Tag Archives: photos

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

The Wandering Genealogist returns to Beachy Head

14 Aug

I cannot help myself, it must be an addiction, it seems I take every available opportunity to visit Beachy Head. Today’s excuse was paying a visit the airshow at Eastbourne, East Sussex.

It was a rare opportunity when both my wife and I had a day off together and nothing else more pressing to do. For me it was pure indulgence, no work, no genealogy, no (serious) walking, just enjoying the scenery and the flying.

Grey skies over Eastbourne

Beachy Head was not perfect as a viewpoint for the airshow, with the aircraft displaying along the seafront at Eastbourne it is a little bit too far away, although several of them did arrive or depart over Beachy Head. What it does have is lots of open space and terrific views all round.

As you can see the conditions were not perfect at the start, the day began with grey skies (and a light rain shower whilst on the bus) but it did clear later on. Even whilst the skies elsewhere were blanketed in cloud, Beachy Head seemed to be basking in sunshine. It really felt like a privileged position.

Having taken the bus up to the top of Beachy Head we felt that we at least ought to walk back down to Eastbourne to get the bus back to Brighton. We made our way down the side of the hill and walked along the foot of the hills and into the town. This gave me a chance to get a photo of Beachy Head lighthouse and the cliffs.

Chalk cliff and lighthouse

The flying display was excellent, especially as we got closer to centre of the action on Eastbourne seafront, I prefer the older historic aircraft, but my wife preferred the faster and noisier modern jets, like the F-16, which I must admit was absolutely awesome. Unfortunately the seafront also meant crowds of people and traffic, which was a real contrast to the slopes of Beachy Head. We didn’t hang around long, we had a bus to catch, and the crowds were a bit too much for us.Blue skies and The Blades at Eastbourne

Four font photos

23 Jul

After showing you the beautifully carved marble font at St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to show you a few of the other fonts I have photographed this year.

They are all from rural churches in the counties of Sussex and Hampshire and all have a family connection. As you can see they are not quite as ornate as the one at St James’s and most of them are not as old.

From left to right they are:

Chilcomb, Hampshire – the VCH of Hampshire says that “all the internal fittings are modern, the font, with a small bowl on an octagonal shaft, standing on a marble coffin-lid”.

Exton, Hampshire – this font is not as old as it seems, according to the VCH of Hampshire, “near the south door is the modern octagonal font of thirteenth-century style.”

Singleton, Sussex – described in the VCH of Sussex as being “octagonal, perhaps 15th-century”, not very descriptive really.

West Dean, Sussex – much of this church was destroyed by a fire in 1934 and this is obviously a modern font, which doesn’t even get a mention in the VCH of Sussex.

St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London

21 Jul

This weekend was the first time I have set foot inside St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London. I have passed it many times before without realising that there was an ancestral connection to the church.

The connection is through the KINGHORN family, more precisely my 3x great-grandfather Thomas KINGHORN. Four of his children were baptised here between 1851 and 1858, and he married his third wife (Isabella GRAHAM) here in 1853.

St James's Church, Piccadilly

It is slightly annoying that it seems impossible to actually get a photo of the entire building. It is sandwiched between two roads and encircled by buildings, with a small market on the northern side of the churchyard, and some trees on the western side. Bing Maps provides a wonderful view of the church and it’s surroundings.

From the outside it seemed quite a small building, tall but not particularly long or wide. Inside the main body of the church it becomes obvious that this is not the case. I had expected it to be quite cramped and dark, but instead it was light and spacious.

St James's Church interior

It certainly changed my views of what an urban church was like, although I need to remember that this church has seen much restoration, after all it was nearly destroyed during the Second World War. Not only is it a beautiful church but it has a remarkable history, as architects go you can’t get much better than Sir Christopher Wren.

Hopefully one day I will have time to visit the church again and spend a little longer enjoying the peaceful atmosphere inside whilst the world rushes past outside.

Day tripping genealogist

17 Jul

I was back up in London today, not walking (well not proper walking) or visiting an archive, but being a tourist, along with thousands of other people. My wife and I spent the day looking around London, but I just couldn’t help taking her on a tour of some of the sights of KINGHORN interest in the City of Westminster.

London Eye

So as well as seeing the sights like the London Eye (pictured above) and taking a cruise down the Thames to Greenwich, we also popped into St James’s Church, Piccadilly, which is the first time I have actually been inside (but more about that another day).

St James's Church, Piccadilly from Swallow Street

We passed through several of the other streets nearby where the KINGHORN family lived, including Meard Street pictured below. When the KINGHORNs were living here this part of the street was known as Meards Court, but it is now all one street.

Meards Court, Soho

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