Saturday 28 May 2011

Hayes, Middlesex, Canal Bridge c1913

Hayes, Middlesex, Canal Bridge circa 1913. These old postcards by W. H. Applebee show the bridge over the Grand Union Canal at Hayes in Middlesex. The old pub is still there on the right and the modern view looks quite similar, but the rest of Hayes has changed almost beyond recognition since the photos were taken. I have quite a few WHA postcards of Hayes and will post more of them here soon.
For more old photographs please visit Sepia Saturday.
As always, click the pictures to enlarge.

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This view of the bridge was taken from the canal bank:

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Sheldwich, near Faversham, Kent, 1920s

Sheldwich, near Faversham, Kent, 1920s. Fortunately the ancient house is no longer a petrol station, as it was in this 1920s postcard. The road looks a bit busier these days. Notice the old lean-to used as a shop, now replaced by a fairly unobtrusive extension to the front of the house. However, if this were my house I'd demolish the extension to restore the house to how it would have looked before it was a petrol station. It is a pity the building is so close to a main road.
Postcard published by Bells series in the 1920s. Click to enlarge.

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Saturday 21 May 2011

Isleworth, Middlesex, Percy House Auxiliary Hospital

Isleworth, Middlesex, Percy House Auxiliary Hospital, before and during the Great War. Percy House was a school that stood where part of the present West Middlesex Hospital now stands. From the Wikipedia article on Isleworth - 'Percy House Military Hospital - Within the old union workhouse complex stood a school, facing Twickenham Road, called Percy House - Percy being the surname of the Duke of Northumberland. Owing to its gradual disuse as a school it was adapted to function as a military hospital during World War I of 1914-18. From 1915 onwards it treated some 5,000 war-wounded soldiers, and then ceased operation some time after the war's end. The building was demolished in 1978'.
The first postcard, by Young & Co of Teddington, shows it as it originally was, a school in about 1911. When it became a military hospital during the war Young simply removed his previous caption from the glass negative and replaced it with its new title as in the second postcard. The Google Street View, though unimpressive, shows approximately the same view today.
The third postcard shows a patient (or possibly medical orderly) of the hospital, Edgar Bleasdale, originally a cotton weaver from Padiham in Lancashire. The postcard is marked on the front 'To Lilian' and is dated January 5th, 1917. Edgar married a Lilian Stanworth in 1924, likely to be the same woman. Next we see a group of nurses from the hospital. These two postcards were by Isleworth photographer Stanley Nixon. Finally, an interior shot of one the the wards. The patients look pretty cheerful, but their wounds are horrific.
As always, click the pictures to enlarge.
For more excellent old images please visit Sepia Saturday.

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Wednesday 18 May 2011

Northwood, Middlesex c1912

Northwood, Middlesex circa 1912. These houses would have been new when the photograph was taken. The railway bridge is not as aesthetically pleasing as the old one. Also see this post for a view of Northwood cinema around the same time. Postcard by W. H. Applebee of Ashford, Middlesex. Click the picture to enlarge.

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Sunday 15 May 2011

East London, Leyton Town Hall c1913

East London, Leyton Town Hall circa 1913. In one of W. H. Applebee's rare East London postcards we can see Leyton Town Hall, a grade II listed building, now called Leyton Municipal Buildings. Click to enlarge.

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Saturday 14 May 2011

Farnborough, Hampshire, airships Beta and Gamma c1912

Farnborough, Hampshire, airships Beta and Gamma circa 1912. No 'now' pictures from Google Street View today, this is a post for Sepia Saturday's aircraft theme. I have copied the text below from the excellent 'British Airships: Past, Present and Future' by George Whale which is available on line from many sources including a scanned version at and html, text and other versions at Project Gutenberg.

As always, click the pictures to enlarge. Postcards by W. H. Applebee, John Drew and Mays.


Beta was completed in May, 1910. The envelope was that of the Baby enlarged, and now had a volume of 35,000 cubic feet. The car was composed of a long frame, having a centre compartment for the crew and engines, which was the standard practice at that time for ships designed by the Astra Company. A 35 horse-power Green engine drove two wooden two-bladed propellers by chains. The ship was fitted with an unbalanced rudder, while the elevators were in the front of the frame. This ship was successful, and in June flew to London and back, and in September took part in the Army manoeuvres, on one occasion being in the air for 7 3/4 hours without landing, carrying a crew of three. Trouble was experienced in the steering, the elevators being situated too near the centre of the ship to be really efficient and were altogether too small.

In 1912, Beta, having been employed regularly during the previous year, was provided with a new car having a Clerget engine of 45 horse-power. In 1913 she was inflated for over three months and made innumerable flights, on one occasion carrying H.R.H. the Prince of Wales as passenger. She had at that time a maximum speed of 35 miles per hour, and could carry fuel for about eight hours with a crew of three.


In 1910 the Gamma was also completed. This was a much bigger ship with an envelope of 75,000 cubic feet capacity, which, though designed in England, had been built by the Astra Company in Paris. The car, as in Beta, was carried in a long framework suspended from the envelope. This portion of the ship was manufactured in England, together with the machinery. This consisted of an 80 horse-power Green engine driving swivelling propellers, the gears and shafts of which were made by Rolls Royce. The engine drove the propeller shafts direct, one from each end of the crankshaft.

Originally the envelope was fitted with inflated streamline stabilizers on either side, but at a later date these were replaced by fixed stabilizing planes. At the same time the Green engine was removed and two Iris engines of 45 horse-power were installed, each driving a single propeller. There were two pairs of elevators, each situated in the framework, one forward, the other aft. In 1912, having been rigged to a new envelope of 101,000 cubic feet capacity, the ship took part in the autumn manoeuvres, and considerable use was made of wireless telegraphy.

In a height reconnaissance the pilot lost his way, and running out of petrol drifted all night, but was safely landed. When returning to Farnborough the rudder controls were broken and the ship was ripped. In this operation the framework was considerably damaged. When repairs were being carried out the elevators were removed from the car framework and attached to the stabilizing fins in accordance with the method in use to-day.

Saturday 7 May 2011

Teddington, Middlesex, The Causeway and Broad Street c1907-12

Teddington, Middlesex, The Causeway and Broad Street c1907-12. All four of these postcards were published by Young & Co of Teddington and show Broad Street, one of the main thoroughfares in Teddington and somewhere Mr Young would have been very familiar with. The Causeway looks surprisingly similar today, but the ugly Tesco building in Broad Street is not a patch on the Wintour Phelps shop in the old postcards. Phelps were well known furniture dealers in the area and only closed their last shop in St. Margarets a few years ago. Click the pictures to enlarge. For more old photographs please visit Sepia Saturday.

First, the junction of Broad Street and the Causeway:

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Next, further west along Broad Street. Elfin Grove is the road on the right:

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Next, a little further along, still facing west:

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Finally, almost at the west end of Broad Street, this time facing east:

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Thursday 5 May 2011

Brixton Hill, South London, Helix Road c1910

Brixton Hill, South London, Helix Road circa 1910. Postcard published by Young & Co. Click to enlarge.

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Tuesday 3 May 2011

Bursledon, Hampshire, c1906

Bursledon, Hampshire, circa 1906. Bursledon is a village near Southampton. The building on the right is still there, but partially obscured by trees. Postcard publisher not stated. Click to enlarge.

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