Many months ago I showed you a postcard of the school in Framfield, Sussex which was really the school building rather than todays postcard which hardly shows anything of the building, but instead shows the school in terms of the children that made up the school.
This really is a delightful postcard, admittedly the quality is not brilliant but what I really like is that this doesn’t have the formality of normal school photos, with children lined up in rows. Here we find the children all over the place, some in the road, some peering through the hedge and some even climbing in the hedge by the look of it.
The majority are standing, but there are some kneeling, one little boy on his hands and knees and a couple of boys lying in the road. If you look really closely it looks like four of the boys have bottles in their hands, one boy in the middle looks like he might be saluting, but I think he is probably taking a swig from his bottle. And not a teacher to be seen anywhere.
The sad thing of course is that we don’t know who any of these children are, although I feel sure that there must be several HEMSLEY children among this lot and probably a few other relatives. Unfortunately I don’t have any other photos to compare this against, but I would guess this dates from around 1910.
Interestingly when you compare this with the other postcard it also looks like the photograph has been flipped, the school building should be on the left hand side of the postcard. I wonder whether this was an accident or whether the publisher (A.H. Homewood of Burgess Hill, Sussex) thought it looked better this way?
I bought this postcard over a month ago now and I am so pleased with it that I don’t know why I have shown you it until now. It still makes me smile every time I look at it.
This postcard was printed and published by The Mezzotint Co. of Brighton, Sussex. It was posted on the 5th October 1906 from Framfield itself, destined for a Mrs. Brooker in Battle, Sussex. Technically speaking because the card is printed the detail is not quite so sharp as on a photographic card, but it is still an excellent card in my opinion.
Several generations of my ancestors probably passed through that school, although I have yet to find the school admission registers to prove it. I wonder why the children are standing outside and why so few? Were they late for class or perhaps early? Who are the two older figures? I love the bicycle leaning against the hedge, almost taller than the girl standing next to it.
What was most surprising to me is that the building is still in use as a school. Despite a few changes to the buildings they are still recognisable, but fortunately there were no children standing in the road when the Google Street View car went past.
Regular readers of my blog might recognize this view, I have featured similar views a couple of times before (here and here) and last week we were just up the road. It is of course the entrance to the ancestral village of West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex, with the school on the left and the Selsey Arms pub on the right.
The difference with this card is its age, this card is postmarked 16th August 1950, probably making it at least two or three decades later than the others, and it was published the well-known publisher Raphael Tuck and Sons, Ltd.
There are a couple of clues in the picture which hint at a more “modern” card. At the bottom of the card is the end of a white line in the middle of the road, according to Wikipedia the first white lines in the UK appeared in 1921. The other noticeable difference is the line of telegraph poles on the left hand side of the road, look at all those insulators on the nearest one.
The nearest pole also has a small sign attached to it, in fact it is probably two signs, one facing each way along the road. I believe that they have the word telephone on them (this printed postcard is not detailed enough to be able to tell for certain), indicating to passing motorists the presence of a telephone kiosk nearby. Last time I was wandering around West Dean there was a telephone box down the road on the right-hand side of the road, just before the pub.
I wish the card was more detailed because I think I can see a bus stop on the left-hand side of the road (for buses towards Midhurst, Sussex) beyond the pub. Today the bus stop is a bit closer, almost opposite the pub, and has a bus shelter for when it rains.
The postcard below is currently one of my favourite postcards (and one of my most recent purchases). It shows part of the village of West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex including the distinctive school building, which is the closest of the buildings on the left-hand side of the road.
I believe the wall in the bottom right-hand corner is part of the bridge where the road from Chichester to Midhurst crosses over the now disused railway which also ran from Chichester to Midhurst. I think that the bank in the bottom left-hand corner is part of the railway cutting. Google Street View clearly shows the bridge from the other side, but the view has been substantially altered by the presence of more trees.
This postcard was sent on the 8th August 1924, from West Dean to an address in Alton, Hampshire. It was produced by same person who was responsible for the postcard of West Dean Church I showed you last week. The style of the caption on that postcard is identical to this and at least one other in my collection. Unfortunately I don’t yet know who that person was.
Looking at the records for Southover School, Lewes, Sussex I picked up a couple of interesting facts that might be relevant to my grandfather’s move from Lewes to London.
My grandfather, Charles Percy GASSON, left school in Lewes on the 2nd November 1917 and the reason was given as “went to London”. Arthur Leonard JESSOP left the same school on the 2nd November 1917, and the reason he left was “returned to London”.
Connection or coincidence?
At first glance this seems like a good match, but of course there is a problem, I don’t have a single JESSOP in my family history. It may be that I just haven’t found them yet, or it may be that there was a different type of relationship. Perhaps my great-grandmother was a domestic servant for the JESSOP family, and if they moved she moved with them.
When I looked at the headmaster’s log book I discovered that there was some significance to the date of the 2nd November 1917, which may suggest it was a coincidence after all. The log book records that on the 2nd November the school was “closed until Wednesday morning for mid-term Holiday”.
The 2nd November 1917 was a Friday, so Wednesday was the 7th. They didn’t have much of a mid-term break, but if you were going to move your child out of school then the start of the holiday would be a good time to do it. So perhaps it was just a coincidence after all.
I think I need to find out more about Arthur Leonard JESSOP, his father’s name was Alfred and I have his date of birth (24th March 1910), so it shouldn’t be too difficult to put together some information on his parents and see if there is a connection somewhere.