I searched long and hard to find the least seasonal Christmas postcard I could, and they don’t come much less seasonal than this one. The addition of the words Christmas Wishes was a rather poor effort I think to turn this otherwise quite attractive postcard into a Christmas card.
Still it serves it’s purpose in allowing me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year, as well as showing off some of the most stunning scenery in Sussex.
This delightful postcard found its way into my collection because it is such a lovely view. It is an area that I have walked in the past (up the river from Arundel) and it is within the boundaries of the South Downs National Park and at one time was on the route of the South Downs Way, but that was moved a bit further north away from the busy road.
As the caption says, this it “THE RIVER AT HOUGHTON”, the river itself is the River Arun in West Sussex and we are looking roughly south-west down river as it snakes its way towards Arundel and eventually to Littlehampton (about ten miles away) where it meets the sea.
Houghton is a small hamlet which is just up the little road on the right of the picture. I believe the photograph was actually taken near Houghton Bridge and more specifically from the tip of the little island on which the middle of the bridge rests.
The photographer responsible was Frederick Douglas Miller of Haywards Heath, whose name is embossed in the bottom right-hand corner, who produced some of the most outstanding picture postcards of Sussex.
This postcard was posted from Arundel on the 7th June 1920 (at least I think it is 1920). It was sent to a Miss Acford in London and has the rather puzzling message: Thanks very much for “Punch” and information. I am hoping there will be a little change left out of it when we come home. We are having lovely weather – cold winds night and morning but gloriously hot and sunny all day – hope it will last. Yrs A.
This postcard is a little different from my usual subject matter, very rarely do I stray from my usual topographical collecting themes, but I made an exception for this one because of the interesting story it tells.
The claim that Isaac Ingall lived to a great age is repeated many times on the internet, but I can’t see that any detailed research has been done that backs it up, but equally I can’t see anything that refutes the claim either, but I could be wrong. He is buried at Battle Abbey, where had he seemingly worked as a butler and a photo of his headstone can be seen here.
As for the postcard itself, there are no clues as to the age of the card, it is based on a much older portrait (which looks like it is now in The British Museum).
There is also a good reason why I chose this postcard today, because the 14th October marks the 945th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, which every schoolboy knows (or ought to) didn’t take place in Hastings but in nearby Battle, East Sussex, where Isaac Ingall was buried.
As I am on a bit of a GASSON theme at the moment, here is another postcard of St Mary’s Church, Slaugham.
Back in March 2011 I showed you a similar image, in black and white and perhaps slightly older, but in writing about it I said that the family connection wasn’t particularly strong. Now I know that the connections are much stronger than I imagined back then. My 4x great-grandparents were buried here, my 3x great-grandparents were married here (I did know that before) and my 2x great-grandfather was baptised here (but I already knew that).
There a caption in the bottom-left corner, but it is not particularly clear either on this digital image or the original postcard, as the red ink merges with the green grass. It is possible to make out the word “Dolphin”. That is enough to identify the publisher as Harry Tullett of Haywards Heath, Sussex.
Postcards of the village of Slaugham, Sussex are not that easy to come by, so I snapped up this one when it came up even though it is not in top condition. It shows the interior of St Mary’s Church, Slaugham.
I visited the church earlier this year (see the photo below) before I got this postcard and to be honest it took me a while to verify that this was the same church, such were the changes that have been made to the interior.
The quality of my photo is rather poor (I will take more care next time and perhaps find the light switch) but it is good enough to see the similarities in the structure of the building even if most of the furniture and fittings have changed. Although not included in my photo the font on the right-hand sign is definitely the same.
The postcard itself is unused but it does have printed on the back that it is part of “The Dolphin Series” which almost certainly means it was the work of Harry Tullett of nearby Haywards Heath, Sussex, and probably dates the card to somewhere around 1910. It may be possible to date the picture more accurately if the changes inside the church were recorded and carried out over a number of years.
There are a number of family connections with this church, including the marriage of my 3x great-grandparents Thomas GASSON and Harriet MITCHELL, the burials of my 4x great-grandparents Henry and Catherine GASSON and the baptism of my 2x great-grandfather George Thomas GASSON.
It has been a while since I last walked across the landscape below and I am thinking that the approaching bank holiday might give me the perfect opportunity to do so once again.
There are lots of other things I probably ought to be doing, but the weather forecast is looking quite good and I feel I need to get out on my own and just walk. Unfortunately there are lots of other places I would like to explore so I may not make it back again this weekend.
The caption says this view is of The Seven Sisters (the line of chalk cliffs stretching across the card) but it also shows Seaford Head in the foreground, which is probably not quite as famous, although the Coastguard Cottages which are just off to the left of the picture have appeared in many photos and paintings (not sure if I have them on a postcard though).
The picture itself doesn’t provide any clues to the age of this postcard and it has not been used, so the only clue as to its age is the name of the publisher, F. A. Bourne of Langley Road, Eastbourne, which is printed on the back. If I had to put a date on it then I would have said early 1920s, but I could easily be a decade out either way.