Tag Archives: picture postcard parade

Picture Postcard Parade: West Dean House from South

2 Nov

It is about time I added a bit of colour to my postcard tour of the parish of West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex. So far I think the postcards have all been black and white or sepia, but this one is in colour. Admittedly not many colours, mainly greys and greens, but colour nevertheless.

This postcard of West Dean House was posted on the 23rd November 1906, which seems quite fitting as it looks very much like a winter scene, there is not much colour in the flower beds and most of the trees have lost their leaves. The Sussex Postcards website has information about the publisher Russell’s of nearby Chichester, Sussex and the probable photographer George Henry Allen. It also features a copy of the same card which is postmarked 1904, two years earlier than mine.

The core of West Dean House was built in 1804 and it has been added to during the following two centuries. It is now home to West Dean College and is not open to the public, but it is set within West Dean Gardens which are open to the public throughout most of the year.

Picture Postcard Parade: Selsey Arms, West Dean

26 Oct

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.

Picture Postcard Parade: West Dean Church

19 Oct

The postcard below is one that I have had for quite a while. It shows the ivy clad St. Andrew’s Church, West Dean (near Chichester), Sussex and a few of the headstones in the churchyard.

West Dean Church

There is not a lot more that can be said about this postcard. The card was posted from West Dean on the 6th September 1920 and sent to Mrs C BOXALL of Brown Hill Farm, Ashington, Sussex. The BOXALL connection was naturally of interest, but from what I can find it doesn’t look like this Mrs BOXALL was a close relation.

In light of my current obsession with the parish of West Dean I have decided that I am going to start seriously collecting picture postcards of the parish. It is not that I haven’t been collecting them already, just that I haven’t been making a special effort to find them.

What makes collecting postcards of West Dean (in West Sussex) particularly challenging is the fact that not only is there another West Dean in East Sussex (as I previously mentioned), but also one in neighbouring Hampshire. From what I saw at the Shoreham Postcard Fair last Saturday most postcard dealers don’t distinguish between the eastern and western parishes, and sometimes Hampshire cards are to to be found amongst the Sussex cards. Likewise I probably should check for Sussex cards in with the Hampshire cards.

Examining postcards of an area, working out where the views were taken from and when, is a great way of learning about a place and how it has changed over the years, although of course the bulk of the postcards I am likely to find will only cover a short period of time, probably from 1900 to 1930.

Apart from learning more about the parish of my ancestors the other bonus is that my increased attention on West Dean postcards will hopefully turn up a postcard sent to (or by) one of my closer relations.

Picture Postcard Parade: West Dean, Sussex

14 Oct

Continuing the West Dean theme to my blog posts this week, here is a delightful postcard of West Dean, Sussex. You will probably get fed up with hearing about West Dean over the next few weeks, but I make no apologies, as it is one of the key places in my family history.

West Dean, Sussex

Not only is the picture delightful, so crisp and clear, but the card itself has lots of helpful features for the collector who wants to find out more about who published it and when. With reference to my earlier post about two West Deans in Sussex, there is no confusion which one this is, because the publisher has included a place as well as his name.

The publisher and photographer was Albert Henry Morey of nearby Chichester. The postcard was sent from West Dean on the 5th August 1914 (to an address in Watford), but from reading the description on the Sussex Postcards website (where there are some fantastic examples of his other work) it sounds like they may have been available several years earlier.

The picture is taken on the road from Chichester to Midhurst, looking roughly in an easterly direction. The large building on the right-hand side of the road is a pub, The Selsey Arms. I really must pop in next time I am in West Dean, as I have never been inside even though the bus stop is right outside. When I do I am sure I will be following in the footsteps of many of my ancestors.

Picture Postcard Parade: The Warren, West Dean

7 Oct

It is always rewarding to be able to be able to identify a view on a postcard and I have had a couple of successes recently, and yesterday I was able to pinpoint the exact location of the postcard below.

The Warren, West Dean

It wasn’t too difficult with this one and the name printed on the front is a bit of a giveaway, but I have been able to pinpoint the exact spot in West Dean, (West) Sussex where the photographer was pointing his camera, using Google Maps and Old Maps.

These cottages are just north-west of main road from Chichester to Midhurst that runs through the village, near The Selsey Arms pub and West Dean school. The photographer was looking in a north-easterly direction, and although most of the buildings are the same there are a lot more trees now.

Several generations of my MITCHELL ancestors lived at Warren Farm/Warren Barn Farm which isn’t actually shown on this view, but I am sure that there will have been relations of one sort or another living in these houses at some time in their life.

Of course I was down in West Dean last Saturday so I should really have got my act together earlier and made the effort to go and get a photograph as it is now, but I have only just got around to looking into this postcard. The card itself was posted in 1918 from West Dean, to an address near Alton, Hampshire but despite have ancestors in both West Dean and Alton it doesn’t look like they are anything to do with me.

Picture Postcard Parade (widescreen edition): Seaford Esplanade, looking West

1 Oct

I couldn’t resist this card when it came up on eBay, partly because I have ancestors from Seaford, Sussex but mainly for the novelty value of the size of the thing. The actual size is 292mm x 82mm, which is about the same height of a normal postcard but over twice the width.

Seaford Esplanade, looking West

If you click on the image you can have a look in detail, but the print quality is a little disappointing to be honest. I don’t know whether that is because of the size or just a poor quality printing process. It is clear enough to make out some of the buildings in the town on the right-hand side, but not much detail of the people strolling along the seafront on the left-hand side.

I have had a look on Google Street View, but I haven’t been able to find exactly the same viewpoint. It looks like a lot of the buildings along the Esplanade have either been demolished and rebuilt or heavily altered.

I know virtually nothing about the publisher of the card, or when it was published. It has not been used and the back of the card names it as a PANORAMICARD. Down the left-hand side of the back is the name of J.B. Armstrong, 52 High St., Seaford. As I have seen other Panoramicards from different parts of the country I assume that J.B. Armstrong was the person who commissioned this particular Panoramicard, rather than the actual publisher.

Picture Postcard Parade: The Village Parliament

24 Sep

You get two for price of one with this blog post, two postcards with versions of the same Sussex scene. The first postcard is a printed card, showing a group of men (with a couple of children) gathered at the side of a road holding some sort of meeting.

The Village Parliament

There are no clues as to the exact location, except that it is somewhere in Sussex. There is also no indication of who the photographer or publisher was, although the bottom left of the picture does have the initials ETW. It was posted on the 21st October 1903 from Eastbourne, Sussex.

The Village Parliament

The second version of the card is a photographic version featuring the same scene, this time there is a caption just visible in the bottom right-hand corner which places the scene in Amberley, Sussex. This picture shows the tree trunk in all it’s gnarled glory, and it almost looks like the man with the stick is posed to mirror the shape of the tree.

Fortunately the photographic card also shows more of the house in the background which gives a chance of actually identifying the location. In fact it was pretty easy using Google Street View to locate the scene, as being at the eastern end of Hog Lane, Amberley, Sussex, opposite The Black Horse pub.

At first glance I thought these two postcards came from the same negative, one in portrait and one landscape orientation, but on closer inspection there are a few differences amongst the men. Most noticeable is the man sitting at the foot of the tree trunk (in the darker jacket), in the printed card he is holding a dog, but in the photographic one the dog has gone, it probably wouldn’t keep still long enough!

One Man and his Dog

One question that this image does raise is what exactly was “The Village Parliament”? So far I have been unable to find an answer online or in books, despite find several references to this image. I am not sure whether this was just made up by the postcard publisher or whether the term refers to a meeting of the Parish Council, the vestry (a church committee) or some other group.

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