Shortlands in old picture postcards

Shortlands in old picture postcards

:   Muriel V. Searle
:   Greater London
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-5325-6
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Shortlands in old picture postcards'

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- - ....? 51. jlfary's,

29. The present St. Mary's Shortlands was re-consecrated on 20th November 1955, over a decade after the church shown here was almost totally destroyed in 1944 by a direct hit. Residents of nearby roads actually watched the 'doodlebug' sail over their roof tops, cut out its engine into ominous silence, and home in with a huge explosion on a building that had already been damaged once and patched up. The service culminated in the declaration by Dr. Chavasse , Bishop of Rochester: 'Let this house and all its furnishings be hallowed and consecrated, in thc name of the Father, and of the Son, and ofthe Holy Ghost.' The following hymn included the appropriate lines: 'Here to this consecrated hili, Thy people flocked in earlier days ... Consumed by stroke of ruthless foe, In smoke and flame the house was razed.'

30. St. Mary's in about 1910, with the sm all front gate. There was also a fine lych-gate, a replica of the very ancient one at Beckenharn. When the church was destroyed in 1944 by bombing, the spire fell almost intact and lay on the ground for many years afterwards, until the present church was erected on the same site. It was possible even for a child therefore to boast that he had climbed the spire of St. Mary's from base to pinnacle on the outside, without aid of steeplejack's gear, simply by edging along it as it lay pro ne in the churchyard. Unfortunately, the gravelly hilltop site is very susceptible to subsidence. At the time of writing both the vicarage and church hall are undergoing emergency underpinning and other work, and the church chancel floor is also affected. The same problem, it has been discovered, affected the original church within a few years of its construction, and complete rebuilding was at one time seriously considered.

31. Only a few artefacts remain of the old church that were rescued from the blitz, including an oil painting showing it surrounded by fields, both of the 120-years-old altars, and a great carved altar reredos from the former Lady Chapel, in which can be seen many little cuts and nicks caused by flying shrapnel. Plans for the very beautiful replacement initially included a tower, which was never built. Only very recently have partial amends been made, by the acquisition of a single bidding-bell taken from another church, and fixed high up on the south wall.

.' ..."


32. St. Mary's Iych-gate on a postcard of about 1910, showing how cJosely it resembIed the much more ancient gate into Beckenharn churchyard, which survived the 19th century rebuilding of the latter old church.

33. Nave interior of St. Mary's. total!y destroyed in the air raid of 1944, showing the elaborate carved reredos; a smaller oak one in the Lady Chapel was rescued, and is now displayed on a wal! between the church and church offices. In its earlier days this was a fairly High Church congregation, in an age when in general Anglican churches leaned towards very plain ritual-less worship.

34. The ornate Gothic-style font in old St. Mary's Church. Today the font is on a small raised area at the west end, just inside the ma in door.

35. The pulpit of old St. Mary's. seen in about 1905-1910.

36. Queen Anne Avenue was completed late in 1930, but only on the right hand side. For the first six months these new residents looked across open country all the way to West Wiekham. until the other side was added, along with Durham Road. The great flood of 15th September 1968 devastated this avenue, as water from thirty-six hours' deluge poured off the higher roads into drainage that was hopelessly inadequate for all the roads built sin ce 1930. On the right side of this picture, water inside the houses reached to the downstairs windowsills, destroying al most everything but the most solid oak furniture. For several days there was no domestic power or gas; in any case, the ovens had been entirely filled with dirty water, and wiring had been saturated. A few houses still keep their make shift front-porch floodmarks in memory of that awful day.

37. People living in Queen Anne Avenue are aften uncertain whether they rightIy belang to Shortlands or Bromley. Probably the logical answer is: bath; it leaves Valley Raad and Hillside Raad within Shortlands valley, and emerges into Westrnoreland Road at the entry into Bromley. Backing onto the latter section is the former Aylesbury Raad School, now St. Mark's church school, where th is group was filmed at about the time of the Great War. The headrnaster (back row at right) is still known to those old enough to reeall hirn as 'Gaffer Lewis' , never by any Christian name.

38. A boys' violin class at Aylesbury Raad School, under the tuition of a Mr. Vallance, who earned additional evening income as a second violinist in the orchestra at Penge Empire. Each boy played a child-sized school-issue instrument called a Maidstone, casting his parents five shillings (25p) to buy. Annually before the Great War and during the 1920s-1930s period they were sent to compete in the huge Crystal Pal ace school musie festivals. One boy who continued his musical interest as aresult (and later became the author's father) always boasted of one of these occasions, th at he had once played a violin solo at the Crystal Palace - 'accompanied by 999 others',

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