Royal Leamington Spa in old picture postcards volume 2

Royal Leamington Spa in old picture postcards volume 2

:   Jacqueline Cameron
:   Warwickshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-6172-5
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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


Fragmenten uit het boek 'Royal Leamington Spa in old picture postcards volume 2'

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It is with great pleasure that I fmd myself in the delightful position of compiling this second edition of 'Royal Leamington Spa in old picture postcards' for European Library.

I will endeavour to illustrate, with the help of a new colleerion of postcards and photographs, what the town really looked like between 1880 and 1930, Victorian and Edwardian times, in the hope that the baak will rekindle happy memories for many, and perhaps introduce a byegone era to the younger generation and visitor to the town alike.

Upon opening the baak you will find many of the old buildings and gardens featured on the postcards, looking very much as they do today. However, it is fair to say that some of the lovely old buildings have been demolished, some areas renamed, and other architectural delights looking very much as they have done since they were built.

Ta appreciate the town's history you need to look back to the days before the Victorian town boasted its grand stuccoed terraces and treelined avenues, back to the time when it was little more than a hamlet ofless than fifty dwellings situated to the south bank of the River Leam.

In fact, there appears to have been a settlement of some kind or other as early as the 7th century, and even the Domesday Baak records details of 'Lamintone' as early as 1086. Over the centuries very little growth was recorded and by 1800 there were still probably only around fifty dwellings with a populanen of about three hundred.

The recognition of the waters in 1794 had a significant impact on the tewn's progress, and na one was more delighted to learn of Dr. Lambe's artiele published in the memoirs of the Manchester Philosophical Society, recognising the potential of the mineral springs in the town, than William Abbots, the colourfullandlord of the Dog Inn, the village ale house, and cobbler Benjamin Satchwell, the equally colourful post

master and poet. Bath men, it appeared, were to emerge from obscurity with the exploitation of the waters, and along with the success of the mineral springs came fame, not only to the men, but importandy to Leamington itself.

Quite simply Dr. Lambe's arialysis had revealed that the water content from the Leamington Springs resembied those already acknowledged in Cheltenharn Spa. This was much to the delights of Abbots and Satchwell, who by 1784 had discovered the village's second spring on Abbott's land in Bath Lane. This in turn was to result in recognition of the medical powers of the mineral waters, and an ever increasing flock of wealthy visitors, seeking the promised healing powers of the water, came to the Spa. From then on, the town was to establish itself as one of the ecutry's most popular health resorts, the result of which was the erection of a multitude of fine new buildings, and amidst the air of excitement and enthusiasm, Learnington was to become a boom town. The honeymoon was short lived however, and for about a decade there was little progress, due rnainly to a very poor harvest in 1799 and the war with France.

The population of the town had reached about 17,000 by the year 1860 and while the well-to-do among the community lived in the more fashionable areas ofLeamington, the paar were less fortunate and could be found living in squaller behind the fine terraces. squares and crescents to be found in the town; a town which consisted of thatched cottages, fine new brick elegant buildings, and not surprisingly enough, Fairweather's Fumigating Baths!

Exciting places had sprung up around the town. The famous Lord Aylesford's WeH, built over the original mineral spring, was erected in 1803, the fameus Copps' Royal Hotel in 1827, theVictorian Town Hall in 1831, the beatiful Victoria Terrace in 1838, and the equally attractive

Post Office established in 1846. Slowly the town grew, until by the turn of the century the population had risen to around 26,000.

As Leamington established itself as a successful inland health resort large hotels were opened to cater for the visitor's needs, among them the Regent Hotel and the Manor Hotel, which are still in business to this day, and the Crown Hotel, which is presently being redeveloped. Alas, life in the early 1900's was not all it was set out to be in Leamington, for behind the well-ro-de upper classes living in their fashionable houses, were to be found back-ta-back houses which were home to the many working classes, who laboured for long hours and poor pay. In contrast to those who idled their time socialising in the ]ephson and Pump Room Gardens, where they would listen to the band and drink tea or coffee, the conditions of those less fortunate were not sa good. Their hornes were crowded and their standard ofliving was low. This did not, however, deter them from enjoying a sociallife, even if they had very little time or money for leisure or indeed entertainment of anykind.

Unfortunately things were to stay like this until the introduetion of the new housing estates on the outskirts of the town, where the paar were rehoused, and the streets which had housed them were demolished. Transport was to playavital role in the progress of the town and on 21st November 1881, the horse-drawn tramway was officially opened. It was a single line track which weaved its way from a terminus at StationApproach, Avenue Raad, Leamington to the Warwick terminus in High Street. During its travels the horse-drawn tram would go up the Parade, along Warwick Street, in Leamington, through Emscote and up Smith Street, in Warwick. The journey taak 40 minutes, and the tram was drawn by a pair ofhorses.The three-mile journey, in contrast to todays' transport, was leisurely to say the least.

The railway had also made its impact on the town with the arrival of a branch line from Coventry to Milverton in 1844. The track was almast nine miles lang. The service proved very popular and in 1847 an extension to Avenue Raad was commenced, which was to continue to Rug-

by. The official opening of this extended line taak place on 22nd February 1851, and once again it proved very popular. Two bridges resulted from this extention. One, a viaduct over the River Leam in Princes Drive to take the line from Milverton to the town, and another across the High Street, to enable the Rugby line to continue. Unfortunately, in order to build the High Street Bridge two fameus buildings in the town had to be demolished. Curtis' Baths, sa named after the lady, Mrs. Curtis, who was entrusted to care for them when they were enlarged in 1800, fell casualty and so did the Copps Royal Hotel, which had been built in 1827.

Electricity arrived in the town in 1887, and proved a great success where illumination of the streets were concerned.

For many years the Parish Church of All Saints had been the only place of worship in the town, and the church had stood for over five hundted years, virtually unaltered, on the southern bank of the Leam. Things were to change, however, not only through the increased interest in the town but more importantly through the increased population, and between 1800 and 1850 a large number of religious buildings, churches and chapels of all denominations sprung up around the town. These were normally to be found at the central point of any new development, especially in the earlyVictorian times, when it was considered that they enticed investors to build large and impressive houses nearthem.

Along with the more familiar narried churches such as All Saints' , St. Peter's and the various Non Conformist Chapels to be found in the town, there were the more unusual named buildings such as the Mission Chapel of the Good Shepherd, which was built in Satchwell Street in 1890, and Ebenezer Primitive Methodist Chapel, which was to be found in the High Street, and was erected in 1852, which gives an example of the variety of churches that were built in Leamington at this time.

Another aspect of the tewn's history were the Sunday Schools which resulted from this sudden surge in religion, and were to play a major

part in the education of the children from the families in the area who were desperately paar .. Alas, in the first half of the 19th century; parents did not encourage their children to artend what little schooling was available to them and preferred them to earn extra cash to boost the family income instead. lt was the combined effort of the various religious groups and charities, which offered, through Sunday School, the oppartunity for these children to receive basic instructions on reading, and mare importantly on writing, once a week.

Private schools, however, in contrast, were found in abundance, and in 1883 there were na less than forty-five private schools in the town, which of course made teaching a profitable business!

Like all good things the popularity of Leamington as a fashionable health resart was to be exchanged for samething new, such as sun bathing by the seaside, and the people ofmeans, who were so keen to make Leamington famous for her mineral waters, were now making history elsewhere.

With their departure came a number of elegant houses on the market place and the town was to become popular as a residential area, mostly far retired officers of means.

This was to have drastic effects on the workers, who had been ernployed as servants, gardeners and the like, now there was na work, ar even worse, na industry in the town to employ them, and many had na option but to travel to the surrounding area further afield to fmd employment.

Between 1870 and 1900 a good deal of development taak place and many impressive buildings were erected, such as those to be found in York Raad, PrioryTerrace and Warwick New Raad, stil!loaking, incidently, very much today as they did when they were built.

In fact, by the early 1900's the town had a General Post Office in Priary Terrace, a Victorian Tawn Hall on the Parade which was built in 1884, the Pump Room Public Swirnming Baths, which proved very popular. The Eagle Recreatian Ground, designed in 1899, also made its appearance, alang with the many improvements in the amenities afthe tawn,

which all went ta make Leamingtan a better place ta live in.

The tawn boasts many beautiful gardens among them the Iephson Gardens, named after Dactar Iephson, Pump Room Gardens, the brainchild of a syndicate who were respansible far the erection of the Pump Room and Bath, Victoria Park, York Walk, Mil! Gardens and variaus smaller gardens ta be faund around the town, all designed for the pleasure of thase who cared to visit them.

Terraeed houses were becaming popular and were erected between 1890 and 1918. Hausing estates, very much in need ta hause the paar, were erected in the period 191 9 until 1 938, when the Second Warld War brought building work to a standstil!. In fact in the late 1930's many of the large houses, once the pride of the tawn, faund thernselves na langer required, and were to let or far sale. However, despite reduced prices, many were to remain empty and in the fullness of time presented a very sad picture afLeamingtan.

Cantrary to the picture this paints, Royal Learningtan Spa thrives, its gardens look as beautiful as they always have done, the town centre with its listed buildings as elegant. lts peaple as genuine, now enjay a standard of life far better than any of their predecessars had ever dreamedaf

It's been a pleasure to write this secand volume of''Royal Leamingtan Spa in aid picture postcards' far yau, and adelight ta do. In thanking my publishers for giving me the opportunity to present this baak, I sincerely hope you derive as much pleasure fram reading its contents as I did fram compiling them for you.

The tranquil setting shows in the centre of the picture the Parish Church of All Saints', which is situated south of the River Leam. To the left of the tower are the Jephson Gardens and to the right the Pump Rooms. Up until 1800 this was the only place ofworship and although it has been altered since its early days, the church had in fact remained very much as it was built for five hundred years.

2 One of the most popular occupations of the residents and guests alike in Royal Leamington Spa is fee ding the ducks and swans in the Iephsan Gardens and on the River Leam. This postcard has captured beautifully the mood of the day, as visitors enjoy a chat in the Jephson Gardens while the ducks and swans wait patiently for their turn!

3 This delightful photograph shows an Austin 7 which was affectionately known as the Doctors Coup. The lady posing for the photograph besides her black Austin car is the late nurse Muriel Hartshorne. A lady of great commitrnent, she was always available to give help, care and attention when needed.

4 The Mill Garden bridge and tow path around 1900. The baat house is located to the right-hand side of the bridge. Baating on the River Learn was a papular pastime far many years past and still is to this day.

5 This delightful wedding photograph of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Eggleton was taken in 192 3, at Trinity Church, BeechamAvenue, on New ïear's Day.The bride's wedding outfit, a pale gray costume, was made by the bride's mother, Doll Screen, of La Screen Tailor fame, who conducted their business at 40 Clarendon Avenue, Leamington Spa.

6 Taken around 1900, this delightful photograph gives the reader an insight into the Pump Room Gardens, when flower beds were laid out on the lawn, and the band played for the pleasure of those who cared to listen.

7 There were many fine buildings in the town which was known for its impressive terraces, squares and crescents; these were homes for the well-to-do upper classes. Labour was cheap, domestic servants plentiful, enabling the lady of the house to idle her time away strolling on the Parade and socialising in the ]ephson Gardens and Pump Rooms. This elegant mother and her daughter are seen enjoying the sunshine walking alongside the Pump Rooms, into the gardens.

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