Walton-on-the-Naze in old picture postcards

Walton-on-the-Naze in old picture postcards

:   Bernard J. Norman
:   Essex
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2829-2
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Walton-on-the-Naze in old picture postcards'

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This book has been compiled to give the reader a general understanding of Walton-on-the-Naze and its inhabitants during the period between 1880 and 1930, which can justifiably be claimed to have been its heyday. Situated on the north-east Essex coast the town is five miles south of Harwich and eighteen miles east of Colchester. On the Naze peninsula with water on three sides, Walton has natural1y strong marine connections which the reader will later appreciate. The word Naze comes from the AngloSaxon 'naes' a ness or headland and today the cliffs at the Naze represent a site of considerable geological importance. A stratum of London clay, a slippery bluish-grey deposit weathering to brown flakes, laid down by the Eoeene seas about sixty million years ago, was overlaid at the start of the Pleistocene period about one and a half to two million years ago, by shore deposits very rieh in wel1 preserved fossil shells, and known as Red Crag. At the extreme northern end of the Naze to the north of the sea walls are areas of shoreline in which abundant evidence has been found of man's early habitation. Many flint implements of the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods have been found, of which several sizeable private collections have been made, one of the finest of these being that of the late J ohn Hassall.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the foreshore provided Walton with two industries. The cement stone trade consisted of col1ecting lumps of cement stone, known as septaria. Fishing smacks dredged the materialoff shore to be taken to the

Harwich factory where it was burnt and ground to make Roman cement, while that found on the beach was collected into heaps and taken away by cart. The copperas works, sited in Vicarage Lane where there is now a row of houses, also provided work in the town. Copperas is a ferrous sulphate found, as it is to day, in the London clay of the cliff and also embedded in the slabs of platimore on the beach. It was collected by the copperas piekers and brought to the works where it was placed in two chalk-lined pits and layered alternately with scrap iron. At the completion of its processing it emerged as crystals of sulphuric acid and was used for dyeing and making ink. The works closed in the 1850's, but copperas was still being picked in 1887 when it was recorded that 8d. a bushel was paid for it in the railway station yard and that one hundred and fifty tons were removed annual1y from the beach.

Walton has always been susceptible to the inroads of an ever eneroaehing sea as shown by the history of the Parish Church. The present church was built on a new site after the old church, in which the last service was held on 22nd July 1798, was gradually engulfed by the sea. The list of Vicars dates from 1297 when a visitation by order of the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral took place on 1st October. The manor owned by St. Paul's Cathedral included Walton and the neighbouring Kirby and Thorpe whieh together formed a 'Soke', from the Anglo-Saxon 'Socn' which meant they enjoyed certain privileges and powers. The church still uses the old parish name

of Walton-le-Soken. By 1327 some of the land owned by St. Paul's, and from which revenues were granted to a Canon, had been consumed by the sea and today in St. Paul's Cathedral can be seen a prebendal stall inscribed 'consumpta per mare'. In 1804 a new church was built on a site further inland, and in 1873 work began on replacing this by an edifice more suited to the developing town.

Several factors combined to ensure the development of Walt on as a renowned seaside resort during the second half of the nineteenth century. Firstly the realisation that sea-water bathing and sea air were as beneficial as the waters of inland spas, encouraged the growth of coastal towns. Walton possessed firm safe sands and health giving sea breezes. Secondly the coming of the railway in 1867 transporred many visitors. The steamer service provided by the Coast Development Company offered attractive excursions and rail and boat combined tickets eventually gave ac ce ss to resorts between Margate and Great Yarmouth. This company also built the power station and owned the Pier Hotel and the Round Gardens. Finally Walton was fortunate in having the services of architects and civil engineers whose planning of civic amenities and bold designs for fine terraces, hotels and piers gave Walton the superior facilities sought by the discerning visitor. MI. Penrice of Colchester built the Marine Hotel in 1829 and the first pier in 1830. During the next thirty years he developed the centre of the town as we know it today. The Warner family at the foundry built houses for their employees, and

envisaged a new development at the Naze end of the town, of which the fine East Terrace was a beginning. The most important of these planners was Peter Schuyler Bruff, a civil engineer from Ipswich, a man of outstanding ability who loved Walton and was responsible for the development of the southern part of the town. To hirn can be attributed the construction of the gas and water works, the arrival of the railway in 1867 and the construction of South Terrace, the Pier Hotel, and Marine Terrace.

Though one cannot look around and see as their memorial all the work of these men, Bruff's memory is honoured in the fine east window of the Parish Church, and in the names Bruff Terrace and Bruff Drive. The remembrance of Walton as it was still lingers in the minds of older residents, but a book such as this will enable the younger generation to look beneath the modern seaside environment and visualise the older town.

The author comes from an old established Walton family, with strong connections in north-east Essex. He is grateful to the local photographers of the past, T. Duningharn, T.C. Brooke, LA. Jones, and R. Robinson, who captured the atmosphere of a coast town, with its lifeboats, coastguards, piers and boats, its visitors, and commercial activities of mills, barges, farms, foundry and shops. Thanks must be given also to Mrs. Wilberforce and others who kindly provided material and to Stanley and Mariorie Norman for their help in preparing the book for publication.

1. The Naze Tower, octagonal and 80 feet high, stands on the highest point of the headland, and from the top of the tower , which is 162 feet above high water level, panoramic views are obtained. The tower was built in 1720 by Trinity House to provide a landmark for mariners. An iron spiral staircase gives access to six floors, with a seventh floor and the roof reached by ladder. Over the years it has been used by the Coastguard and the Royal Navy, Before the introduetion of wireless telegraphy the Royal Navy used the tower as a semaphore signalling station when its ships were at sea during manoeuvres. In the Second World War it was used by the Royal Air Force and had a large Radar scanner fitted on top. In this photograph of 1929 there ean be seen bunkers of the Naze Golf Links which flourished between the wars.

2. Standing high on the Naze and overlooking the backwaters and marshes is Walton Hall, probably the oldest house left standing in Walton. The part of the building with pitched roofs is the original farm house of Hall Farm. The square brick part with the stucco finish was added in 1802. Hall Farm was owned by J.W. Eagle and when this picture was taken from Short Lane in 1896 he lived in Walton Hall. The Naze Tower ean be seen behind the fence.

3. The handsome building situated on the cliff top at the Naze is Highcliff Mansion, which was built in the timbered style by Philip Brannon in the late 1880's. At this time it was known as St. Osyth's Home for Girls. Later it was advertised as a residential hotel, with a large garden and tennis courts and special rates for families and large parties of friends. The cliff path leads to the beach as it does today. For rnany years the house has been known as 'Mabel Greville'.

Naze Park, Walton-on-Naze.

4. The Naze Park Estate was developed on land owned by Sir John Johnson, and was commenced in the 1880's. This picture of Naze Park was taken in 1904 and shows, behind the gas lamp, the end of the plantation which stretches up to the top of the hili, with the new Naze Park Road on the left and Hall Lane on the right. At the top of the hili is Highc1iff Mansion. The architect and civil engineer responsible for the development was Philip Brannon, who acted as the estate agent. He was also manager of the Port Walton Brick and Tile Company, whose works were in High Tree Lane at the bottom of the hili, and whose products were noted for their quality. Although the ground on which the old works stood has since become a camping site, the Port Walton cottages remain.

East Terrace. Walton-on-Naze.

5. Built in 1836 by John Warnet, the Hoddesdon bell-founder, East Terrace comprises a row of seven houses with a coach house and stables at the rear. His own house, nurnber 1, with its fine Greek Doric style poreh, is seen at the far end. On the left of East Terrace is White Lodge, intended as a lodge for the newly developed area that was planned by Mr. Warner, but which eventually was used as a Bazaar and Reading Rooms. John Warner's son, Robert, was responsible for providing, at his own expense, three breakwaters opposite the East Terrace, the Bath House and the Albion. He also provided the promenade and sea defence walls connecting the breakwaters.

6. The Chief Officer of Her Majesty's Coastguard in 1892 was Wi1liam Henry Pengelly and he is seen here with seven of the twelve men who were stationed in the town. They are formed up with drawn swords ready for inspeetion outside the newly built Coastguard Station completed during the previous year, Mr. Pengelly and seven men, together with their families, lived at the main station, and a detachment of five men and their families lived aboard the Watch-vessel, moored at the junction of Cormorant Creek and Walton Channel in the backwaters. A few years earlier the Coastguards were accommodated in the cottages at the rear of East Terrace and also in the Martello Tower. The Coastguards' look-out was manned 24 hours a day and communication was by semaphore. Their rifle range was located at the Naze and all that remains of it today are a few rows of wooden stakes where the tamarisk wall meets the beach, north of the Naze Tower and well below high water mark.

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7. The Coastguard Watch-vessel number 4, named the 'Blossorn', and photographed in 1897, was brought to Walton in the 1860's to provide rep!acement quarters for the detachment of five Coastguards and their families under Captain Hewitt who were housed in the Martello Tower in somewhat squalid conditions. Fresh water and supplies were carried by cart across the marshes from Hall Farm and some barricoes of water ean be seen ready to go aboard at the side of the gangway. Each family had its own quarters complete with a Bogey stove. The large building on deck at the bow was the wash house, and was used by the Coastguards' wives in order of seniority according to their husbands' rank or service. To attend the Church School in the High Street the children had a long walk involving sea wall, marsh, country !anes and sands. In 1901 the Admiralty considered that the conditions existing in the Watch-vessel were sub standard, and five houses and a look-out were built at the head of the Naze to rep!ace it. The station was closed in 1906 and these cottages now belong to Hall Farm and are known as Creek Cottages.

8. Because of its exposed position winter storms often made conditions in the Bath House Hotel damp and uncomfortable, especially during high tides, and following the building of the new Shore Road with its sea defence wall in the early 1890's, customers had to go down steps to enter the hotel. During on-shore gales it was not unusual for the sea, after pounding against the sea wall, to flood across the road and down the steps of the hotel. The patrons would then watch as the sea water came in at the front of the building and ran out at the back. The date of the picture is 1902 and the proprietor at this time was Charles Matthew Hipkin. The old building was demolished in the mid-1930's and replaced by the building bearing the same name today.

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