Lymington in old picture postcards

Lymington in old picture postcards

:   Brian J. Down
:   Hampshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3293-0
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Lymington in old picture postcards'

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Idyllically situated on the edge of the Solent, with the New Forest running along its northern boundary, Lymington was a port of considerable importance during the Middle Ages, for in the reign of Edward III the town supplied nine ships and 159 men - more than double the number contributed by Portsmouth. In more recent times, Lyrnington could pro bably claim farne for its number of hostelries in proportion to the number of inhabitants - at one time there were 45 inns dotted round the town! Many were used as headquarters for smuggling, and around i 720 Daniel Defoe complained of 'rogueing and smuggling' around Lymington. Brandy-kegs were buried in the river mud when the alarm was raised and later carried off concealed in carts with false bottoms.

As a port grew up, so to the north the ancient Britons constructed two Iron Age forts, the earliest at Arnpress. Around the time of Caesar's raid in 55 B.C. a seven-acre camp was built at Buckland Rings, captured by Vespasian in 43 A.D. In 1744, 200 Ibs of Roman coins were unearthed there.

By the time of the Dornesday Book, in 1086, Lyrnington was referred to as 'Lentune'. At that time six villagers worked for Fulkwin, sub-tenant of the Earl of Shrewsbury. Lymington has na Charter from the Crown - the rights go back to feudal times when, in an effort to escape their masters' tyranny, the serfs gained the right to join together for mutual assistance, forming themselves into separate communities for their own government.

Lymington prospered in mediaeval times, and spread out along the High Street and byways, as far as the church. Earl William de Redvers took advantage of the opportunity of

making a profit from a mark et and fair. His Charter, granted between the years 1184 and 1216, created the planned pegged-out Borough of New Lyrnington as opposed to Old Town, and was added to by Earl Baldwin in June, 1257. The 1270 Charter of Isabella de Fortibus was the origin of reeves (preposite) being elected in place of the lords' reeves by the burgesses themselves - becoming mayors by 1412. Lymington was represented in Parliament from the reign of Queen Elizabeth. A troop of horse was raised in the town during the Duke of Menmouth's rebellion in 1685, headed by the mayor, Thomas Dore, against the Roman Catholic James Il. In 1789 George III was received by the mayor and corporation at the town hall. The town has had at least six town halls - five of them in the High Street - one was in disrepair by 1300 and another was built in 1463 at Nos. 30 and 31; the next in 1684 on the opposite side of the road at 93 and 94; then one in the centre of the street, to the east of the old building; and the fifth in 1913 on town hill,

In the churchyard lies old sea captain John Northover, who was credited with bringing over the Czar, Peter the Great, on bis visit to William III in 1697. FIOm 1792 to 1815 numero us foreign regiments were gathered in Lymington, amongst them the Corps of Royal Jrnmigrants (French), many of whom were to perish in La Vendée expedition. At Mount Pleasant on the eastern side of the river rises a 75-foot obelisk erected to the memory of Admiral Sir Harry Burrard Neale, Bart., a shipmate of William IV, who destroyed twenty enemy ships in the war with republican France.

On the marshlands between Lymington Bridge and Keyhaven

there was an unbroken line of saltworks, and for many centuries this industry brought wealth to the town. Each saltern had its own evaporating pans, some 25 feet square surrounded by mudbanks six inches high, along with boiling houses and windmills pumping up the brine into the cisterns. With 16 weeks as the average bolling season, each pan produced around three tons of salt per week, with 18 bushels of coal burnt for each ton.

The salterns remained in fuli working operation from late Saxon times till the end of the 18th century. Salt was taxed from 1694 until 1825, mainly at 5/- a bushel, and in 1755 this local industry resulted in f:55,000 finding its way to the Exchequer. By 1804 the average quantity of salt produced in the area had reached 6,000 tons, of which 1,800 tons was shipped to Ameriea - but in 1808 there was a loeal outcry as Government duty on the salt had reached 15/- a bushel, whereas the actual value of table salt was only 1/- per bushel at the time. The sea-salt industry vied with rock-salt, and the burden of taxes on salt and coal, coupled with the fact that railways could now bring salt from the Cheshire mines, led to this trade ceasing in Lymington by 1845.

The river was navigable beyend Ampress, and by 1660 as much coal for the salterns was handled at Lymington as in London, with ships of 1,300 tons displacement reaching Town Quay. In 1731 merchant Captain WilliamCross built a dam across the river which beeame a tollbridge - to the distinct displeasure of ship owners and pedestrians. A court case against hirn failed, and the river inevitably silted up. By 1848 the Town Council's river committee reported on the

neglected state of the sluice gates of the dam, stating: Dwing to the port being subordinate to that of Southampton, vessels from [oreign parts cannot unload here. The trade, therefore, is confined to the home or coasting trade.

Besides salt, exports were bricks from Walhampton, local timber and cheese, while imports were coal from the north and Wales, oats, bacon and butter from Ireland. Until the reign of Edward I, wines were shipped in from France, but then Southampton acquired the right to the exclusion of Lymington,

Sloop-rigged boats sailed between Lymington and the Isle of Wight for many years, then, to the great relief of passengers, a regular steamer service between Lyrnington and Yarrnouth was introduced on 5th April 1830, inaugurated by the 51 ton paddle-steamer Glasgow, to be foliowed by the Solent, Mayflower and Red Lion. By 1875 the fare was 1/- to Yarmouth on the forecastle or I/3d. on the quarterdeck, or 3/1d. to Cowes. Tow barges were hauled behind the steamers, carrying a pig to Yarmouth for 6d., or a score of sheep for 5/- with no charge for the shepherd.

Traffic on the river has continued to increase over the years, and during 1984 the three ferries carried 1,273,494 passengers between Lymington and Yarmouth, along with 230,553 cars, 32,725 commercial vehicles and 1,756 coaches. And by that time the river had become cluttered with 1,600 permanent yacht berths, of which 700 eame under direct control of the Harbour Comrnissioners, and the remainder at the two marinas. The town has lost the two fairs, yet the Saturday street mark et continues after almost 800 years,


1. The South Western Railway used the means of this motor char-à-banc to conneet Lyrnington station with Milford-on-Sea. The char-à-banc was built by Messrs. Thornycroft, with a fout-cylinder 20 h.p. motor, carrying 17 passengers and Y2-ton luggage. With 4-speed and reverse gearbox and solid rubber tyres, the Thornycroft's average speed was 12-15 m.p.h. The vehicle is seen on the one-in-ten gradient of Lymington town hill, soon after the turn of the century, passing the old established firm of Elgars, builders and decorators. The first recorded account of that business dates back to 1801, signed by Benjamin Elgar, which shows work repairing doors and floors was carried out at the Poorhouse, to the value of f:2.16s.9Y2d. When MI. Elgar built his house at the rear of the shop, a cannon-ball was dug up, the furthest one has been found up the High Street. The business closed in October, 1985.

2. The Waggon & Horses inn on the eastern side of the river. Deeds of the building date back to 1643, and was originally called the Waggon Ale House. This photograph was taken in 1894, one year after a shooting tragedy there, when loeal gamekeeper 38 years old Henry Card, of Snooke's Farm, was the victim. He was in the service of MI. I.P. Heseltine of Walhampton House. The tragedy occurred at the time of the mystery of the Ardlamont Shooting Case, as to whether Lieutenant Hambrough could have shot himself from behind. Henry Card was demonstrating how such an act was feasible to Mr. John Bligh, a visitor from London. Using his double-barrelled shotgun which he believed to be empty, Mr. Card fired with the muzzle pointing at his head from behind - he fired, but the gun was loaded, and he suffered mortal head wounds, dying in the tap-room.

3. On 15th April 1872, George Elliott, then 28 years old, married Miss Elizabeth Decent in Dover, and after a four-day honeymoon opened The Lymington Clothing Mart on April 19th - he is the second gentleman from the left on the photograph. In 1890 George moved to larger premises on the opposite side of the road, where the business continues to be run by his great-granddaughter Jenny and her husband. Pictured on the left is the shop of F. Dale, tailor and habit maker. On the right, once the Red Lion, is the Music Saloon founded in 1789 by George Philip Klitz, who had been a bandsman in the Flintshire Regiment. He sold pianos and other musical instruments. The business began selling radios in the mid-twenties, and television sets in 1952.

4. Tbis picture shows the construction of Avenue Raad, befare the turn of the century. The road was cut through Barfields, where inhabitants grew corn or other crops, the land being thrown open each auturnn for grazing by harses and cattIe. Beneath the gravel surface imported chalk was used for the foundations of Avenue Road, wbich was hauled down the road in waggons, drawn by horses along a railway track. Workmen pushed wheelbarrows of the chalk up planks and tipped the contents into the waggons. One of the first vehicles to pass along the gravelled road, befare the official opening, was a hearse bearing the body of a typhoid patient who had died in the fever hospital, next to the Poorhouse. At the end of the road can be seen the Borough Arms - opened in 1855 as a posting house, and three years later becarne the Clipper Arms. Until bis death in 1920 at the age of 92, MI. James Jolliffe had been licensee of the Borough Arms for 71 continuous years.

5. A photograph of Lymington Quay Iooking east, taken just after the turn of the century. On the left, at the corner of Quay Street, is The Yacht Inn, which closed on 28th December 1911, and became Langley's sweet shop; next door is W. Smith, baker and shipping supplier, which was turned into a faggot and pea shop; beyend that is The Ship Inn, which had a 6" board bedded in clay just inside the front door to keep out high tides; the house next door was occupied by Joseph William Cleall, an employee of Mew Langton's, the brewers; on the extreme end is the grocery and swap shop run by MT. Greenfield, the ferryman who charged 'Izd. each way for passengers in his rowing boat across to the other side of the river. The goods trains on the bridge reversed into a three-track railway marshalling yard with cattle pens, alongside the station, where animals were off-loaded from the Isle of Wight.

6. Charles Ford established his business at 47-48 St. Thomas' Street, next to the church, in 1840. He and his wife Emma lived over the shop, with cottages at the rear known as Church Hatch. Charles sold furniture, china and glass. His daughter Sarah joined her father, and she married Alfred Isted who became a partner and later included removals as part of the business, hauled by harses and later steam engines. This picture was taken in 1905 when the pub next door - later a dairy and now a shop - was called the Six Beils Inn, which was the headquarters of the church bellringers. Around this time Ford's purchased 61-62 High Street, on the opposite side of the raad, from Lamble's the grocers. In 1941 the St. Thomas' Street premises were gutted during a German bombing raid, and later rebuilt.

7. The great snowstorrn of 25th April 1908, looking towards the top of the High Street. In the foreground left is the doublefronted No's 50 and 51 of E. Stone & Son, 'ladies' and gentiemen's tailors: hunting, sporting, motoring, yachting'; next door is W.B. Mew Langton & CO.'s Waltham Arms public house with its Osborne Pale Ale sign. This pub was opened in 1872 with Charles Olive as licensee, and closed in 1943 to become Ashton Smith's the florists, and th en a dry-cleaner's. The two imposing residences are Grosvenor House and the Red House.

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8. This is the wreek ofthe 5,750-ton Royal Navy cruiser H.M.S. Gladiator, pictured on her side with one propellor in mid-air, following a fateful cellision in the Solent between Yarmouth and Lymington during a violent snowstorm in the afternoon of 25th April 1908. An eight-year old second-class cruiser, she was on her way from Portland to Portsmouth with 250 men on board when, in thick driven snow, she collided with the American express liner S.S. St. Pau!. The ships were less than half a mile apart before the look-outs realised they were on collision course, and when the ships' sirens sounded simultaneously, the Gladiator's navigation officer, Lt. Mainguy, took the wrong action, and she was struck amidships. One lieutenant and 28 sailors died, and the ship was sold to a breaker for fl5, 125.

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