Orpington in old picture postcards

Orpington in old picture postcards

Auteur
:   Muriel V. Searle, Johnn and Kathleen Warner
Gemeente
:  
Provincie
:   Greater London
Land
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-5882-4
Pagina's
:   80
Prijs
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

Levertijd: 2 - 3 werkdagen (onder voorbehoud). Het getoonde omslag kan afwijken.

   


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Orpington in old picture postcards'

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19. Local inns have long provided meeting places for many types of social clubs. In the 1880s the White Hart was home for the Bicycling Touring Club and in the 1920s the Artichoke housed the Orpington Rat Club and the Orpington Railwayrnen's Band. This picture was taken at the turn of the century and the boys are posing outside Wells' grocery shop, which served the village throughout Queen Victoria's reign. Next door is Hodsoll's dairy shop and on the far corner of BroomhilI Road is Tremairi's forge. 200 harses a day could be shod here, ar so they boasted. In 1820 au thor William Townley stated that when locals could not afford a visit to the tap room, they would stand at the smithy opposite and pelt and jeer at other villagers. It was probably this forge and the Artichoke, then a cottage alehouse, that witnessed these unruly scenes. (KJW)

20. The same locality a few years later. The tal! building on the right near the Artichoke was originally The Orpington Stores, but gradual!y became Humphrey's Stores after 1910. This card dates from around that time. The new building with gables and balcony on the left belongs to Elton's the butchers, who moved into the High Street around 1902 and named the shop Aberdeen House to advertise their choicest Scotch beef. 'Should a change of tradesman be under consideration, Mr. E.J. Elton respectfully solicits a trial.' Politeness paid off, for these premises are still being used as a butcher's shop more than ninety years later. The lawnmowers on the pavement just beyond Elton's show that Tremain's smithy was now concentrating on ironmongery, although gas mantles and paraffin for cottagers' oil lamps were the best selling lines. (KJW)

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21. A fine display of goods, but not always affordable by some families, particularly poorly paid agricultural workers who often lived on the edge of poverty. Locallabourers started the 'Captain Swing' protests of 1830 when they set lire to farmer Moyser's ricks and barn. 'The Times' reported that Orpington men stood by one fire saying: 'Damn it, let it burn, I wish it was the house. We can warm ourselves now. We only want some potatoes. There is a nice fire to cook them by,' Mr. Humphrey had his own staff problems six months after acquiring this shop in November, 1910. He announced in the 'District Times' that he hoped to remedy the matter within a few days. He must have done sa, for the business was still trading here as Humphrey's Stores over fifty years later. The building was divided into two shops in the 1960s and remains a landmark in the High Street. (KJW)

22. A popular early view of the High Street, showing the new Village Hall on the right. Opened in 1890, the building had a main room seating 350 for coneerts and plays. This card is postmarked 1903 and its message describes a tranquil cyeling trip from here to Streatham. Another card, dated 1916, shows the same location but tells a very different story; a Red Cross flag flies from the pole and soldiers in invalids' uniforms stand in front of the Hall. The social centre of the village had become a military hospital during the Great War. Nearly 1,500 patients were treated between 1914 and 1918 and not one died. The message on the wartime card, sent by a patient, reads: 'There is aflag day today and we are all busy selling flags, we go in twos. We have sold 122 now and have just come in for more flags. Shall go to the pictures this aftemoon.' (KJW)

23. This striking card came from an Orpington collection and it was believed the parade took place in the village around 1910. We doubt this, for our enquiries proved that the banner of the Ancient Order of Foresters belongs to the 'Pride of the Heath' Court in Bagshott. Their present secretary said it was possible, but unlikely that members would have travelled so faro Despite this reservation, it is worth showing here, as it is typical of the Benefit Society events that took place in the Cray Valley. Most Orpington families bought welfare proteetion through one of the district's Friendly Societies before the introduetion of National Health Insurance. They also enjoyed the social activities involved, which usually packed the Village Hall. The 'Foresters Glory' Court and the Oddfellows 'Pride of Kent' Lodge had the largest memberships. (KJW)

24. Sa far, we have explored the High Street from the pond at top right of this view to the Village Hall, the last building at bottom right. The awning of Humphrey's Stores can be seen next door. This card is dated 12 August 1925, but the photo was taken earlier, as work has yet to start on the bank buildings at the bottom of Church Hill. Further up that raad, however, the hall on the corner of Aynscombe Angle is in place. Built in 1922, this helps to date the scene. The Palace cinema can be seen near the pond and, just beyond, the River Cray is f!owing to Hodsoll's Mill. Many of these buildings still remain to give this half of the High Street an old-world atmosphere. In effect, this is where the village ends and the town begins. for only a few years after this card was sent, the mock Tudor shopping parades of the Thirties began marching towards the War Memorial. (KJW)

25. This scene, captured on the same flight as the previous card, shows the High Street from Humphrey's Stores at the top right to Knoll Rise, bottom left. Astonishingly, the only buildings that still stand are the National Westminster Bank and its adjoining shops on the corner of Homefield Rise, and the Seeboard shop on the corner of Knoll Rise. On the left, laid back from the road, is Mayfield, the manor house, with its sweeping driveway. Nearly 200 years old, it gave way to Woelworth's and Tudor style shops in 1933. Opposite, The Walnuts residence yielded to gas showrooms in 1931, but its fine avenue of walnut trees lasted much longer and is now the site of the modern shopping precinct. Further along, two impressive houses were lost opposite Knoll Rise, but a shop-based Public Library was gained and opened in 1936. (KJW)

26. Destroying history for modem 'progress' is not as new as we assume. Massive chunks of old Bromley were destroyed for raad widening in the 1920s, and similarly at Orpington the ravages of 1920s-1930s suburbanisation transformed a complete landscape in Iittle more than one decade. For example, these lovely old cottages in Orpington High Street were removed some sixty years ago, in 1938, as commerce and modernity moved in; they stood next to where the modern gas showroom was opened. The huge scale of these changes can best be appreciated by moving back again by almast the same span of time, from the 1930s to six decades earlier in the late 1870s. Then, Orpington was sa small as to be merely a village '1 V2 miles south of St. Mary Cray ... on the road to Westerham' , with only two inns for overnight lodging (the Maxwell and White Hart) and, at the last census, just 2,371 inhabitants. 'It stands in the midst of pleasant scenery, the cottages are clean and comfortable, some old half-timber of the true Kent type with the date 1633', wrote an observer of about 1875. (MYS)

27. These shops replaced the yew trees and lawns of Mayfield manor house. Of the eleven shops from Brewer the fruiterer up to the tal! Post Office, eight were branches of chain stores. Most had already started trading when Woolworth's opened with a flourish in January 1934. 'Nothing over 6d' they proclaimed, which is about El in today's values. This photo was taken a few months later. Writing in alocal newspaper in 1933, E. Arthur Edmed, a popular High Street grocer.Iamented the passing of the single-shopkeeper. He described them as being confidential friends of their customers, of ten advising and writing letters for them and wiping the slate clean of debts when help was badly needed. Mr. Edmed was too pessimistic, for smal! traders proved vital in meeting the demands of a population that increased by nearly 300 % in the inter-war years. (KJW)

28. The 'Orpington Journal' was not impressed when the distinctive new Post Office was built in 1929 opposite their ancient clapboard office, saying: 'The immense monstrosity which looms like a sandstone cliff over the High Street, has not added materially to Orpington's postal facilities.' A final collection at 8.30 p.m. and three daily deliveries were not good enough! The Post Office stilllooms, of course, but the attractive shops that flanked it have gone. This scene was captured in the 1950s and such cards are often more difficult to find than those sent fifty years earlier. The telephone had taken over and there were na langer thousands of hop and fruitpiekers visiting the High Street to send postcards home. Gone, too, were the ramblers and cyclists who would write details of their journeys on the backs of cards befare putting them in their albums. (KJW)

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