The theme for the latest edition of the Festival of Postcards (hosted by Evelyn at A Canadian Family) is “Locomotion”. I don’t think there are any postcards in my collection that sum this up better than the one below of Partridge Green railway station in Sussex.
There is no name of a photographer or publisher on this card, it was posted from Partridge Green on the 27th November 1907 and sent to a Miss B. Longhurst of Ashington, Sussex. Historic postcards of railway stations are eagerly collected and command high prices. I was lucky enough to get this one several years ago.
Partridge Green station was on the Horsham to Shoreham branch (or the Steyning Line as it was also known) of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. It was opened in 1861 and closed in 1966, and the route of the line now forms part of the bridleway linking the North Downs Way and the South Downs Way, known as the Downs Link and is one of my favourite places to walk.
I will give you a quick tour of the station before the train arrives. We are standing at the southern end of the northbound (or up) platform for trains to Horsham, with a small wooden shelter. To the right of that is via the footbridge linking the two platform. Behind the footbridge the road bridge can just be made out, this is the only part of the station that still remains, and even then it has been filled in and only one side remains visible.
On the other platform are passengers waiting for the down train (towards Brighton). Left to right from the footbridge we have the signal box, ticket office and waiting rooms, and the tall building is the station master’s house. To the right of those is the start of the goods yard and goods shed.
Anyway I must dash, I see the train is just coming in and I need to get across to the other platform or I will have to wait another hour. It looks like it’s going to be a busy train, I wonder where they are all going?
I would like to thank Evelyn at A Canadian Family for hosting the Festival of Postcards and for choosing the theme Geography, which has given me a great excuse to combine so many of my interests in one post.
This card was part of The Wrench Series (No. 2715) and the map itself was produced by G. Philip & Son, Ltd. Neither of these facts help me come up with a date for the postcard (I am sure there must be someone out there who has documented all the cards of The Wrench Series).
My interest in both maps and postcards stems from an interest in local history, and now they are both an important feature of my family history research. Without a date it is not going to be a great deal of help in any research, but it contains some wonderful features and names so many places connected to my family history. I would list all the places that have a family connection or a personal connection, but it would take far too long.
Railways are another interest of mine, and this map shows the rail network in Sussex at it’s height. About half of the railway lines on this map were closed about forty years ago. Looking closer you can see that the stations are marked (Sta) and it even shows the line up to Devils Dyke beauty spot.
Another obvious feature of this map/postcard are the brown areas which indicate the hills of the South Downs. The South Downs are the most prominent geographical feature of the Sussex landscape (and a great place for going for walk). We can also see two of the main rivers heading for the coast, the River Adur on the left (west) and the River Ouse on the right (east).
The theme for the latest Festival of Postcards (hosted by Evelyn at A Canadian Family) is Light. As you can see I have taken a slight liberty with the theme for this edition.
Rather than light I have gone for lightning, and this real photographic postcard from 1924 shows the devastation caused by a lightning strike on a tree (probably an oak, but hard to tell).
What really interests me about this card is the spelling of the word lightning. I can’t decide whether it was a mistake or not. I suspect it was case that it was spelt the way it sounded with a soft T, as in lie-ning rather than light-ning. Any experts on Sussex dialect care to help me out here?
Knepp Estate in Shipley, West Sussex is probably best known for it’s two castles, one ruined (and visible from the A24 London to Worthing road) and the other still a home (although nearly destroyed by fire in 1904). The estate is home to many nature conservation and preservation projects as well as a polo club and a fantastic lake.
The theme for the latest Festival of Postcards hosted by Evelyn at A Canadian Family blog is white.
Given the time of year and the fact that there are rumours going around that we might have a White Christmas in Sussex this year (I very much doubt it!), there was only really one choice of card from my collection.
This is rather different to the usual seaside view of Eastbourne, Sussex showing the promenade and pier. There are a few figures on the beach, but no tourists enjoying ice cream in the sunshine. Although judging by the number of footprints it does look like there had been plenty of people out strolling along the promenade.
The “great blizzard” was on the 28th December 1908 and of course the heavy snowfall wasn’t confined to just Eastbourne or Sussex, but much of Britain appears to have been affected.
According to The Sussex Weather Book (Froglets Publications and Frosted Earth, 1991) in Eastbourne, “so fierce was the blizzard on the sea front that the snow and mist rendered the sea invisible”.
The Brighton Herald newspaper (quoted in The Sussex Weather Book) described the scene:
“There is nothing that so utterly transforms a town as such a fall of snow as that of this week. It brings with it a rare witchery of beauty, yet a rare sense of desolation. The beauty is in the encrusting of the trees, the silvering of the bushes and the mantling of lawns in purest white. The effect of desolation was heightened by the profound hush. Indeed the strange effect of deep snow to the townsman is the silence that it brings”.
Ironically the ice skating rink at Brighton had to be closed because “snow was percolating through the roof and covering the floor”.
The theme for the latest Festival of Postcards is Quadrupeds, I searched my postcards for animals, and to be honest most of my postcards are of rural nature, so there was no shortage of four-legged animals to choose from.
In the end I settled on these fine looking animals from Buxted Park in Buxted, East Sussex.
I have not really been able to find out much about these deer beyond what was written on the back of the card. It looks like these may well be chital deer, but I am no expert on deer.
In case you can’t make out the handwriting the message reads:
My dear Arthur I thought you would like this card for your book there are no other in England like them they are never hunted I was quite close to them the other day as I often take a walk in the park They belong to Lord Portman and there are about four hundred they are very pretty hope you are quite well from your Aunt Lucy
The card must have been sent in an envelope or delivered by hand, so there is no postmark to help with dating it, and no clues as to who the publisher was either, but I would think it probably dates from the 1920s.
I was walking over at Buxted a couple of months ago, and I didn’t see any deer (only sheep). My great-grandmother Minnie HEMSLEY is said to have worked at Buxted Park, in the house which is now a very nice looking hotel.
In case you are wondering what they look like out in the open here is another postcard of the deer out in the park.
Last Saturday was the first Saturday in the month, which can only mean one thing, a postcard fair at Haywards Heath, West Sussex.
I have been going to this fair on and off for many years, at least ten years I would think. It is usually held on the first Saturday of every month, but not always (yes, my brother and I have been caught out in the past).
It is held at Clair Hall in Haywards Heath, West Sussex between 10.30am and 4pm, but check with the fair organiser to make sure. The admission is just £1.00, and for that you get the opportunity to browse through (and buy) thousands of postcards, from somewhere in the region of twenty or so different dealers.
A large proportion of these dealers specialise in Sussex and the south-east of England, although most have a selection of subject cards and a smaller selection from a wider geographical area. Naturally it is the Sussex cards that I am mainly interested in, both for my main collection and to illustrate my family history.
Last Saturday I came away with seven cards, which is more than usual, but it probably reflects the fact that I spent longer there than normal. Five of those cards have a family connection, which you will probably be seeing in the next couple of weeks. The other two I got because they appealed to me (places I have been walking) and they are also both possible contenders for the upcoming Festival of Postcards.
If you live in the UK and want to find a postcard fair near you then check out the list on the Postcard Traders Association website.