Tag Archives: memories

Picture Postcard Parade: The Aquarium and Madeira Drive, Brighton

13 Jan

The postcard below is provided as a contrast to the one from last week, this one probably dates from the late 1960s or early 1970s and show a slightly different view (looking east) of The Aquarium at Brighton, Sussex. Madeira Drive is the road to the right of the Aquarium. The postcard was published by Photo Precision Limited, about whom I have been unable to find out any more information.

This is much more the way I remember it from my childhood. I have tried to remember when it was that I went on a school trip to the aquarium or dolphinarium as it also known. It must have been in the late 1970s. I don’t remember much about the visit, I have recollections of large red plastic covered seats with tables where we had our lunch, and I seem to recall the smell of egg sandwiches, but I could be wrong.

I remember there was a display by the dolphins (long since moved on) in a giant pool, with the dolphins splashing those sitting near the edge of the pool. Also I think they “sang” happy birthday to someone in our school group. I can’t remember anything else about the aquarium, but I do remember we went out onto the beach afterwards, where one of my classmates found a dead fish.

The building now houses the Brighton Sea Life Centre which is much more focused on conservation and education than when I was there, although I have not been there since that visit thirty or so years ago. This is how the entrance looks today (or a couple of years ago) on Google Street View.

Trying to stop the memories fading away

29 Sep

Over the last few months I have been thinking about writing my own personal history. Not that I think my life has been particularly interesting and I am sure it will not be of interest to anyone other than myself. I would be writing it for purely personal and selfish reasons, to enable me to remember things that have happened in my life.

I am becoming aware that things are changing in the world around me and I am not getting any younger. My memories of my childhood and schooldays, my early working life are starting to fade or have already gone. It was really brought home to me last weekend when I was thinking about my walk along the South Downs Way, although it was only a few months ago the details are starting to fade.

I know I wrote about it on my blog, but that was only a very basic outline. Perhaps it will be enough to jog my memory in the future, but I am sure there will be things that I have missed out which will fade from memory. I also have lots of photos, and these will help jog my memories, but will I be able to remember all of the place names and why I took that particular photo?

I suppose this blog is the closest I have ever got to keeping a diary, despite previous attempts I have never lasted more than a few weeks keeping a daily diary. Going forward I probably need to try again, but not recording every day, just important or interesting days, most weekdays are not that memorable the following day, but every now and then something more interesting happens that I might want to remember at a later date. Even if nothing interesting happens it will probably be worth recording what a typical day was like every once in a while.

Then I can go back and record as many of my memories as I can before it is too late. Many of them will not be for a specific date, more for a period in my life, such as childhood or schooldays. Some entries may be very brief, perhaps even just place holders for things I need to try and remember (or ask others about) such as when we visited a particular place, a book that I read or a film that was special in some way.

I have been wondering just how I was going to record all these memories and I think I will probably use a blog like this one, except that it will be private, not that there are any shocking or scandalous secrets, just that it will probably not be of any interest to anyone other than me. Occasional memories might slip over into this blog (hopefully not accidentally) if I think they might be of interest or relate to my ancestors.

I think a blog is going to be the perfect medium, because of the simplicity of adding photos and other media and because I know may way around it. I have always been one for hanging on to things like train tickets and buying postcards when we visit places. Then there are things like the covers of books and CDs that have some special significance. The good thing is that because it is for my own personal use I don’t need to worry too much about copyright on images.

The other thing I like about using a blog is the ability to tag things, so I can put things in a rough chronological order, buy tagging with a specific date, a year or even just a time period such as schooldays or 1980s. The only problem will be finding the time to actually do the writing and adding in images, although once it is set up it shouldn’t take too long to just write a piece. For starters I think I shall try adding just one memory or event from the past each day along with anything interesting that happens on a day to day basis.

Picture Postcard Parade: Seaford from East Cliff

17 Sep

If I were to create a top-ten of¬† my favourite postcards (now there’s an idea) this one would almost certainly be in it. This is an excellent quality photographic card which features, in incredible detail (click on the image if you don’t believe me), the coastal town of Seaford, East Sussex and the countryside beyond. The card was posted in Seaford on September 1910, although I can’t quite make out the exact day.

Seaford from East Cliff

My copy of the eleventh edition of Black’s Guide to Sussex and its Watering-Places (published in 1898 by Adam and Charles Black of London) describes Seaford thus:

In a break of the cliffs, where the Ouse enters the sea, Seaford displays a growing assembly of red and gray houses, the new ones running rather to the bungalow style, nearly all offering accommodation to the visitors who throng this place in the holiday season. Its nucleus as a health resort may be considered the Convalescent Hospital, a well-known London charity, to which has lately been added the Surrey Convalescent Home, taking advantage of the “tonic” properties claimed for the air, and of the frequent sunshine with which Seaford is blessed, not to speak of some little shelter from the east wind. The drainage and the water supply have been seen to ; then it has an esplanade, a shingly beach, bathing machines, rowing boats, sailing yachts, and cricket field. The great factor in its recent prosperity is the Golf Links stretching over the Downs to the east. The scenery around has admirers. For our part, we are disposed to pronounce it somewhat monotonous in its expanse of bare green tableland ; but there are hidden hereabouts some pretty nooks ; and two or three of the quaintest villages in Sussex nestle along the course of the Cuckmere, which falls into the sea 3 miles eastward.

I have several reasons for valuing this card so highly, aside from the quality and level of detail. Of course I have ancestors that came from Seaford (or at least passed through), and it also provides an excellent cross-section of Sussex landscapes, with a beach and chalk cliffs side by side, and a backdrop of the rolling hills of the South Downs.

Perhaps the strongest reason for my love of this card is the personal memories it conjures, and hopefully will continue to do so for years to come. One of my most enjoyable days this Summer started out with a climb up the hill from Seaford to roughly the same spot, where I paused and took in the view across Seaford to Newhaven and the hills beyond.

It was not long after that day that I returned to full-time work and my Summer of exploring was brought to an end, but I still have happy memories of that short walk from Seaford up over Seaford Head and down to the mouth of the Cuckmere River. Lots of memories and lots of photographs, like the one below, which was taken almost 100 years after the postcard above was sent. Happy days.

Seaford, East Sussex 21 Jun 2010

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