Oxted in old picture postcards volume 2

Oxted in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Roger Packham
:   Surrey
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-4920-4
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Oxted in old picture postcards volume 2'

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In presenting this second volume of 'Oxted in old picture postcards' , I have arranged the views in a similar order to those in volume one. The journey back in time commences at the western end of the High Street and Old Oxted is affectionately recalled by travelling down the hill towards the Wheatsheaf and then back up again to the Bell, where, at the cross roads, we glimpse northwards down Brook Hill and southwards along Beadles Lane and across to Oxted Mil!.

The next part of the journey starts at the junction of West Hill with Church Lane where, from Town Farm, progress is made along Church Lane towards St. Mary's Church, taking in the police station and Court Farm along the way. Then, after visiting Barrow Green Road and Chalk Pit Lane, the camera arrives at 'New' Oxted with Station Road West and Station Road East, separated by two views of the railway station. After a look at the areas around the viaduct, Woodhurst Lane and Rockfield Road we move further south to Hurst Green and Holland. The grand tour is brought to a conclusion with three fine studies by Walter Suter, prince of Oxted photographers, depicting groups of Oxted folk on memorable occasions.

Although many subjects inevitably coincide with those in volume one, I am pleased to include here several additions including the village school, the police station, the magnificent Stone Hall and Coltsford Mil!. It is a souree of much pleasure to postcard collectors to discover new views and, unlike postage stamps, there is no definitive

catalogue of an apparently infinite range of cards.

It is difficult for newcomers to the area to realise that until quite recently all through traffic passed along Old Oxted High Street which managed to sustain it until the arrival of the by-pass (A25) and the motorway (M25). The second fact which may not appear to be obvious is that until the arrival of the railway in 1884, the only buildings in that locality were St. Mary's Church and Court Farm. They were some distance from Old Oxted and rather isolated until the laying out of Station Road West and adjoining roads.

Once the railway was established, however, development was rapid and New Oxted, as it was officially called, rapidly overtook its ancient parent in commercial prosperity and keeping abreast of the twentieth century. The explosive growth was noted by the Westerharn Heraid as early as December, 1886, with the railway still in its infancy: 'At Oxted, the new hotel (Hoskins Arms) near the station is nearly completed; a gas works has been erected and lamps in the village have been increased from two to five. Water pipes have commenced being layed for the Limpsfield and Oxted Waterworks Co Ltd. and a branch bank is now open three days a week near the Post Office by Messrs. Lloyds, Barnett and Bosanquet. MI. Steer has commenced a monthly auction market. We predict the quiet little village will soon become a place of importance. '

Despite all this activity, the population for the whole of Oxted in 1891 was only 1,499 and despite the new railway,

hotel, shops, market and gas and water companies and the quartet of public houses in Old Oxted 'the chief part of the inhabitants are employed in agriculture' , to quote from an old directory. In addition there were the professional classes travelling to London from the station with a courteous good morning to the station master and the staff at the bookstall.

The early years of the twentieth century coincided with the golden age of the picture postcard and so, with the almost comprehensive coverage that these invaluable photographs provide, it is possible to picture 'New' Oxted in its still formative years and to marvel at the wonderfui appearance of Old Oxted as it was before war damage and over-restoration: it is nevertheless still a magnificent high street.

Walter Cox's post office in Old Oxted sold his own series of postcards for many years and in Station Road West, J.B. Lock also published cards over a lengthy period. Gregory's shop in Station Road East had a further series of local views and these were all supplemented by further views from the outside publishers such as Frith, W.H. Smith, Valentine and Homewood. Many of the early views were printed abroad but as the Edwardian era progressed, improvements were made in the quality of English production and some fine coloured and real photographic cards became readily available.

Oxted people - and those elsewhere - were unused to photographs in newspapers and television was still unheard of, but it now became possible to obtain views of

local or national interest; portraits of royalty or music hall favourites or unfamiliar transport subjects such as early aeroplanes, trams or ships. The telephone was a rarity and so frequent messages were sent in their millions by this farm of communication and at half the cast of a letter. A halfpenny stamp would take a postcard view of your high street, church, school, football team, public house or side street to a favourite aunt anywhere in the country and each village, however smalI, had a multitude of views from which to choose. Indeed a Golden Age!

There is still a need for a substantial history of Oxted but I hope that this second volume will help people to appreciate the great heritage which has been passed to our generation. There is a very great deal worthy of preservation in Oxted and there have been mistakes in allowing fine buildings to be replaced by others which are without merit. If this book helps residents and visitors to be more aware of Oxted's past and more concerned for its future, it will have served its purpose.

I am always delighted to he ar from readers who may have any comments or queries.

February, 1990

Roger Packham 40 Raglan Precinct TownEnd CATERHAM, Surrey

1. An Edwardian postcard by Homewood of about 1905 shows an early motor car driving towards the camera, passing on the other side a horse-drawn milk cart which has stopped outside Lenton's Dairy. The house in the centre is unrecognisable today but the wall in front of it leads into Beadles Lane, opposite the Bell Inn, On the extreme right is the White House, for many years the home of the Bourne family, and the tall house beyond is HamlynHouse.

2. A lively meet of the hounds is depicted here outside The Bell on a photograph by Walter Suter for a Cox postcard, printed by Frith's and posted in 1913. Mr. Suter appears to have set up his camera inside the railings of what is now Nimrod Galleries. The meet is almost certainly that of the Old Surrey Hounds and nearly everyone is sporting a hat, ranging from caps, riding hats, bowlers and top hats. Some of the buildings in the background have given way to the present car park.

3. Oxted High Street presents a busy appearance on Walter Cox's postcard which was sent in 1919. A horse-drawn wagon has ascended the steep hill whilst a high-backed motor vehicle is parked outside the George Hotel. The cottages on the left are Oak Cottage and Beam Cottage which date from the fifteenth century and opposite them a young girl stands in front ofH.Kenton's second-hand furniture shop.

4. This postcard, which was sent to Forest Row in 1914, shows some of Oxted's picturesque cottages opposite the George Hotel looking eastwards along the High Streel. The Oid Town House has the steps and railings and then, looking towards the Crown Inn are Flaxmans, Dol Detox and The Nest, all Iisted buildings dating from the seventeenth century or even earlier. The George Inn's, present external appearance has been dramaticallyaltered.

5. Walter Suter has captured a lively group of Oxtedians outside Cox's post office and stores in a photograph, presumably taken at Coronation time in 1937 or possibly for King George V's Jubilee two years earlier. The house on the right is the fifteenth century Streeter's Cottage.


~ ~~~>-31~. 'f

6. Francis Frith produced this postcard, overprinted as a Christmas Card, in 1908. This part of the High Street was known as Crown HilI and the Crown Inn is a listed building dating from the seventeenth century and earlier. At the time of the photograph Charles Henry Bartholomew was the licensee of the Crown. The house on the right of the picture isTheNest.

7. In 1905, Frith produced this coloured postcard which shows the High Street looking west outside the Wheatsheaf which presents a very different appearance to its presentday exterior. The advertisement on the wall of the public house gives details of excursions to London on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway.

8. An unusually quiet Oxted High Street in about 1930 suggests that the photographer was out early in the morning with only a roadsweeper and a lorry in evidence. The Wheatsheaf has undergone its transformation from its appearance in the previous photograph. On the right, the little white-washed cottages were destroyed by bombing in the Second World War.

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