Continuing the West Dean theme, here is yet another postcard from the parish of West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex. This one is not in brilliant condition, with some foxing (those brown spots) particularly noticeable in the sky and on the road.
This card is unused but appears to be from the same series as some of the cards I have previously featured, the earliest of which was dated 1918, so I would imagine we are probably looking at the similar date for this one. Unfortunately the name of the photographer or publisher is still a mystery.
The building on the right is the Selsey Arms Public House, and I love the fact that there are two carts parked outside, along with their horses and a push bike leaning up against the front. The owners presumably inside enjoying some refreshment.
Just to the left of the photographer (out of shot) is West Dean school. I don’t know the names of the houses further up the road on the left. None of my maps (or those online) seem to name them, there appears to have been three houses, and at one time the house at the far end was the Post Office.
Pubs have long been used as landmarks for navigation, they are helpful because they are quite easily recognised (most of them have a sign hanging outside) and it helps that many of them are built at road junctions.
The sign shown below at Singleton, West Sussex is unusual, possibly unique (if you know of a similar example then let me know), normally a fingerpost like this would be pointing the way to neighbouring villages, not nearby pubs.
I don’t know who is responsible for the sign, it appears to be in someone’s garden. I can’t imagine that the highways department of West Sussex County Council were responsible, but whoever is responsible it is a great idea.
According to the British Beer & Pub Association, almost 40 pubs a week are closing across Britain (or they were in the second half of last year), with two a week closing in the south of England. Clearly Singleton is in a very favoured location, with six pubs within a four mile radius.
One of the floral tributes at the funeral of Henry HEMSLEY was described in the newspaper report as “A token of respect to the oldest license holder, from his friends in the Trade at Uckfield, George Bean, J. H. Elliott, A. E. Hill, M. Tourle, J. Webber, A. Waight, and F. White.”
Having an interest in pub history I thought it might be fun to find out who these people were. Using Kelly’s Directory of Sussex for 1915 on the Historical Directories website I was able to identify all seven of the gentlemen (yes, they were all men) mentioned, all of whom had businesses in the town of Uckfield, Sussex.
||King’s Head Hotel
||186 High Street
|Joseph Henry ELLIOTT
|Arthur Ernest HILL
||70 High Street
||Ringles Cross Hotel
||Maiden’s Head Hotel
||91 High Street
||96 High Street
||Alma Arms Public House
Uckfield High Street was obviously the place to go for a drink. As well as the four businesses listed above there was also a wine and spirit merchant at No. 122 High Street.
The Maiden’s Head Hotel is where Henry’s property, the Gun Inn, was sold at auction six months after his death.