Postcards of the village of Slaugham, Sussex are not that easy to come by, so I snapped up this one when it came up even though it is not in top condition. It shows the interior of St Mary’s Church, Slaugham.
The Interior of St Mary's Church, Slaugham, Sussex
I visited the church earlier this year (see the photo below) before I got this postcard and to be honest it took me a while to verify that this was the same church, such were the changes that have been made to the interior.
The Interior of St Mary's Church, Slaugham, Sussex (30/04/11)
The quality of my photo is rather poor (I will take more care next time and perhaps find the light switch) but it is good enough to see the similarities in the structure of the building even if most of the furniture and fittings have changed. Although not included in my photo the font on the right-hand sign is definitely the same.
The postcard itself is unused but it does have printed on the back that it is part of “The Dolphin Series” which almost certainly means it was the work of Harry Tullett of nearby Haywards Heath, Sussex, and probably dates the card to somewhere around 1910. It may be possible to date the picture more accurately if the changes inside the church were recorded and carried out over a number of years.
There are a number of family connections with this church, including the marriage of my 3x great-grandparents Thomas GASSON and Harriet MITCHELL, the burials of my 4x great-grandparents Henry and Catherine GASSON and the baptism of my 2x great-grandfather George Thomas GASSON.
It may not be Westminster Abbey, but this is more typical of the sort of place where my ancestors were married (sorry I just had to get in a reference to the Royal Wedding).
As the caption says this is the interior of Bolney Church. The church of St. Mary Magdalene in the village of Bolney, West Sussex has more family associations than just the usual baptisms, marriages and burials. Many of the individuals in my family tree passed through the doors to this church, including GASSON, WALDER, HARMES and LEWRY families.
Both of the other family associations relate to the church bells. Several generations of the WALDER family and at least one GASSON have served as bellringers in the church and are remembered on boards in the church tower.
Secondly it seems that one of my probable ancestors, Michael HARMES, paid for four of the eight bells in the church tower. That is one branch of my family tree I would really like to investigate and prove that I am related.
The reason for choosing this postcard today is because hopefully tomorrow I will be walking to Bolney, not strictly speaking for genealogy purposes, but I might “accidentally” end up wandering into the churchyard.
Copyright © 2011 John Gasson.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
The weather today was absolutely glorious, it was still quite cold but the sun was shining and there was not a cloud in the sky, the ground was still a bit damp underfoot but the patches of mud were easy to avoid.
In contrast to yesterday I was on my own (most of the time) and knew where I was going without the need a of map. Although I knew where I was heading (West Grinstead Church, Sussex) the route I was taking changed several times, such is the joy of knowing an area so well.
To be honest this is not the best-looking side of West Grinstead Church, but just look at that clear blue sky. I wanted to go to the church to photograph a few gravestones, and everything just came together today, some free time and good weather.
The best part of the walk however was the walk back, a combination of clear skies, bright sunshine and splendid views certainly raised my spirits after some cold, damp and dark days. The photo below is the view looking roughly south-east towards the South Downs.
I have walked these paths for many years and as well as the fine weather there were many good memories of time spent exploring the countryside. From a family history perspective just to the left of the photo at the bottom of the field is where my grandmother lived for a few years, something which I really should have blogged about by now.
This is one of the postcards I bought last weekend at Shoreham and is one of the best views of West Dean Church that I have seen.
In fact I don’t think I have seen a postcard from this angle before, roughly speaking the photo was taken from the garden of the vicarage looking south towards St. Andrew’s Church, above the roof of the church can be seen the roof and chimneys of West Dean House. Beyond that I think the hill on the left is probably Singletonhill Plantation, but I am not sure.
I love the fact that the photographer has captured the detail in the garden as well, with lots of fruit trees and what looks like a rose arch pointing towards the church tower. The gateway to the church is hidden behind the tall plant(s) in the centre, but the path can clearly be seen leading down the side of the garden and along the back wall.
I still don’t know who the publisher/photographer was, despite now having several from the same publisher/photographer. This particular card was not sent through the post, but it does have a message written on the back in pencil “The Church at West Dean we attended on Sunday [Cheerie] Chums August Camp 10th – 17th 1929″. The word Cheerie is not very clear but it is the only thing can I think it says, I wonder who they were and where they came from?
I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that this is the only historic postcard I have of Alton, Hampshire. I shall probably remedy this in the future, but for now you will have to make do with just this one.
This is the church in Alton, Hampshire where Henry SHORNDEN/WRIGHT and his wife Sarah had most of their children baptised and where both Henry and Sarah were buried. The postcard has not been used, but probably dates from between 1905 and 1910. The blank space in the top right-hand corner being used to write your message in if your were going to send the card abroad, when all of the back was needed for the address.
The back of the card also bears the name of the publisher/photographer, W.P. Varney of West End Studio, Alton. A bit of time spent in the trade directories for Hampshire would probably enable me to find out when W.P. Varney was trading.
I hope to get back to Alton this year and spend a bit more time exploring the area. I did pay the town a very brief visit last year when I took the photo below of St. Lawrence Parish Church as it looks now.