Portishead 1900-1920 / The photographs of E.H. Wright

Portishead 1900-1920 / The photographs of E.H. Wright

:   Kenneth Crowhurst
:   Somerset
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5629-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Portishead 1900-1920 / The photographs of E.H. Wright'

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27. The Old Cross (NC). This old market cross is shown on the 1740 map of Portishead located at the junction of the High Street (or Mill Streete as it was then known) and Church Road South, but by the time that the Rev. John Collinson published his baak on "The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset" in 1791, the cross had been moved to the churchyard where it still stands today. The main shaft is remarkabIe for its length - some twelve feet - and may be a very old 'mark-stone', such as are found along ancient trackways.

28. Court Farm (OS). This is one of Portishead's oldest buildings and was constructed during different periods. The original part, the right-hand end, probably dates from Tudor times, whilst the left-hand end is Elizabethan. The curious hexagonal tower was added later by Edward Morgan, a prosperous Bristol merchant whose family came from Easton in Gordano. It contains just a winding staircase, and its only purpose seems to be for the views of King Road and the shipping. In 1619, this was the manor house ofPortishead, and was bought together with the farm and its land by the City ofBristol for f500. The main hall was originally 63 feet by 24 feet with a high ceiling set on eight large wooden beams, but it is at present divided. This photograph of it comes from the Council's Official Guide to Portishead published in 1910.

29. The old cottage, High Street (GS). This beautiful old thatched cottage with roses around the door stood on the site of the present-day Post Office, which was built during the 1930s. It is almost certainly one of the few buildings shown along the High Street in the 1740 map ofPortishead. During the late nineteenth century it was known as Tuck'scottage, being then occupied by Mr. Stephen Tuck, a carriage and fly proprietor. He operated locally for over forty years, until he died in 1899 from inj uries received when he was thrown from a fly he was driving along the Clevedon Road.

30. Royal Terrace (NC). This stone-built terrace of six imposing houses was built around 1880 along a short cul-de-sac (now part of Leigh View Road) off Pier Road. They stood isolated for some fifty years, looking out across grass and trees towards the doek, until Portishead 'A' Power Station was opened in 1929, blocking the view. During the 1960s, the four nearest EHW's camera were dernolished, leaving the two which still stand there today.

31. The Golf Club House (MP). This photograph of the Golf Club House, which incorporated the tower of the former windmill, is another of EHW's photographs taken to illustrate the Council's Official Guide to Portishead published in 1910 by the Homeland Association. In 1905 Bristol City Council agreed to develop 83 acres of their Portishead land holdings into an eighteen-hole golf course, both to improve the attractions and to provide work for Bristol's unemployed men. To advise on the course layout they engaged Harry Vardon, six times winner of the British Open and also of the United States Open, who wrote enthusiastically to the Council: 'I can honestly say that you have a very fine eighteen-hole course.' The course measured 5,015 yards and had a par of 77. It was formally opened by its President, the Lord Mayor of Bristol on 17th July 1907. Harry Vardon and John H. Taylor, five times winner ofthe British Open, played an exhibition match in the rnorning and took part in a foursome in the aftemoon.

32. National Nautical School (SA). Once the decision had been taken in the early 1900s to move the boys from the Bristol Training Ship 'Formidable' to an on-shore nautical school, the architect MT. Edward Gabriel was engaged to draw up plans. He designed this building with its impressive frontage of 382 feet and clock tower 90 feet high to stand prominentlyon a fifteen acre site overlooking the Channel. There was great excitement in Portishead when H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenberg arrived on 14th July 1904 to lay the foundation stone, and just eighteen months later, 350 boys trom the ship marched into their new school, although the formal opening ceremony did not take place unti15th May 1906, when it was performed by Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. This E.H. Wright postcard showing the new school, its boathouse and some of the boys, was posted on 8th May 1906 and bears the message: 'Princess Christian opened it on Saturday last. '

33. National Nautical School Chapel. The chapel was also designed by Mr. Edward Gabriel and stands on Nore Road, close to the school on a site given by the Rt. Hon. Sir William H. WilIs, Baron Winterstoke. The foundation stone was laid on 20th May 1911 and the chapel was dedicated in a service conducted by the Bishop of Bath and Wells on 14thMay 1912. Manysenior Royal Naval officers, headed by Vice-Admiral H.S.H. Prince Louis of Battenberg, were present at the service, together with local civic dignitaries. Some of the old 'Formidable' oak timbers were kept and the 'Mercury' reported in February 1911 that they would be incorporated into the chape! pulpit, communion rail and lectern. A brass plaque on the altar also records that the timber used for the retable came from the 'Formidable' .

34. Signal Station, Walton Bay (MIT). This is one of the few EHW photographs taken outside the village - Walton Bay is about half-way along the coast between Portishead and Clevedon. It was in May 1910 that the Bristol Docks Committee first considered the provision of a Signal Station at Walton Bay, on the suggestion of the Pilotage Committee, but apparently no firm decision was reached at that time. It was not until November 1913 that the 'Mercury' was able to report that the tender of MI. W.E. Carey of Portishead had been accepted in conneetion with the building of the Signal Station on Culver Cliff. This photograph shows the flagstaff used to pass messages to shipping prior to the use of wireless telegraphy.

35. Tower Farm. The high-stepped gables of Tower Farm were a familiar sight on the top of Portishead Down from the time it was built in the 18405 until its demolition in the early 19705. It was built by Squire James Gordon, a Scot who had made his money in the sugar plantations of Antigua before returning to England in 1785. He built the house on the fifteen acres of the Down which he had acquired following the Enelosure Act of 1814.

36. Franciscan Friary (MIT). In July 1883, the 'Clevedon Mercury' reported that a body of Franciscan Friars had taken two large houses and a cottage at Portishead with the intention of establishing an educational branch of their order there. These Friars in their brown habits, more generally known as the 'French Fathers' , had come to England from France some time before, and had settled first at Taunton, then at Clevedon and Clifton before coming to Portishead; the first Superior was Fr. Peter Baptist, O.F.M., Commissary Provincial. The early Friars were looked upon with suspicion by many, and the West Hill folk of those days sometimes used the Friars as 'bogey men' to scare naughty children. They even had a visit from two local polieemen one night who had been called to investigate an 'unusual noise' - it turned out to be the Friars chanting Matins at midnight. In 1912 the Friars in residence were English Franciscan Minor Conventual Fathers, all of the original French Friars having returned to France.

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