Tag Archives: postcard album

Postcard Album: Inside High Hurstwood Church, Sussex

18 Feb

Last week I showed you a postcard of the outside of Holy Trinity Church, High Hurstwood, Sussex, so this week I will give you a glimpse of the inside of the church.

This postcard is a bit of a mystery, it is unused and doesn’t name a publisher or photographer. The caption is of a style that I don’t recognise, so I am at a loss to tell you any more about this card. If I had to put a date on this card I would have to guess that it was around 1910-15.

I haven’t been inside this church (but I really should) and can’t find a photo of it online, so I don’t know whether it still looks the same inside.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: High Hurstwood Church, Sussex

7 Feb

Several of my Finding Minnie posts have mentioned the High Hurstwood, Sussex and this postcard shows Holy Trinity Church, where my great-grandmother was married (twice) and where my grandmother was baptised.

This particular postcard is unused, but probably dates from around 1910, perhaps a little later. The style of the caption gives it away as being published by Cecil Travers and it is a really super photo.

Then line of the hedgerow clearly illustrates the fact that the church is built on a slope, and I love that the photographer must have been standing up to his waist in the meadow grass to get the photo.

I love this church, not just because of the family connections, but because it is one of the most unusual churches I have seen. I haven’t been inside yet, but the outside is a pleasing assortment of architectural features and adornments, and there have been more since.

I really must try to get back over to High Hurstwood this year and explore the area further.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: Dyke Hill and Poynings Church, Sussex

4 Feb

Below is another view of Devil’s Dyke, West Sussex looking south-west towards the north face of the hill, showing Poynings Church in the foreground with it’s solid square tower, but then the caption already told you that.

This postcard is unused, but the back reveals that it was No. 30 in The Brighton Palace Series XVIII, which means it was published by the Handwercks of Brighton, Sussex and probably dates from around 1912-13.

Apart from the farm buildings and haystacks in the foreground, the other interesting feature of this card is the steep grade railway on the side of the hill. That light coloured strip running half-way down the side of the hill marks the course of the railway.

It was a funicular railway transporting visitors up and down the side of the hill, supposedly to enable visitors to the Dyke to all visit the villages at the foot of the Downs, but as you can see it didn’t really go all the way, and I suspect it was of little practical value.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: Saddlescombe and Devil’s Dyke, Sussex

27 Jan

I have moved a couple of miles south-west along the South Downs (compared to last week) for this postcard. There is no publisher named on this card and rather bizarrely it was not posted in Sussex, but in Cambridge on the 5th September 1927 and sent to an address in Coventry.

Here we are on West Hill looking west towards Devil’s Dyke. The clump of trees on top of the hill hides the whereabouts of the Dyke Hotel and by this time most, if not all, of the amusements on the hill-top had long since closed down.

For me the real interest in this picture is not the Dyke, but the hamlet of Saddlescombe and its National Trust owned farm nestling between the hills.

What I really like about this image are the giant haystacks, as big as some of the farm buildings among which they were built. The buildings may have preserved but I think you would be lucky to find a haystack these days, let alone enough people with the skill and expertise to build one.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: Wolstonbury Hill, Hurstpierpoint, Sussex

21 Jan

The postcard below shows Wolstonbury Hill south of Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex. I believe this view is looking south toward the northern slope of the hill. Although it not particularly detailed I love the figures in the foreground, taking their dogs for a walk.

There is no publisher or photographer named on this postcard, although it was posted in May 1904 so it is quite an early card. The typeface of the caption and the style of the reverse of the card are reminiscent of those published by Mezzotint Co. of Brighton, Sussex.

Whilst this is a nice picture (which was the reason I bought it) the card has a more interesting back.

As you can see there is no message just an address, stamp and postmark (or cancellation). If you look closely you will see that the stamp is in fact upside down. You may have heard about something called the language of stamps (it was even mentioned on the Antiques Roadshow a couple of weeks ago).

Basically the orientation of the stamp was like a secret code, although of course it wasn’t actually a secret. There seem to have been several variations depending on where you came from, but one option for the upside-down stamp, and the one that I prefer is that it was shorthand for “I love you”.

In the 1911 census Beatrice Willis (36 years old and unmarried) was living at 119 Kings Road, Kingston on Thames, who must have been the recipient of this card, but I guess we will never know who the sender was?

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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Postcard Album: Bolney, Sussex

13 Jan

Last week I showed you a postcard  of the Parish Church in Bolney, Sussex, well that same church features on the postcard below or at least the church tower does, poking up above the trees and houses.

This is another postcard by one of my favourite photographers F. Douglas Miller (if you look closely you can see his name embossed in the bottom-right corner). This postcard has not been used, but probably dates from around 1910.

Although my ancestors lived in Bolney and would have known this road (known as The Street) they didn’t actually live in any of the houses featured. No doubt they would have attended the church and probably also the pub (The Eight Bells) at the far end of the road on the right. They probably would have visited the post office as well (the building with the canopy or the one next door).

Although there is not a lot going on in the picture there is something particularly appealing about this card, I can’t quite put my finger on it. What I can say is that to me it captures perfectly a moment in time, what life was like most of the time in a rural Sussex village.

Postcard Album: Bolney Church, Sussex

6 Jan

I have shown you several postcards of Bolney church from my collection before, inside and out (and even the lych gate) but the postcard below is slightly different because it shows a side of the church which I don’t think I have seen on a postcard before.


This view is taken from the north-eastern end of the churchyard near the school and shows the less than interesting northern side of the church.

I am not sure who the photographer or publisher was, the caption is quite distinctive, and I have several similar ones in my collection. This postcard was posted from nearby Haywards Heath in June 1914.

Copyright © 2012 John Gasson.
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