (extreme right) and was posted in 1911. The gap in the terraces before the shop blinds is now Headland Way and the first building beyond has been replaced by a modern shop.

6. This photograph was taken from outside The Lingfield Hotel a year or so before the First World War. Looking westwards, neither the photographer nor the children are in any danger from the traffic. The low wall in the middle distance fronts the William Buckwen Memorial Almshouses which were built in 1907 for six married couples and four widows. When the photo was taken, George Walter Spray was landlord of the hotel and today the single storey building on the left is a pet shop.

7. Another Edwardian view of Godstone Road, looking west, shows some activity by the shops on a fine, sunny day. The nearest shop advertises Colrnan's Starch and today it has a modern shop-front for a turf accountancy. The semi-detached house in the centre has lost its sash-windows now and the white house on the right has become an estate agents with one central doorway. It won an environmental award in 1980 but the tree and the neat wall have been swept away.

8. John Jupp's charming postcard shows nine Lingfield children in the foreground of this view, which was posted in 1916. The oid house on the left has vanished and the ne at hedges have disappeared. They have been replaced by some dreary flats and a petrol station. The building in the di stance is now The Old Cage public house and although Lincolns Mead, a modern cul-de-sac, has been built on the right, Bricklands Farm and Ormuz Cottages (1894) lend some character to this part of Newchapel Road.

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