Tag Archives: seaford

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

Litlington White Horse

11 May

I warned you last week that there were more hill figures to come, so as promised (or threatened) here is a photo of the Litlington White Horse, taken under cloudy skies last Wednesday.

Litlington White Horse

This hill figure was cut into the chalk on the side of Hindover Hill (or High and Over Hill) in 1924. It is situated about a mile and a half south-west of the village of Alfriston in East Sussex, just of the road to Seaford. It looks down into the valley of the Cuckmere river below.

White Horse close-up

The current horse apparently replaced an earlier horse on Hindover Hill which had been lost (overgrown). According to The Hillfigure Homepage, horses represent the largest category of hill figures existing in this country.

I should have been filing, but got distracted

16 Sep

Last night I was supposed to be filing, but I couldn’t help adding another pair of 4x great grandparents to my tree. I was looking at me tree wondering when the birth certificate for William GEERING would arrive, when I noticed that I didn’t have parents for William’s father-in-law William GREEN.

It was once again surprisingly easy to find the information I was looking for. There were two William GREENs of the right age in Seaford, Sussex in the 1841 census, so I had to find further evidence of his father’s name. William’s marriage to Charlotte TEMPLEMAN was in 1843 in Seaford, so I thought I would either have to wait for a marriage certificate or until I could get to a record office.

I was check the West Sussex Record Office’s holdings to see if they had the bishop’s transcripts (they do) and noticed that the Seaford marriages are on the International Genealogical Index. That gave me the evidence I needed (I will confirm the entry is correct on the original register eventually), his father’s name was Charles GREEN, that narrowed down my choice and I had his parents in the 1841 and 1851 census.

From the Sussex Marriage Index it looks like Charles GREEN married Mary TUCKNOT in Seaford on the 10th June 1811. Charles was an agricultural labourer, so no surprise there. He was from Seaford, born around 1788. Mary was from nearby Bishopstone and was slightly younger than Charles. So far from the census I have found seven children including William, but like the LEWRYs yesterday I still have some gaps to fill in.

I seem to have quite a few ancestors now from the Seaford area, and I am wondering now if perhaps I should go and pay it a visit this weekend rather than go to a record office. I am sure a visit to the church would be quite productive and I can always go for a walk on the hills to the east if I get bored of the town. In the back of my mind is the thought that as the seasons change my opportunity for going exploring is getting less and less, so I might just seize the opportunity and spend a day exploring Seaford this weekend.

Better news with a marriage certificate, but more confusion

6 Jun

The disappointment which accompanied Harriet WRIGHTs incorrect birth certificate was reduced slightly by the arrival of the marriage certificate for William GEERING and Emily GREEN. They were married on the 29th June 1890 at the parish church of Sutton cum Seaford, Sussex.

I needed their marriage certificate to identify Emily’s parents, my 3x great grandparents. Previously I hadn’t been able to confidently identify her parents, there were a couple of options, so I had to bite the bullet and order the certificate.

Now I know that Emily’s father was William GREEN, and from this I have discovered that her mother was probably Charlotte TEMPLEMAN, both were from Seaford. There is however one troubling problem….

The ages shown on the marriage certificate for both bride and groom were different from the ages given on census returns, both before and after their marriage. Normally I would trust the marriage certificate over a census return, but in this case the census returns are pretty consistent across the years.

The marriage in 1890 gives their ages as 21 (for William) and 20 (for Emily). Their census ages in 1891 were 23 and 27 respectively. I did wonder whether the ages 21 and 20 were simply indicating whether they were “of full age” or not, implying that Emily was under 21, but if anything they would be the other way around.

The baptism record for Emily GREEN (daughter of William and Charlotte GREEN) shows she was baptised at St Leonard’s Church, Seaford on the 20th January 1862, and that she was born on the 17th December 1861. So Emily was nearer 29 years old when she married, not 20. Curiously though I can’t find a birth entry in the GRO BMD indexes.

I clearly need to do more work on both the bride and her parents to satisfy myself that I am looking at the correct individuals, although I am pretty confident that they are the correct couple. I especially need to check the parish register for the marriage entry, to see if an error has occurred on the certificate.

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