Wellington in old picture postcards

Wellington in old picture postcards

:   D.J. Marshall
:   Somerset
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2953-4
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Wellington in old picture postcards'

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The town of Wellington is picturesquely situated in the fertile valley of the River Tone in the south-west of the county of Somerset. The valley is bounded to the north by the Brendon and Quantock Hills, whereas the Blackdown Hills form both the southern boundary of the valley and the Somerset-Devon county border.

The town is first recorded in the early years of the tenth century - as 'Weolingtun' - when it was granted to the Bishop of Sherbome by King Edward the Elder. It subsequently passed to the Bishop of Wells, and 'Walintone' is shown as his property in the Domesday Book of 1086. Wellington became Crown property in the sixteenth century - when its most famous resident was Sir John Popham, whose elaborate tomb can be seen in the parish church. Sir John's offices included Speaker of the House of Comrnons and Lord Chief Justice of England, and in the latter capacity he presided at the trials of Sir Walter Raleigh and Guy Fawkes,

The town did not figure significantly in the English Civil War, but a number oflocal men were imprisoned or executed for supporting the Duke of Monmouth at the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685. The author Daniel Defoe passed through Wellington in 1724, but the town did not again attain national prominenee until the distinguished soldier Arthur Wellesley took the title Viscount Wellington of Wellington and Talavera in 1809. Following further victories in the Spanish Peninsular War, Wellesley was elevated through the peerage until he was created Duke of Wellington in 1814, and hè is best remembered today for his victory over Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815. Wellington has been associated with the cloth trade since at least the sixteenth century, and this industry was dominated by the Were family in the eighteenth century and by the Fox family in the following two centuries. The importance of the cloth trade to the town has declined in recent years, but other industries such as bedding manufacture, aerosol production

and light engineering have arisen to compensate for this, A brick factory at nearby Poole, which has changed ownership several times since its foundation in 1842, continues to produce bricks from local clay deposits.

Wellington has always benefited from being on the main road between Bristol and Exeter, the two biggest commercial eentres in South-West England, and in 1836 the Wellington section of the Grand Western Canal was completed. However, the latter mode of transport was seriously affected by the arrival of the railway in the 1840's, which provided a fast conneetion between the town and London. Today, however, Wellington has lost its station and is bypassed by much road traffic due to the construction of a relief road and the M5 motorway in the 1970's.

A visitor's first view of Wellington will undoubted1y be the obelisk on the crest of the Blackdown Hills that was erected to commemorate the Duke of

Wellington's victory at Waterloo. The town itself has a fine early-sixteenth century parish church and a recently renovated Town Hall of 1833, as weIl as several other buildings of interest.

During the period covered by this book the population of Wellington remained fairly static at about 6,500, but today (1984) it stands at twice this figure.

All the postcards reproduced in this book are from the authors' collections except the following: 9 and 48, Wellington Museum; 18 and 47, Mr Andrews; 23, Miss Forbear; 31, Mrs Perry; 58, Mrs Richards; and 68, Mrs Palmer.

Anyone requiring more background information on the history of Wellington is recommended to read the following boöks: G. Allen & R. Bush. The Book of Wellington. Buckingham, 1981;A.L. Humphreys. The History of Wellington. London, 1889; A.L. Humphreys. When I was a Boy. London, 1933.

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1. The early-sixteenth century parish church dedicated to St. John the Baptist is situated at the eastern end of the town and is constructed from local ashlar. The south face of the tower has a central stair turret, a feature more typical of Devon churches.

2. This ladies' drapery and hosiery shop in High Street proudly displays the sign WHERE PRlCES ARE ALWAYS RIGHT. The premises have changed ownership several times since this photograph was taken and now house an Indian restaurant.

3. A look along Longforth Road when milk and provisions were still delivered by horsedrawn vehicles.


4. The interior of The London Inn, High Street, which was demolished earlier this century. Another postcard proclaims: Visitors to Wellington are respectfully invited to cal! and inspeet one of the best collections of British co ins, medals ... , arms and curiosities to be seen in the West of England.

5. A nearly deserted view of High Street showing a signpost - "I'O ALWA Y'S WlNE & SPIRIT VAULTS' - standing almast in the middle of the thoroughfare. The ivy-clad frontages on the left add a touch of character to the scene.

6. A large crowd gathers outside the home of 'Judge' Miller in High Street to celebrate Armistice Day, 11 November 1918. Local dignitaries are assembied on the balcony.

Çentlem;n's llairdressing Saloon.

e. C. ljoskins

Fjairdresser, perfumu, Örnam ental Fjair Worku and Cobacconist

. Fjigh Street, Welling/on. Som.

.I:adies Fjalrdressing Saloon.

7. This hairdresser had gentlemen's and ladies' saloons (sic.) like the unisex establishments of today, but combined bis business with the sale of sports goods.

H. TALBOT, ~~;~V~~~ ~~JcJ~rc~:~: 18, High Street, WellingtoD, Somerset

8. This postcard demonstrates that even small shopkeepers were keen to advertise both their profession and their wares.

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