Orpington in old picture postcards

Orpington in old picture postcards

:   Muriel V. Searle, Johnn and Kathleen Warner
:   Greater London
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5882-4
:   80
:   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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29. Summer, 1950. The days of ration books, clothing coupons and National Service, but the poster outside the Orpington Press Office offers a pleasant escape, a Progressive Whist Drive at the Village Hall in August. lronically, a newspaper seller's shop now stands on the site ofthe newspaper office, W.H. Smith. However, we can enjoy studying local history by reading past issues of such papers, not least the advertisements in them. Our favourite one is from the 'District Times', 25 November 1910. Under the headline' Libel! Libel! Libel!! l' the Orpington Model Laundry in Chislehurst Road threatened to trace and take legal proceedings against the person who was stating that destructive chemieals had been used in the laundry. They assured customers that ' ... the splendid colours obtained are the result purely of our unrivalled rain and weIl water supplies'! (KJW)

30. The flag hangs from the Coach and Harses public house ne ar Homefield Rise, Robert Gates operated a coach service to London from here over 150 years ago. 'Recollections of Orpington Fifty Years Aga', printed in the 'District Times' on 23 March 1894, teils a delightful story. 'A great institution of the village was Gates' coach, which started every morning at eight o'clock for the Borough, driven by "Old Gates", and returning in the evening taking three hours for each journey. He lived at the Coach and Harses, then his private house, with neat little garden in front. After the coach was given up, he started an omnibus to the Greenwich Railway, which ran far into the fifties. The inhabitants taak very kindly to it, in spite of grumbling at its slowness. Everybody met everybody here and many a piece of gossip might have been traeed to the Orpington Omnibus.' (KJW)

31. It is hard to believe that this view of the Coach and Harses was photographed about ten years after the previous one. The buildings are unaltered and only some shopowners have changed. The Bristow family, who published this card, still run the bungalow shop, but two of the shops opposite have new proprietars and Caleb Higgs' coal, corn and cartage business has gone. This picture was taken on 8 June 1921. Postcard collectors enjoy detective work and by cracking the publisher's numbering code and investigating the newsposter, the precise date was established. The headline refers to a fiood disaster in Eastem Colorado. The present Post Office replaced the trees on the Ieft of the wad in 1929, but the Coach and Harses and bungalow shop survived unti! 1972 befare giving way to 111e Abbey National Building Society and its neighbours. (KJW)

32. Commuterland of today was the hoppers' country of a far from distant yesterday, for weil within older people's living memory there were still hop gardens all around Orpington, and oast houses as near the centre as Mayfield. Even now, vestigial fragments of their huts can still be found in the neighbouring Swanley area. Certainly up to the outbreak of war in 1939, special trains from the East End of London still ran into Kent each September, taking thousands of piekers on their annual working holiday to places like Swanley and Chelsfield areas, and as far afield as Canterbury. The very last newspaper issued in the eventful week ending 2 September 1939 still included the usual notice about arrangements. In all some 100,000 people were expected to arrive by car and lorry as weil as train, working for three weeks and earningjust El.O to fIS a family - plus primitive bed and board. The only concession to Hitler's threat was to bring their gas masks with them. (MVS)

33. The feneed plot on the left is now occupied by the Seeboard showrooms on the corner of Knol! Rise. The splendid oast house beyond stood for over a hundred years, for most of that time drying hops grown in the adjoining fields of Mayfield Estate. The top storey was sliced off in 1924 and the site became the horne of the 'Orpington Times' for 62 years. The bottom half lasted until the newspaper opened a new office in 1939. However, two stanes from the oast house were set in the wal! under the window of the new building, now the office of Halifax Property Services. The stones bear the initials of six villagers associated with the old building and Mayfield Estate. This card was posted in Chisiehurst at 9.15 p.m, on Christmas Eve 1905 to an address in Glentham, Lincolnshire. Unfortunately, it went 35 miles off course and arrived on Christmas Day in Grantharn Post Office who boldly marked it 'Not Us'! (KJW)

34. The poster advertising 'Corne Up Smiling' on the side of the Commodore cinema dates this card at June 1937. The modernisation of the High Street is now almost complete. The two shopping parades on the right were finished by 1936, building having started around 1932 at the War Memorial end. The clock above Bernhardt the jewellers marks the end of Central Parade, then comes Market Parade, whose first shop, Edmund R. Goodrich, is the only one on this side with the same name today. The end of another newparade can be seen opposite. Again, although not shown here, only one shop be ars its original name, Sparrows, where its founding owners were noted for their stunning confectionery displays. All the shops still stand, but the cinema, having survived an enemy roeket in March 1945, was demolished in 1983 to make way for MacDonald's restaurant. (KJW)

35. 'Nothing is toa good for the Commodore' was the slogan of Albert Spencer May when his luxury cinema had a gala opening on Monday, 4 December 1933. MI. May was proud that only British labour and materials were used to construct the Commodore in 26 weeks. An average of fifty men, most local, were employed each day and materials included 380,000 bricks, 1,000 electric lamps and nearly 10 miles of cabie. The cinema seated 820 and offered free parking for 200 cars. A 'Wonder Christie Organ' was installed and refreshments could be enjoyed in the yellow, gold and blue decor of the balcony foyer café. 'Facing the Music' was screened on the first night, but the capacity audienee and hundreds outside were disappointed when the film's star, Stanley Lupino, was unable to attend, as prornised. The Commodore closed on 8 May 1982. This picture was taken in May 1939 and shows the nautical effect given by the rippling concrete waves below the roof. (KJW)

36. The final touches are being applied to Market Parade. A 'Let' sign hangs over the empty shop where Russells the drapers will start trading in 1936. Happy times, but soon gas masks were being issued and air raid shelters built. A postcard of this scene sent by a young bride just days before war was declared says: 'The wedding went off beautifully, but, unfortunately, owing to the crisis, the Council have stopped Jack having his holiday, so we could not go to Torquay.' Another card dated 6 September 1940 reads: 'It all seems so peaceful until the planes begin to come.' Then a card postmarked 20 July 1944 teils of a new threat: 'These fly bombs roar over my head so much in the night that they have upset my nerves a lot.' Tragically, little more than a decade after this picture was taken, names of the dead of the Second World War were being engraved on the blank side of the War Memorial. (KJW)

37. A finallook at the High Street, and this is how the top end looked in Edwardian times. The distinguished gentleman on the right poses beside the gateway of what was always known as 'the doctor's house' until the new Village Hall was built here in 1982. For once, a change for the better. The old house could only be glimpsed behind its high wall and foliage, whereas the bright new hall with its dances and markets has revived the social traditions of its predecessor. If we could teIl the ladies on the opposite pavement about the shopping parades that would arise on the ground behind them, they would hardly believe us. Ta them, Orpington was a village of cottages and strawberry fields and a few red brick villas. But some things never change, for the writer of this card in 1908 bemoans the fact that his doctor has firmly ordered hirn to stop smoking. (KJW)

38. Nothing but open country lies around Orpington War Memorial when brand new, instead of shops, houses, and traffic-jamrned roads. Indeed, it was given only three instead of four lions, one facing each road, as Spur Road was then not even a thought on a p!anner's drawing board. Finished in 1921, it was designed by the same architect as modern Station Road, Robert Comyn, and cost f900 roughly the price of two small new se mis. Not until1929 did it begin to becomed hemmed-in, when Spur Road came onto the map of Orpington. (MVS)

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