- Top-left: Lancaster of the BBMF over Lancing College
- Top-right: Brietling Wingwalkers
- Bottom-left: Shoreham Airport Terminal Building
- Bottom-right: Christian Moullec
It has been a while since I have been to postcard fair (although I have still been buying postcards, mostly on eBay but also elsewhere), so it was nice to get chance to visit the Postcard and Collectors Fair at The Shoreham Centre, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex.
I was quite surprised to find the Shoreham Centre packed with people (both collectors and dealers) when I arrived, on previous visits I have found it a lot quieter, so it was good to see so many people. The Shoreham Centre is not particularly large but it is pretty convenient for me to get to, in fact a couple of years ago I walked there, it took me about four hours but I might try that again later in the year when the weather is better.
Results were mixed, as you can see from the pile of cards above there was quite a mixed bag, nine cards in all, all of which were Sussex. Three nice West Dean ones for my collection, another Beachy Head lighthouse (bought for the publisher rather than the subject) and the rest had family associations and were absolute bargains which I couldn’t resist. Expect to see some of these on this blog in the coming weeks and months.
For those interested in attending future fairs, they are organised by Beacon Fairs, and the dates for the rest of 2011 are:
Whenever I visit a church I usually buy a copy of the church guide if there is one, they usually give a bit of background to the history of the church, its architecture and sometimes its people.
I wouldn’t normally bother with a little guide-book like this, which I discovered in a collectables shop in Eastbourne, East Sussex, on the basis that it is somewhat out of date and rather battered. However because I have ancestors from Shoreham I gave it a second glance, I noticed that the previous owner had actually written his name on it Arthur Harding Norwood and dated it Nov 1898.
What also stood out was that Arthur Harding Norwood had actually scribbled some comments in the guide-book, and that these comments were less than complimentary.
His comments begin on the front cover with the addition of the word VANDAL to name of the author and vicar of Old Shoreham Church the Rev. H. C. Adams, M.A.
We learn the reason for this on page 19, where the guide describes the church at New Shoreham:
Other improvements have been effected of late years. The heavy and unsightly pews have given way to open sittings and chairs, and the whole appearance of the church greatly improved.
At the foot of the page Arthur Harding Norwood has scribbled a note, Are chairs (especially ugly ones) in a church suitable or picturesque?
The guide-book itself begins by describing the situation of the two Shorehams:
The two Shorehams, Old and New, situated on the Sussex coast, half-way between Brighton and Worthing, are places of considerable interest, though no longer of the commercial and naval importance which attached to them some centuries ago. Their decay must be a matter of regret to all connected with them, and the more so because the local advantages, which in the first instance gave them pre-eminence, still exist unimpaired; nor is anything needed but a due employment of capital and enterprise to restore them to their ancient position.
The opening paragraph doesn’t escape Arthur Harding Norwood’s comment, “Capital & enterprise” would never restore Shoreham to it’s “ancient position,” if Shoreham were to be restored it would be converted into a hideous little Liverpool, with factories smoke & filth, the “restoration” began a few years ago with the hideous chemical works. The latest “improvement” being the hateful “Dolphin” Soap Works at Kingston.
The comment above is actually signed and dated (November 1898) but there is another comment, which is dated the 3rd October 1924, “Capital & enterprise” have built a hideous new bridge, in place of the Norfolk. “Enterprise” by the local Council of Vandals, in filling in the grand strips of water above the bridge – with reffuse from Shoreham dustbins, the stench from which is vile.
I would love to know why Arthur Harding Norwood made these comments, and whether they ever went any further than his own copy of the guide-book. I can just imagine him writing letters to The Times or a local newspaper.
I couldn’t help trying to find out who Arthur Harding Norwood was. It turns out that he was a painter, there are references to several of his paintings being sold at auction, but they give no idea of the value they attained (unless I subscribe). I have also found a reference to fact that some of his work was exhibited in London by the Society of British Artists.
I had hoped to go down to Chichester today, to do some research at the West Sussex Record Office and the public library, but it became obvious early in the week that I wasn’t going to be prepared in time, so I decided to postpone to visit (probably until next weekend).
To be honest I wasn’t really too disappointed, it was a good excuse for me to stay in bed. Many weeks of getting up early nearly every morning have taken it’s toll and I really couldn’t face another early start. Besides there were plenty of other things that I wanted to do.
Top of those lists of things to do was a visit to Shoreham Postcard Fair, at Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex. So after a lazy start to the day I took the bus to Brighton and then Shoreham, and spent some more of my hard earned money on postcards.
Shoreham Postcard Fair is a fairly small postcard fair, probably twenty or so dealers, and not all postcards, some coins, stamps and cigarette cards. There was plenty to keep me occupied for several hours, and I came away with another eleven postcards for my growing collection, including some great bargains from one dealer’s 50p box.
The great thing about Shoreham Postcard Fair is that it is pretty convenient for me to get to, just two bus rides. Unfortunately it means passing through the crowded city of Brighton. Perhaps it is just me getting older, but I am starting to get very “crowd intolerant”. I am really starting to go off buses packed full of passengers and crowded pavements (and as we get nearer to Christmas it can only get worse), so I was very pleased to get back home, put my feet up and study my new postcards.
Yesterday saw the 70th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s famous "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few" speech. There was an event commemorating the anniversary in London yesterday, and a whole range of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain this year.
In theory then this weekend was the perfect weekend for the Battle of Britain Airshow at Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex. If today’s experience was anything to go by, the weather has proved less than perfect. The day began with misty rain and low cloud, and although the rain did stop and the cloud lift, it had a significant impact on the day’s flying display.
The photo above shows the situation at about 10:45am, just a quarter of an hour before the flying display was due to start. It is a miracle that any flying did take place, and it was about around midday that a rather reduced display began. Despite the low cloud and much of the country suffering similarly poor conditions the organisers did manage to put together a pretty good show, mostly based on aircraft already onsite.
Fortunately there was a lot to see on the ground, several aircraft on static display, various tents and displays by various businesses and charities, the historic airport terminal and even a postcard dealer in the craft tent.
One of the now regular features of the airshow is a recreation of a Battle of Britain scramble, with Hurricanes and Spitfires taking to the air to fight off a lone Messerschmitt attacker. Fortunately this was able to go ahead and with the help of the Home Guard the attacker was repelled.
Unfortunately a lot of the big attractions like the Vulcan, Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and The Blades were unable to make it. Hopefully they will have a better day tomorrow, but unfortunately I won’t be there.
Yesterday I mentioned the chalk cross on the side of the hill above the village of Shoreham, Kent. I also mentioned it served as a war memorial, and that reminded me that I had a picture postcard in my collection of the memorial.
There are no clues on the card as to who published it and when, but I am guessing it was a local photographer/publisher, and probably quite soon after the cross was created in 1920.
You won’t be able to read the inscription on the memorial and it is not very clear on the original, but I think it reads:
AS YOU LOOK
ON THE HILL
Saturday’s walk along another stretch of the North Downs has re-awakened another of my passions, a love of hill figures. Hill figures come in a variety of shapes (mostly horses), sizes, ages, material (mainly chalk) and are found mostly in Southern England (mainly in Wiltshire).
The starting point of our walk was Otford, which is just south of Shoreham, Kent. Shoreham is home to a hill figure, a chalk cross on the hillside. My first glimpse of the cross was from the train the week before, but it was only last week that I got chance to take the photo below, from Otford Mount.
This hill figure is 100 feet high and 58 feet wide and was constructed in 1920. It serves as a war memorial to the men of Shoreham who lost their lives during the First and Second World Wars.
I wish we had more time to actually go and get a closer look at the cross, and the memorial stone. I am sure the chance will occur another time, and it looks like it is being well cared for and should be there for many years to come.
I know we will be passing several other Kent hill figures, and there are a couple of figures near the South Downs Way as well, so you can expect to see more hill figures on this blog in the future.