St Andrews in old picture postcards

St Andrews in old picture postcards

Auteur
:   Eric Simpson
Gemeente
:  
Provincie
:   Fife
Land
:   United Kingdom
ISBN13
:   978-90-288-6668-3
Pagina's
:   80
Prijs
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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

   


Fragmenten uit het boek 'St Andrews in old picture postcards'

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29 Visitors who couldn't afford hotels ar other expensive accommodation sought rooms with or without attendance. It was, and still is, commonplace for tourists to send cards pinpointing their tempor-

ary abode. Iess, who had enjoyed herselfAd ', wrote in August 1 92 0: 'We are staying the fourth door down on the left-hand side of the picture.' She also informed her father that she would be back

home in Stevenston in Ayrshire the foIlowing evening. This message was conveyed on a postcard that was date stamped 5.45 p.m.l Bridge Street, formerly WeIl Wynd, is one of St Andrews' many streets

that suffered a name change, thanks to Provost Playfair's mania for 'modernizing and civilizing' the city that he dominated.

30 In the 1950s, as we see in this and in the following postcard, the Kinkell Braes camping

and caravan park proved increasingly popular to many visitors, especially those with families, since a caravan provided holiday accommodation that was both free-and-easy and cheap. The Town Council had purchased the site in 1939 with water for cooking the only facility provided. Then, after the Second World War, starting with the construction of ablution benehes and chemical closets, new facilities were added and the site developed to such a degree that it was regarded

as an exemplar for other local authorities. A visiting journalist, writing in 1954, praised St Andrews' model caravan park where the vans were laid out in streets and the camp war-

dens, as well as collecting fees gave 'reminders on camp hygiene to those who may be needing a little guidance on such matters.'

3 1 The decision by the Town Council to develop the Kinkell Braes camp site 'to meet the growing demand for caravans' met with some bitter opposition. By attracting 'a new dass of visitor' the Town Council, some critics argued, had changed the character of the town and had, therefore, rendered it less attractive to its traditional type of visitor. But others welcomed the new more plebeian holidaymakers. A correspondent, writing to the Citizen in 1955, approvingly noted how these ]uly caravan dwellers and campers had banded themselves into a distinct community, or-

ganizing their own camp sports and weekly galas. Each week the camp residents raised 'substantial sums' for prizes. The caravan park is certainly conspicuous in this 1955

postcard, but at least St Andrews Town Council maintained a measure of 'tone' by keeping its beaches free of funfairs and obtrusive farms of popular entertainment.

32/33 On 18 September 1903 great crowds arrived by rail to join the many locals who had gathered to see the warships of the Channel Fleet anchored off St Andrews. In this panoramic eard we see the Forth, a Grangemouth-owned paddle-steamer, entering the harbour. The Forth was one of the many eraft earrying trippers round the fleet. The writer (postmark date 14 October 1903) eommented that the sea was very rough and added that 'all the people that went in the wee boats well the fishes would get a nice feed that day, for

every body was sick.' Several members of the Town Council, invited to Admiral Lord Charles Beresford 's flagship, suffered the same fate. Tragically en route to St Andrews, one of the

warships had collided with an Aberdeen brig off St.

Abbs. The loss of five lives and the necessity of a

court of inquiry cast a damper over the fleet.

34 Stearnboat excursions from the harbour were always a great attraction for visitars and locals alike.

St Andrews toa was a destination for excursionists from Dundee or elsewhere. In August 1897, far instanee, we find the Tantelion Castle owned by the Galloway Saloon Steam Packet Company of Leith sailing from its home port at 9.30 a.m., then calling at Portobello and North Berwick befare crossing the Firth of Farth and heading for St Andrews. Leaving St Andrews at 4 p.m., the steamer returned to Leith by the same route.

The Renown, a Dundee excursionist tug, was also a regular visitor around that time.

The Harbeur. St Andrews

35 Around 1910 navaltype uniforms were popular with the seaside entertainers, or pierrots, who performed, during the summer season, either on the sands or at the Bruce Embankment which would seem to be the correct site for this particular group, the Nauticals, and not as stated on the postcard caption. Rival promoters bid for the privilege ofusing the Courreil's stance. When the weather was bad, the troupes had to resort to the Town Hall, the Templar Hallorsome other indoor location. Although summer visitors and many locals were delighted with this cheap

and cheerful form of entertainments, nearby residents were less enthusiastic. Rowdy mobs retuming from the evening performances, it was claimed, disturbed the folk who lived

on the Scores. Their yells and shrieks disturbed and alarmed the 'residenters' who feared that StAndrews would be turned into another Blackpool or Porto bello.

36 Although pierrots were displaced from the Bruce Embankment (see No. 23), shows continued elsewhere. Here we see J.R. Tyrell's Nauticals, a company that had been playing at the Bruce Embankment since 19Ü8.The card, sent to AlfWalters, a ventriloquist who was performing in Crieff, is dated 1 Ü August 1 914, just six days after the outbreak of the First Warld War. The sender jokes that he is writing since he has . a few minutes to spare bef are the Germans capture us.' Adding that he thought that his party would be winding up earlier than usual because of the war, he wrote

that, in that case, he could give his ventriloquist friend a 'turn' at his benefit concert. It is likely, though, that these young men would have been

wearing real-life uniforms bef are the war finally ended in 1 918.

T R Tyrre.l's Nau i .

37 'Wee Willie' was one of the comedy stars of the circa 191 0 shows and here we see his name (part only visible) adorning this West Sands booth, which had been erected by permission of the Council. A few years earlier the Council had tried to insist that lessees provide only 'highclass' entertainment in the form of instrumental and vocal musie. But these performers had returned to the traditional pierrot style of performance and costume. Their dress, complete with pom-poms, ruff and cone-shaped hat, was derived from the Italian commedia dell' arte troupes. Those who had paid were

seated inside the enclosure. Pierrots had to be skilled in the art of''botding' - i.e. extracting cash from the spectators, usually the great majority who had remained outside.

Once the performance was over the chairs were stacked inside the hut. The swing doors were then shut and padlocked.

ST. ANDREWS FRQM THE LINKS

38 In this 1920s view we see an early Bow Butts pierrots' booth. After this simple hut was burned down, the Town Council rejected alternative proposals and decided in

1 927, despite vociferous opposition from the Scores ratepayers, ta invest in a new pavilion, complete with electric lighting and feneed enclasure. The lessees were to be charged

:SI 00 rent far the seasan[ust over lISth afthe estimated cast - and provide their awn piano and moveable furniture.

This building still stands, latterly serving as a tearoom/refreshment stall. Below the hut, a motor-

baat with trippers on board can be seen approaching the mobile jetty. But notice the gap between the jetty and dry land! Pleasure baats for hire, rowing boats mainly;

had to be licenced by the Town Council. In 192 8 Iames Cargill was the licensee at the Bruce Embankment.

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